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oily/acne skincare routine

The Ultimate guide book for Oily/ Acne Skincare routine in summer


Managing oily and acne-prone skin is an uphill task, but the task is not impossible. Hot weather exerts the skin more than any other thing. They can irritate your skin, cause inflammation, and have enlarged pores with acne. The humidity, sweat, and greasy skin next to the matted hair create a perfect environment for acne-causing bacteria to thrive in the skin. Therefore it is extremely important to be regular with a regimen that is carefully tailored for oily skin.

Challenges of managing acne in the summer

To address the root causes of acne (which can be many), it is important to understand the challenges faced by acne-prone skin during the summer when heat plays a crucial role in exacerbating acne.

  1. Increased sebum/oil production: When the heat and moisture increase, the sebum production rises, and the pores are blocked to form acne. Try Oil-free products instead of oil ones to prevent the pores from blocking.
  1. Sweat and bacteria buildup: Sweating in combination with oils, dirt, and bacteria can lead to blocked pores and ultimately, acne. Frequent cleansing is particularly important after workouts and outdoor activities as it wards off dirt accumulation and pimples.
  1. Sun sensitivity: Treatment of acne with retinoids and benzoyl peroxide, may make your skin more sensitive when exposed to sunlight. Besides incorporating products with high SPF and broad-spectrum sunscreens in your daily skincare routine for summer and every season, you should also take other precautions to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
  1. Irritation due to outdoor activities: Activities of exposed skin to irritants like chlorine and sweat are involved in acne aggravation and sensitive skin.
  1. Excessive exfoliation: Exfoliation is important to remove dead skin cells from the skin's surface, however, over-exfoliation may remove also the natural oil essential for maintaining the water balance of the skin’s surface and thus may lead to acne. Limit exfoliation to once or twice weekly (in the beginning) using only gentle options from the salicylic acid as well as lactic acid families to keep your skin from getting irritated.
  1. Dehydration: Sun and heat can dry out the skin and therefore the skin may end up overproducing oil and the skin barrier will be weakened resulting in acne getting worse. Drink enough water and use oil-free and, especially, light moisturizers.

Step-by-Step Guide for Acne Skincare Routine in Summer

Below is a detailed guide to a summer skincare routine tailored to combat acne, encompassing both daytime and nighttime rituals:

1. Cleanse:

Begin the morning by cleansing your face with a mild exfoliating yet robust cleanser, especially those with pore cleansing capabilities to eliminate any sweat, oils, and impurities that may have settled during the night. Because the main job of oily or acne-prone skin face wash is to unclog the pores. Look for gentle exfoliating cleansers enriched with components such as salicylic acid, niacinamide, or tea tree oil to aid in unclogging pores, thus preventing breakouts.


People with oily skin can benefit from a “Double-cleanse”. It is not about washing your face twice a day but it’s about using two different types of cleanser at the same time.

The first is usually an oil-based cleanser. This is followed up by a water-based one. The catch is that an oil-based cleanser is designed to remove oil-based impurities, including makeup, sunscreen, sebum, and pollution. By getting rid of this stuff first, the second water-based cleanser can work its way into the skin, removing the likes of grime and sweat.

2. Toner:

Toner plays a very important role in a skincare routine for oily, acne-prone skin. Oily skin is generally more acidic, so using a toner, especially those designed for oily skin helps to neutralize the pH of the skin which will prolong oil release from the skin. It then results in controlled sebum production of the skin. Opt for toners infused with calming elements like witch hazel or rose water to calm inflammation and minimize the visibility of pores.

3. Serum:

Serum is a crucial part of managing and treating acne, especially during the summer, offering targeted solutions to address specific concerns associated with acne relief & recovery. Among these, the most important and primary serum for oily, acne-prone skin focuses on oil control while simultaneously treating acne and acne-related concerns. An ideal summer skincare for oily/acne-prone skin focuses on oil control while treating existing acne & preventing future blemishes.

