There’s no season that we’re more excited for than summer. But an increase in the sun’s sweltering rays can also bring about extreme heat, sweat and clogged pores – creating the perfect setup for those horrible acne flare ups.

We sat down with skincare CEO and pharmD, Dr. Liia Ramachandra, to learn the best ways to keep acne flare ups at bay during the summer months. As well as what skincare products we should be reaching for, what products to avoid, and the best hygiene practices to implement in our daily routines.

Check out her top five tips below!

Wash Your Face Often!

“Sometimes people think that the sun can make their skin more acne-prone, but that’s not true. It’s not the sun that triggers acne. The sun is actually good for us.  One of the things that trigger acne in the summer is really the heat and the sweat. We know that acne forms when pores become clogged, and they come clogged with sweat, dirt and oils. That’s why we have acne flare ups which are much more common in the summer because of the heat. 

So the first tip that I recommend is making sure that you don’t overheat. If you go swimming or if you are in the sun for too long, make sure you shower or wash your face because that will help clean your pores. So at least the breakout can be prevented or be minimized. Washing your face is one of the most important things.”

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Reach For An Oil-Free, Gentle Cleanser

“Secondly, when you wash your face, I always recommend using oil-free foaming cleansers. Oil-free is important because you don’t want to add any more oils onto your pores. 

Oil-free cleansers are usually much lighter than those heavy, creamy facial cleansers. Those are more prone to clogging your pores, and they’re really the best for colder weather. But oil-free cleansers are great for the summer. They don’t overwhelm the face and pores with too much heavy cream.”

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Avoid Using Heavy Lotions And Creams

“Instead reach for lighter moisturizers, and those that are oil-free. Be sure to moisturize your face in the morning and evening.”

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“We all struggle with finding a good sunscreen, but we need it. And not necessarily for acne-prone skin, but for every type of skin to prevent sun damage and everything that comes with it such as aging, cancer, etc.

To find the right sunscreen, I always suggest using a light one that is water based – you can check that by ensuring that the first ingredient listed is water. Or you can go for a natural or mineral sunscreen, which is sunscreen that only contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active ingredient. Stay away from chemical ingredient based sunscreens because when you have acne-prone skin, or sensitive skin, you’ll be much more prone to breakouts if you use a chemical sunscreen.”

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Refrain From Touching Or Picking Your Skin

“The last one, I see a lot with my daughter. She’s always like popping her pimples and I always advise not to do that, not just for the summer – but also especially for the summer. We’re so much more prone to pimples arising during these months, and then when people start popping them it leads to this vicious cycle where they keep coming back. 

So just make sure you wash gently a couple of times a day. It will clean out the pores, and the breakouts will slowly disappear.”

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Bonus: If You Must Wear Makeup, Reach For A Tinted Moisturizer

“Tinted moisturizer is probably the best as far as foundation makeup goes in the summer. Choose one with SPF 20 or 30, that way you only need to put one thing on your face – it moisturizes, it’s tinted. So you don’t really need anything else, and there’s SPF.

Otherwise you have to put on multiple layers of products, and it can lead the pores to become more clogged. Tinted moisturizer with SPF, preferably natural zinc oxide, is the best. It will leave no white-cast.”

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Dr. Liia Ramachandra, Pharm.D, Ph.D., is a serial entrepreneur and healthcare executive. She is the Founder and CEO of EpiLynx, a gluten-free skincare and cosmetics Brand. And she has an extensive background in Global Medical Affairs, Global Ethics and Compliance, Clinical Research and Global Publications. 

Keep up with her work on Instagram @dr.liia!