If you’re blemish-prone, springtime can be bittersweet: while warmer weather is a welcome change, the transition can cause turmoil for temperamental skin. Higher temperatures and humidity, combined with increased sun exposure, can lead to more clogged pores and active blemishes.
To help ease the seasonal transition, we asked Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper) to share her top springtime tips for blemish-prone skin.
5 minute read
- How does warmer weather affect blemish-prone skin?
- Dr. Lee’s top tips for spring
- Dr. Lee’s last word
- Shop the article
How does warmer weather affect blemish-prone skin?
According to Dr. Lee, seasonal changes can have a real impact on our skin, especially if you’re prone to breakouts. Warmer temperatures and more sun exposure can have several effects on blemishes — here’s a breakdown.
- Sweating: as temperatures rise, the skin releases sweat to help cool down the body. This can lead to dehydrated skin.
- Sebum: to help maintain balance, the sebaceous glands amp up oil production to lock in moisture and provide protection from oxidative stress. This can clog pores.
- Inflammation: increased UV exposure can provoke skin’s inflammatory response by creating free radical oxidation. This may make skin more sensitive to an imbalance of C. acnes bacteria.
- Melanin: when skin experiences radiation, melanocytes create more pigment to neutralise the damage. Healing skin also produces excess melanin (aka post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) — so spots can be even darker when exposed to UV rays.
Dr. Lee’s top tips for spring
Though everyone’s skin is different, Dr. Lee says that most of her blemish-prone patients can benefit from a few skincare swaps and lifestyle changes to ease the transition from wintertime. If you’re already on a regular regimen like SLMD Blemish-Prone Skin System, keep it up — because consistency is important. Add in these suggestions and as always, listen to your skin.
Shedding winter dullness is a good thing — provided you don’t overdo it. Oil soluble exfoliants like salicylic acid can help keep pores clear and remove dead cell buildup.
Choose products that are gentle to avoid damaging the skin barrier, which can make breakouts worse. Try SLMD Salicylic Acid Cleanser: wash your face morning and evening with warm water, and after working out, sweating, or wearing a mask for long periods of time.
#2 Switch your body wash
If you tend to get body breakouts as the weather warms, it's time to switch your moisturising body wash for an exfoliating one. Combining beta and alpha hydroxy acids can help minimise the chances of both body blemishes and ingrown hairs as you ramp up your body shaving frequency in spring. Dr. Lee recommends these SLMD Skincare products:
- Glycolic Acid Body Scrub: contains both physical and chemical exfoliants
- Salicylic Acid Body Wash; maximum strength AHA but gentle enough for everyday use
#3 Wear sunscreen
Since you know it’s the number one thing you should include in your skincare routine, we’re positive you’ve been applying SPF every single day anyway, right? This is your friendly reminder that all skin types, and all skin tones, should be wearing sunscreen in all weather conditions, indoors or out — end of story.
If you've got blemish-prone skin, choose a product that's not occlusive, so it doesn't clog pores and make breakouts worse.
#4 Add antioxidants
UV rays set off chemical reactions in the skin that lead to DNA damage, which is why it's important to incorporate antioxidants into your springtime routine. Vitamin C neutralises free radicals before they can cause oxidative stress. Find it in SLMD Facial Moisturizer.
#5 Plan ahead
Striking a balance between spending time in the fresh spring air and protecting skin from blemish flares (not to mention photoageing) may take a bit of planning, but it’s definitely doable. Besides skincare, Dr. Lee has a few simple suggestions:
- Wear protective clothing. Hats, breathable cotton clothing and a chic pair of sunglasses will prevent damaging rays from aggravating breakouts.
- Seek out shade. Spending time outside in indirect sunlight improves your mood (which in turn can help your breakouts), without subjecting skin to stress from UV rays.
- Opt for an updo. Keeping hair away from your face and neck not only keeps you cooler, but minimises the chances that your hair products and oils might clog pores.
- Keep linens clean. If you’ve been hibernating a bit this winter, it’s time to launder all of those blankets, sheets and especially your pillowcases — which can all harbor blemish-causing bacteria.
Dr. Lee’s last word
If you’ve got blemish prone skin, the changing seasons can sometimes lead to more breakouts. Especially as we move from winter to spring, we start to see sebum production kick in and many of my patients find that this leads to more blemishes. So it’s really important to keep up with your anti-blemish regimen, to start exfoliating and masking more, and to protect your fragile skin from the sun with a non-occlusive, broad-spectrum sunscreen.
—Dr. Sandra Lee