Why Acne Can Worsen in the Summer

Woman with acne in the summer Why Acne Can Worsen in the Summer

When you’re looking forward to pool parties and vacations with friends, acne can really ruin your fun. But if you tend to break out more in the summer, you’re certainly not alone. Acne that worsens in warm weather is actually quite common. This guide will help you get your acne under control so you can enjoy your summer.

What to Know About Acne in Summer

Why Acne Gets Worse in the Summer

Acne develops due to excess oil production, clogged hair follicles, inflammation, and bacteria. But anyone with acne knows that it can be tricky to pinpoint the exact trigger. Hormones, diet, stress, and medications can all play a role. However, if you develop more acne in the summer, sweat and oil production are likely to blame.

The hot and humid weather in summertime causes your skin to create more sweat and oil, so your pores become clogged more easily. This can lead to an increase in breakouts on the face and body. You may notice that your breakouts are worse if you’re particularly active in the summer, as sweat can become trapped under clothing and equipment like bike helmets.

How to Prevent Acne This Season

While summertime acne can be frustrating, it’s also treatable. There are several acne treatments and preventative measures that your dermatologist may recommend. Here are some tips to keep in mind this season.

  • Adjust Your Skincare Routine: If you notice that your skin becomes more oily in the summer, you may need to change your skincare routine. You can likely switch to a lighter moisturizer and foaming cleanser. And of course, be sure to layer up on SPF 30+. This is extra important if you’re using a topical acne treatment like a retinoid.

  • Wear Breathable Fabrics: Sweat that gets trapped under clothing can lead to body acne, so be sure to wear more breathable fabrics when possible. Natural fibers like cotton and linen will keep your skin cool and comfortable. You should also change into dry clothing after swimming.

  • Freshen Up After Sweating: Stopping for a smoothie after your workout might be a ritual, but be sure to take a moment to clean your skin before. Wash your face and change out of your sweaty clothes if possible. However, wiping your sweat with a damp cloth may also help prevent breakouts if you’re short on space or time. Follow up with a light moisturizer and sunscreen before heading to your next stop.

  • See Your Dermatologist: While preventative measures can be effective at keeping acne in check, dermatologist acne treatments may be necessary to fully clear your skin. Your dermatologist may recommend in-office treatments like chemical peels, laser therapy, and clinical facials throughout the summer. They can also prescribe and recommend topical acne treatments to add to your at-home routine.


Acne is frustrating at any time of year, but you don’t have to let breakouts stop your summer fun. The skin experts at Pacific Dermatology Specialists are available to recommend the best acne treatments for your skin’s needs. With locations in Montebello, CA and other communities in the Greater Los Angeles area, we offer a number of in-office acne treatments. We curate our cosmetic, medical, and surgical dermatology services to support your skin’s health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a provider near you.

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