Although summer tends to be everyone’s favorite season, the truth is that it can often take a toll on our skin and hair. Between high temperatures, chlorinated or salted water, frequent sweating and potential acne breakouts, having a perfect skin and hair can become quite difficult. Because an unexpected acne breakout can be one of the most embarrassing beauty problems women can face, making sure that we do our best to prevent them is the best course of action.

There are many factors that can contribute to acne breakouts: sweat, outdoor pollutants, dirt and dust. While not all factors might be under our control, understanding the causes can help us prepare and anticipate our needs a lot better. Carrying bloating paper and washing our face once or twice a day with a gentle cleanser can definitely help, but it is often only the beginning.

As you might know, sunscreen, an indispensable product especially during the hot season, can cause breakouts if chosen incorrectly. Choosing an oil-free sunscreen can be helpful for some, but it might not be enough.

Very oily skin might respond better to a gel based sunscreen than to a cream based one. In addition, if you are worried about ingredients being absorbed in your skin, a sunblock containing micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide will help absorb oils without getting absorbed by the skin. Make sure to reapply sunscreen every three hours in order to get adequate protection.

Think skin care products are the only culprits when it comes to cosmetic acne? Well, apparently they are not, as hair care products can also play a role. Shampoos and conditioners containing panthenol, an ingredient that nourishes and strengthens the hair, might also worsen the problem. This is because when the product is rinsed out of hair it can clog pores contributing to acne. While it might not necessarily be a problem in other circumstances, the combination of factors might make things worse.

If you are using medication for acne, you should be careful about sun exposure. Because certain ingredients can increase sensitivity, it is important to make sure that you avoid exposure as much as possible. If you happen to get a sunburn, relying on natural, homemade remedies can be a good choice as it might help you avoid potentially comedogenic ingredients. Aloe vera, tea bags or apple cider vinegar are a few natural options you can try.

Along with gently cleansing your face, you should also make sure that your makeup tools are also clean. Cleaning brushes and other tools that you use often is very important. A weekly cleaning will ensure that they don’t pose any acne related problems. Avoid using harsh cleansers as they might affect the quality of the brushes over time. Also make sure that your makeup kit is well equipped for summer as it will greatly diminish the risk of getting unsightly breakouts.

Credit: Thinkstock Photos