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Summer Skincare Routine for Acne-prone Skin

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Summer increases the chances of dermatological issues in acne-prone skin. Read the article to learn about the skincare routine that can help to avoid them.

Written by

Dr. Zeba Jabeen

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Dhepe Snehal Madhav

Published At November 14, 2023
Reviewed AtNovember 14, 2023


Summers are a challenging time for oily skin to deal with. The elevated mercury levels in the thermometer can make oily skin more prone to various skin issues. The primary problem in the list is acne breakouts, so oily skin is often referred to as acne-prone skin. The increased sebum production in this skin type causes frequent and more acne appearance, particularly on the face.

However, other body parts like the chest, back, shoulders, and butts may also be affected. Different types of skin require different beauty products according to different seasons. The sunlight contains ultraviolet rays that are harmful to the skin; during summer, these rays are at their peak. Hence, a proper skincare regimen during summer becomes more critical.

What Causes Acne-prone Skin?

The oil or sebaceous glands present in the skin produce oil or sebum. In summer, the activity of these glands is enhanced, and excess sebum is produced. The high temperature and humidity cause skin dehydration and thickening of the skin's outer surface due to the triggered activity of sebaceous glands. It further results in the clogging of the skin pores and the formation of acne, and it also gives the skin an overly shiny and greasy appearance. A pimple or acne occurs due to sebum deposition on the skin.

What Is the Ideal Summer Skincare Routine for Acne-prone Skin?

To combat seasonal challenges, an ideal summer skincare routine is imperative for acne-prone skin. Nevertheless, it is crucial to comprehend the properties of the ingredients incorporated into all skincare products.

The regimen for acne-prone skin consists of the following steps:

1. Cleansing: Choose a gentle cleanser that possesses oil-controlling properties. Face cleansing is the primary yet crucial step of an oily skincare regimen. It removes dirt, unwanted oil, and impurities from the skin and prevents extra oil production, particularly in summer.

A cleanser for acne-prone skin should have the following ingredients:

  • Zinc PCA: It acts on acne by controlling oil production and retaining moisture.

  • Citric Acid: It has mild exfoliating properties.

  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine: It is a mild surfactant that avoids the ripping of natural oil from the skin.

These constituents work together and curb bacterial proliferation by gently cleansing off dirt, unclogging pores, and stabilizing sebum production. Additionally, they help safeguard the skin against dehydration and maintain optimal moisture levels.

2. Toning: Followed by cleansing comes toning. It involves the use of an alcohol-free toner to wipe the face. An alcohol-free formula prevents the dry or dull appearance of the skin. A face toner is also considered a secret skincare weapon for oily skin when used wisely. It eliminates remaining unwanted oil, dirt, or makeup traces left after cleansing from the skin's surface. It also restores the pH balance and refines and minimizes enlarged pores.

An effective toner suitable for oily skin should possess the following qualities:

  • Witch Hazel: It is an astringent that shrinks pores, soothes the skin, and reduces inflammation.

  • Aloe Vera: It is anti-inflammatory and calms the skin.

  • Lemon.

  • Watercress.

Altogether, the toner helps to maintain sebum production balance in the skin.

3. Serum Application: Apply a serum containing niacinamide and tea tree oil extract. Serums are a fantastic choice to address particular skin concerns. They have a lower molecular weight than moisturizers, so, they get absorbed quickly into the skin and function.

For acne-prone skin, they are recommended to have active ingredients like,

  • Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate: It is a vitamin C derivative that is suitable for oily skin.

  • Niacinamide: It is sebostatic (controls sebum production) and has anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Tea Tree Oil Extract: It carries antibacterial properties.

A serum containing these ingredients aids in regulating excess oil production and maintaining normal pore size and can work efficiently to avoid breakouts and treat acne spots.

4. Active Acne Management: This step include acne-clarifying gel utilization to manage active acne. It acts by directly targeting acne and treating them. Active acne can be a big mess, whether popped or left untreated, as it can cause more acne eruption. Active acne management is challenging, especially in hot and humid weather.

An acne-clarifying gel for oily and acne-prone skin should be infused with ingredients like,

  • Salicylic Acid: It has exfoliating properties.

  • Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract: It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

  • Rice Bran Extract: It serves as an antioxidant.

5. Moisturizing: Opt for a lightweight, non-greasy (oil-free) moisturizer. Though it looks extremely controversial for oily skin individuals to use a moisturizer; however, the power and value of a good moisturizer should not be ignored. Simply omitting the moisturizer from the daily skincare regimen results in skin dryness, even in oily skin. The skin counteracts by rebounding with more oil secretion, eventually leading to more breakouts and a shiny look. So, a moisturizer in the summer skincare routine is also an inevitable part of oily skin.

As per the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), an ideal moisturizer for oily skin have these properties.

  • Lightweight.

  • Non-greasy.

  • Non-comedogenic.

6. Using Sunscreen: Choose a sunscreen specific for acne-prone skin and do not fear it. The new and improved sunscreen formulae do not leave a white cast; neither are they sweat-inducing nor trigger further acne breakouts.

Such sunscreens meant for oily skin are:

  • O-free (oxybenzone and octinoxate).

  • Low penetrating.

  • Rich in organic sunscreen filters.

  • Non-comedogenic.

  • White cast free.

Sunscreen imparts a protective shield to the skin against UVA and UVB (ultraviolet A and B) sun rays. It also aids in clearing the manifestations of premature aging, such as wrinkles, age spots, etc. A broad-spectrum sunscreen, having a higher SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or above, is endorsed for oily skin because of its deep and needed protection.

Which Other Factors Should Be Taken Into Account for Individuals With Acne-Prone Skin During the Summer Season?

As the morning or day skincare routine is crucial, so is the night skincare regimen. The skin goes into the healing and restorative zone at night to repair its tissues and cells. In oily skin, shunning away the night skincare routine leads to pore clogging with dirt, excess sebum, and makeup products. Eventually, welcoming acne breakouts in the morning.

The nighttime routine should include the following:

  • Cleansing.

  • Toning.

  • Serum application.

  • Acne clarifying gel usage.

  • Moisturizing.


If oily skin is left untreated or not taken care of, it results in dead skin cell accumulation, random breakouts, and skin pigmentation. Additionally, severe acne also causes acne scars and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. So, do not ignore or delay the appropriate skincare regimen for an acne-prone and gear up to get that fresh, shine-free, and dewy-appearing skin.

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Dr. Dhepe Snehal Madhav
Dr. Dhepe Snehal Madhav



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