  • Sebum Control:
  • Controlling excess oil production is essential for preventing clogged pores and acne breakouts, especially in summer when heat and humidity can exacerbate oiliness. Look for serums containing ingredients like niacinamide, witch hazel, or mattifying agents that help regulate sebum production and keep shine at bay without drying out the skin.

  • Acne Healing:
  • Treating existing acne and promoting healing is crucial for preventing further breakouts and achieving a clearer complexion. Opt for serums enriched with acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid, tea tree oil, or benzoyl peroxide, which can help unclog pores, reduce inflammation, and speed up the healing process of acne lesions.

  • Post-Mark Treatment:
  • Addressing post-acne marks or scars is essential for achieving a smooth, even skin tone and minimizing the appearance of acne-related discoloration. Choose serums formulated with ingredients like vitamin C, lactic acid, alpha arbutin, or niacinamide, known for their brightening and skin-renewing properties, to fade hyperpigmentation, improve skin texture, and promote overall skin radiance.

  • Pore Minimizing:
  • Enlarged pores are a common concern for those with acne-prone skin, often resulting from excess oil production and clogged pores. Look for serums containing pore-refining ingredients such as niacinamide, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), or peptides, which help tighten and refine enlarged pores, resulting in smoother, more refined-looking skin texture.

    4. Moisturizer:

    Yes! It might sound crazy when we say to use moisturizer for summer, especially for oily skin. Understanding the little science behind how & why the skin produces oil answers that. Sebaceous glands produce oil to keep the skin moist & create an oily protective shield from the body losing internet water. Healthy skin has this level of balance. When there is a lack of moisture/ water content in the skin these glands are indicated to produce excess oil to keep the skin moisturized and prevent any further water loss. Hence to break this cycle, the skin needs to be hydrated. The key lies in reinstating hydrating ingredients that hold water & NOT oils into the skin. This can be ensured by incorporating a gel moisturizer or a lightweight moisturizer that has little to no oils in it making sure the ingredients in the moisturizer are non-comedogenic & not adding to the excess oil misery in summer. 

    Comedogenic ingredients are the ones that clog the pores and block the breathing space of pores due to which more accumulation of oils and dust are there which causes acne. 

    Non-comedogenic moisturizers will have a label or message on their packaging that states that the product is non-comedogenic. Some ingredients that are a powerhouse of hydration & water-based like Hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, cucumber extract, allantoin, and peppermint extract.

    5. Sunscreen:

    Out of all skincare products, sunscreens are most likely to be comedogenic. They have proven to be the leading cause of rapid blemish occurrence in summer. Choosing the right sunscreen is the key to keeping acne at bay. Pick one that claims to be For oily, acne-prone skin, a gel-based sunscreen that has a claim on its package that it is non-comedogenic.

    The right sunscreen for you would leave no white cast, no excessive sweating over the sunscreen & does not exaggerate your existing acne. right one, you will see no white cast, no sweating, no new acne or exacerbating the existing acne. It will blend easily with the skin and you will not feel heaviness and greasiness on the skin.

    No matter what skin type, the rule for thoroughly cleansing sunscreen at the end of the day applies to all. Especially for oily skin where the chances of pore-clogging are higher, double cleansing is a sure-shot way to do exactly that.

    Weekly Care

    Aside from your daily skincare routine for summer, integrating a weekly care regime can effectively tackle distinct acne issues and uphold comprehensive skin health. Here's a suggested weekly summer skincare routine for acne-prone skin during the summer:

    1. Weekly Exfoliation:

    The fear of accidentally aggravating the acne through exfoliation is a common concern, even more so in summer as the skin may tend to be more sensitive due to the scorching heat. One should vary the same by not using harsh chemical exfoliants or abrasive physical exfoliations during such peak episodes of blemishes & sensitized skin. But on a holistic approach, oily, acne skin does benefit a great deal through skin exfoliation, as it aids in declogging of pores & speeds up the process of dead cell removal from the skin. 

