Dermatologist’s Summer Skin Care Advice For Acne

Cynthia Bailey, MD|May 31, 2011

Summer is a great time to finally get control of your acne. In my dermatology practice, acne patients always improve during the summer.  You can use this seasonal boost to really tackle your acne; focus on using the best skin care products for acne during the summer and get rid of your pimples by fall. It’s a great strategy! I can’t tell you why acne improves during the summer, but it does. In my 25 years of treating acne patients I’ve seen it over and over again.  It probably has something to do with spending more time outside, being less stressed and eating a lot more fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies.  My patients who slack off on their acne treatments during the summer don’t clear up nearly as much as my patients who keep using their regimen throughout the summer. Get your treatment products and strategy set now and use summer to really jump on your acne; let the season and the best acne products work collaboratively to get control of your pimples. Acne, like so many other skin problems, is easier to keep clear when it's already controlled than it is to get clear when it’s out of control. My tips for planning your best acne treatment strategy Treat blackheads and clogged pores with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and/or glycolic acid. These are the best ingredients to loosen the hard stuff stuck in your pores when you have blackheads.  The plugs will shrink down and come out over time with these ingredients. Product options:

  1. OTB SKIN Oil Off Cleanser and Pore Cleaning Pads (with two strong ingredients, salicylic and glycolic acids, and of course my first choice).  I treat almost all of my acne patients with these products and they work beautifully.  I recommend using a Facial Buf Puf with all acne cleansers.
  2. Glytone Mild Gel Wash Cleanser and Exfoliating Lotion (I’ve used these on acne patients for years.  They’re great for salicylic acid allergic people because the strong glycolic acid can do the job alone).
  3. OTB Medicated Cleanser #1 and OTB Bacteria Removing Lotion (contain benzoyl peroxide as the sole active for people who do best with that ingredient alone)
  4. Neutrogena’s Oil Free Acne Wash and Rapid Clear Treatment Pads (both contain salicylic acid)
  5. Clean and Clear Acne Cleanser and Persa Gel (Benzoyl Peroxide)
  6. OTB Skin Acne Treatment Kits have all 3 of these ingredients and will get rid of acne the fastest.

Treat pimples (pustules) by treating the germ that causes them.  The only nonprescription ingredient that does this is benzoyl peroxide. Product options:

  1. OTB Skin Cleanser #1 and the OTB Skin Bacteria Removing Lotion
  2. Clean and Clear Acne Cleanser and Persa Gel

Be sure your pimples are just regular acne because not all acne is the same. Yours may need different treatment. Pityrosporum folliculitis is common and needs slightly different medicine for treatment.  If most of your pimples are on your forehead, along your hairline and jaw line, and especially if there are bright red itchy ones on the sides or your neck, back and chest, then you may have pityrosporum folliculitis. Click here to learn more about it. Treat the yeast germ that causes it by using pyrithione zinc. Product options:

  1. Calming Zinc Soap is great for sensitive facial skin.  You can alternate this soap with one of the blackhead and/or bacteria fighting cleansers I listed above.
  2. OTB Skin Medicated Cleanser #2 is great for the back.
  3. Get both the benzoyl peroxide and pyrithione zinc for your back in my Back Acne Kit.

Other great tricks to get your acne-prone skin in shape fast: Apply a facial mask once a week. Soak up some of your skin's excess oil, and refine your pores at the same time by using a clay mask. Calm redness with a sulfur mask.  Acne Free Therapeutic Sulfur mask has both. Consider treating yourself to a few acne or deep pore cleansing facials with extractions. Be sure you're using only oil free sunscreen and one that ideally contains 5% or more zinc oxide. All of my sunscreens are oil free and appropriate for acne-prone skin Eat the rainbow of ripe and wonderful produce available during the summer.  Diet does effect acne, and greasy or high carb junk food won’t help your zits. Click here to read more about diet and acne. Photo: Thanks to tibchris

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