We love the longer, hotter days of summer, but the face, chest and back acne that usually accompany the heat and humidity? Not so much. So we asked Kelly Durst, lead aesthetician at One Wellness & Spa in Canmore, Alberta, for her top tips on banishing blemishes this season.
1. Clear The Way: There’s a skin saboteur causing acne on your forehead, neck and back and it’s right in front of your eyes–it’s your hair. “During the summer months, breakouts are only made worse by increasing heat and humidity and use of frizz -taming products,” says Durst, who adds that styling products and excess oil in the hair will transfer to the skin, clogging pores. To avoid breakouts, she recommends replacing styling products with hairstyles that keep hair from contacting the skin, such as a cute braid, headband, or sleek ponytail. “If you can’t resist your hairspray or mousse, be sure to use a clarifying shampoo once weekly to get rid of residues.”
2. Lighten Up: Heavy foundations and powders look fake in the summer and can cause an oil slick, especially when combined with sunscreens and SPF moisturizers for added daytime protection. Instead, Durst recommends opting for a more au naturel look by using a tinted sunblock like SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50, which protects skin from UVA/UVB rays while imparting sheer coverage for more even-toned skin. She also recommends cleaning your makeup brushes once every two weeks to prevent bacteria and oil buildup, and being vigilant about removing makeup before going to sleep. When shopping for a body sunblock, Durst says to look for “non-comedogenic” and “oil-free” in the label. “This means it won’t clog your pores.”
3. Act Fast: Exercising can impart a healthy, glowing complexion, thanks to increasing circulation and oxygen penetration to the skin. It also helps to reduce stress, which is proven to cause breakouts. But exercise can lead to clogged pores and acne–as well as dreaded backne (back acne)–if you don’t follow up properly. “Sweat and bacteria are the leading causes of back acne,” says Durst. “After exercising, make sure to shower immediately to cleanse the skin of impurities. Also be sure to put on fresh clothing to prevent bacteria and sweat from lingering on the skin.”
4. Exfoliate Right: As part of your skin care regimen, Durst recommends using a foaming cleanser that contains salicylic acid to unclog pores and remove impurities and excess sebum. “Exfoliate skin weekly using a non-irritating exfoliant such as Naturopathica’s Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel to reduce buildup of dead skin and to prevent the clogging of pores,” she says. For treatment of the back, Durst loves a sea salt scrub because it remineralizes and heals the skin while exfoliating and smoothing. But if you can’t reach your back, Durst also recommends using a dry brush with a handle. “Dry brushing exfoliates and has the added benefit of increasing circulation and detoxification,” she says, adding, “Always brush towards the heart.”
5. Work From the Inside Out: Internal toxins and lack of sleep can present themselves as blemishes on the skin, says Durst. She recommends drinking eight glasses of water a day and eating fruits and veggies to cleanse, detoxify and hydrate your body for glowing skin. And don’t let the longer days get in the way of sleep. “Sleep is your skin’s prime time for healing and rebuilding itself, which is why nighttime is the best time to use your corrective serums and moisturizers,” says Durst. “Make sure to get your beauty rest.”
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