    But it is crucial to pick up the right mild product for it & also choose the right time when the skin is more tolerable to undergo the process of exfoliation. 

    A few key points to consider while picking an exfoliant & setting up a summer skincare routine

    During the summer months,

    • Reducing the frequency of exfoliation is wise to avoid overstimulating the skin, which can lead to more breakouts. 
    • Instead of heavy chemical exfoliants, opt for gentler options like peptides or lactic acid, which are less likely to irritate. 
    • Additionally, consider using very mild physical exfoliants that promote faster skin cell turnover without aggravating sensitive skin. 

    2. Deep Cleansing Mask:

    Integrating a mask into your weekly skincare routine for summer not only offers self-nurturing but also delivers remarkable skincare benefits in combating acne and enhancing skin clarity.

    Opt for masks with ingredients such as clay, charcoal, or kaolin, known for their ability to absorb excess sebum/oil, unclog pores, and purge impurities without compromising the skin's integrity. Additionally, look for masks enhanced with calming and soothing elements like aloe vera or tea tree oil to reduce inflammation and redness associated with acne.

    3. UV Protection Even Indoors:

    No matter whether you are spending a lazy day or working from home, you should protect yourself from these threats by applying sunscreen that gives broad-spectrum protection.

    When applying sunscreen, always remember that even if you are indoors, it is part of your daily skincare routine. Ultraviolet rays penetrate through the glass causing damage such as sunburn, premature photoaging, and possibly skin cancer. Sunscreen has become an everyday product you can’t go without if you want to make sure your skin stays healthy and radiant for a long time.

    Pro Tips:

    1. Face Icing :

    Using ice on the face, commonly referred to as "face icing," can be beneficial for acne-prone skin, especially during the summer when the heat and humidity can exacerbate acne and inflammation. There are many tools available in the market today like Ice rollers, and face ice masks help reduce inflammation and soothe acne-prone skin. A simple dip of the face in ice water works just as well. 


    • Limit the time you apply ice to your face to avoid overdoing it. A few minutes at a time should be sufficient. Pay attention to how your skin reacts and adjust accordingly.
    • Focus on problem areas: If you have specific areas of your face that are prone to acne or inflammation, such as the forehead, chin, or cheeks, concentrate the ice treatment on those areas.
    • Use gentle pressure: Gently press the wrapped ice onto your skin rather than rubbing it vigorously. This helps soothe inflammation and can reduce redness and swelling associated with acne.

    2. Soothing face mists or gels:

    Using rose mists or gels like aloe vera can indeed be beneficial for soothing sensitized, oily, acne-prone skin during the summer. Here's how these ingredients can help and some tips for using them effectively:

    • Rosewater: Rosewater has anti-inflammatory properties that can help calm irritated skin. It also helps maintain the skin's pH balance and controls excess oil production. Spritzing rosewater mist on your face throughout the day can provide instant relief from inflammation and refresh your skin. Make sure to choose a pure rosewater product without any added chemicals or fragrances.
    • Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is well-known for its soothing and healing properties. It contains compounds that can reduce inflammation, redness, and irritation associated with acne. Aloe vera gel can also moisturize the skin without clogging pores, making it suitable for oily and acne-prone skin. Apply a thin layer of pure aloe vera gel onto cleansed skin as a moisturizer or spot treatment for acne lesions.


    In conclusion, managing acne during the summer months requires more than just topical treatments; it necessitates a holistic approach to lifestyle management. By monitoring and making necessary changes to your daily habits, you can effectively control oily skin and acne breakouts. Remember, acne should never weigh you down or make you feel defeated. Instead, view it as an opportunity to take charge of your health and well-being. With dedication, patience, and the right strategies, you can conquer acne and enjoy clearer, healthier skin throughout the summer and beyond. Stay positive, stay consistent, and never forget that you have the power to overcome any skincare challenge that comes your way.

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