Summer skincare DOs and DON’Ts for oily, blackhead-prone skin.

It’s this time of year again. Ever shiny T-zone, make-up that melts after one subway ride and stubborn blackheads. It’s easy to grow desperate – especially when your day at work is jam-packed with meetings where looking presentable is a must. But before you start taking radical measures, remember that summer heat and humidity is a stress for your skin, and your skincare regimen should focus on reliving that stress, not exacerbating it. So, let’s talk about some don’t and dos of a summer skincare routine that will help to balance overheated excessively oily skin and make it healthy again. 

Don’t 

Don’t switch to a harsh alkaline cleanser. It’s a common misconception that you need a stronger cleanser in summer because a low pH one won’t remove sweat and sebum as effectively. True, high pH cleansers do have superior powers, and you might feel instantly “cleaner” (ah, that instant gratification!), but in the long run it won’t do your skin any favors. It will start producing even more oil, trying to compensate for the loss of moisture and you’ll end up with even oilier skin. 

Do

Double cleanse! Even though a one-step cleansing routine trend is gaining popularity in Korea (which is ironic given that Korea started a double cleansing boom), we aren’t entirely sold on the idea. Double cleanse is a way to go if you want to be gentle yet thorough with your cleansing. Use light cleansing oil and finish off with a gentle second cleanser that contains ingredients such as Salicylic Acid, Green Tea or Charcoal to target oily skin concerns.  

Don’t

Don’t overdo on chemical exfoliators. Wait, what? Do you say exfoliate less? Well, here is the thing. For the same, reason we don’t recommend strong alkaline cleansers, using too many acids is a no-go. It will cause dryness, redness, flaky skin and even discoloration. 

Do

Balance, balance, balance. Salicylic Acid and Beta Hydroxy Acids are extra powerful for oily skin. They help to clear blackheads, reduce and prevent breakouts, so by all means, use them. Just make sure to limit their use to 1 product per routine. For instance, if you opt for a toner with a high acid content, choose a non-acid-containing second cleanser. If you absolutely need to use both, then go for products with lower overall concentrations.

Don’t

Don’t abuse clay masks. While clay masks should be a staple in your summer skincare routine, using clay masks every day a sure way to dehydrated skin. Believe us when we say this – if there is one thing that is worse than having an oily skin in summer, it is having a dehydrated oily skin. 

Do

Use clay masks 1-2 times a week and opt for milder, less drying types of clay like kaolin or bentonite.

Don’t

Don’t use pore strips. Just don’t. Please. We understand that it’s super satisfying to pull off a strip and see these little specks of gunk and grime covering the surface. But using pore strips regularly will stretch your pores and ultimately lead to even more blackheads. Besides, they can easily irritate and tear the skin bringing micro spider veins to the surface of the skin. Not a good look.

Do

Be gentle to your skin. The best cure is prevention. Don’t wait until the situation gets so bad you need heavy artillery. Devise a morning and evening pore-care plan (but nothing too complicated!) and stick to it. You’ll be surprised how a consistent routine will change the overall look and feel of your pores. 

Don’t

Don’t face tan. There is a dangerous rumor circulating in a skincare community that tanning helps to clear out the skin and get rid of blackheads. And it’s the biggest don’t on this list. After spending a day under the sun, you might notice that your skin is seemingly less oily and blackheads are gone. But it’s an illusion. Sun rays dry out the skin, throwing it off balance even further. The result? You guessed it. Your skin will double up on oil production to make up for the missing water. Some skincare specialists also caution that sun damage you’ll inevitably get from frying your face will cause the skin to thicken. Thicker skin is harder to exfoliate, and you’ll have a higher chance to develop clogged pores in the future. 

Do

Try mineral sunscreens as they are great for controlling excess sebum. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide will absorb the oils your skin is producing, minimizing the chance of clogged pores and keeping your complexion shine-free. 

Et voilà! Do you have more tips for managing oily skin in summer? Let us know in the comments below. 

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