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When we think of summer skin, we’re likely conjuring up glowy, bare-skinned, sun-kissed complexions that are the complete antithesis of our pasty, parched winter selves. It’s as though the long-awaited season itself becomes the best filter there is… at least in our imaginations. But here’s the often-experienced reality: Breakouts, slick (as opposed to perfectly dewy) t-zone, blackheads, suddenly pronounced fine lines.
Before you go into meltdown mode over the havoc that’s being wreaked on your complexion (and all you’ve imagined it would be), consider what’s really at the heart of the problem: the five key warm-weather skin challenges.
Thankfully, the right habits and skin detoxing ingredients is all it takes to overcome them, plus some simple changes to your summer skincare routine.
Warm-Weather Skin Challenge #1: Sweat
If you’re not sweating, it can’t really be summer yet, right? When your temperature goes up, your skin sweats. It’s its own genius way of cooling you down while trying to get rid of toxins, and release body heat. The problem is, the same stuff your skin is secreting shouldn’t just sit there. It needs to be swept away. If it remains on the skin, it’ll mix with bacteria and clog pores. And what’s worse, if there’s something blocking the pores to begin with (like moisturizer, makeup, or sunscreen) all the stuff your skin is working hard to get rid of will create a back-up in your pores. The result? You guessed it—blackheads and breakouts. Blocked sweat glands can even cause rashes and tiny, itchy bumps on your skin (what we commonly think of as heat rash). The point is, that sweat needs to get out and be washed away.
If you’re spending time outside (especially exercising), use an oil-free sunscreen and skip makeup and moisturizer. Make sure to wash it away gently. A great on-the-go solution is No:Rinse Micellar Cleansing Treatment, which deeply cleanses pores by harnessing the power of micellar water to lift debris and clean without rinsing. Its key ingredient, vitamin B5, is naturally found in foods such as broccoli, and hydrates and softens by helping skin's surface attract and retain water.
Warm-Weather Skin Challenge #2: Sunscreen
There’s no getting around the fact that UV protection is the most essential part of your summer skincare routine, but you have to choose wisely, especially if your skin is prone to breakouts. Chemical-based sunscreens—especially those that are water-resistant—tend to contain more ingredients that cause pimples and clogged pores. Adding to the problem is that these formulas are more difficult to wash off. So even if you’re diligently cleansing your skin, they may leave a film that irritates and blocks pores.
The solution: A key skin detox ingredient—chlorophyll. What is chlorophyll? “It’s what helps plants to turn sunlight into energy, and in skincare, chlorophyll has a strong antioxidant effect,” explains Perricone Chief Innovation Officer Chris Caires. Studies have shown chlorophyll to neutralize the free radicals that can cause wrinkling, promote skin cancer, and disrupt collagen production.
Perricone Director of Education Rosalba Martone recommends the Chlorophyll Detox Mask for a powerful yet gentle summer detox.
“The chlorophyll microcapsules help to detoxify and purify, while the papaya enzyme gently exfoliates, and clay draws out impurities,” she explains.
Apply the mask all over the face, massaging it until all of the microcapsules burst. The mask will begin to harden and turn a deeper shade of green. Leave on for about 10 minutes and rinse with warm water and pat dry. For normal to oily skin types, Martone recommends using the mask 2 to 3 times a week for normal or oily skin, and once a week for drier skin.
Warm-Weather Skin Challenge #3: Dehydration
Dry skin and dehydrated skin are two different things. While heat and humidity create more oil, there’s a lot going on in the summer months that can cause our complexions to not get enough water—the definition of dehydration. Diminished water content in the skin looks like this: congestion (clogged pores), redness, fine lines, and inflammation. If that sounds familiar, chances are you need to up your water intake. Remember all that sweating your skin is doing? It’s causing it to lose more fluids that in the winter. If you throw in a glass of wine or two, you’re taking even more moisture from your skin, since alcohol is a dehydrator
Snack on water-rich fruits and vegetables (like watermelon, cucumber, and celery) and add essential fatty acids to your diet. An easy way to do so? Perricone Omega 3 Supplements. The high-quality, purified Omega 3 supplements deliver the fatty acids your skin needs to help it stay hydrated and supple.
Warm-Weather Skin Challenge #4: Chlorine
It wouldn’t be summer without a little pool time, but we often forget just how drying pool chemicals are to our skin. Chlorine is essentially like exposing our skin to harsh bleach. Think of what that means if you’re spending hours (and days) and in the stuff—and especially if you’re not immediately washing it off.
“Your skin is a barrier whose primary function is to keep toxins and pollutants out and keep moisture in. Keeping that barrier hydrated and intact is very important to its health,” explains Chris.
The chemicals in pools can eat away at your skin. If you’re breaking out, that may be the result of chlorine over-drying your skin. The drier the skin becomes, the harder it works to produce more oil, which then clogs pores.
Make sure to rinse off as soon as you get out of the pool, and focus on gentle exfoliation to keep any dry, dead cells from building up (which diminishes the absorption of any moisturizers you’re using, since they can’t get past the dead skin to hydrate deep within your skin).
Try our No:Rinse Exfoliating Peel, which is so gentle that it doesn’t need to be removed. The hyaluronic acid provides deep hydration while the L-Carnitine and copper complex increase surface cell renewal by 100% after 3 weeks of use. Simply smooth over cleansed face once a day and wait until dry. No rinsing is needed after application.
Warm-Weather Skin Challenge #5: Oil overdrive
In the summer, the skin’s glands produce a heavier sebum. This thicker oil, combined with sweat and sunscreen chemicals, leads to more congested skin, explains Martone.
“In hotter weather, pores do in fact become larger and expand, so the mix of oil and other pollutants easily lead to congested skin.”
In fact, one of the most common concerns when it comes to summer skin woes is enlarged pores. While you can’t actually change the size of your pores, exfoliating to keep the gunk out and oil production under control is the best way to help them look smaller and ensure skin looks smooth and matte.
Salicylic acid is the time-tested choice when it comes to clearing the debris, since it’s virtually unmatched for breaking up the skin protein that’s often clogging pores. Because it is oil-soluble, salicylic acid is easily absorbed and works quickly to get rid of excess oil and other build-up that can make pores look big and skin look slick. Think of it as a pore-by-pore detox that flushes out the gunk while increasing cellular turnover, ensuring that dead skin cells are swept away at a much faster rate than your body can create by itself.
Martone recommends applying No:Rinse Intensive Pore Minimizing Toner to the entire face (minus the eye area) every morning. “If you tend to be more oily, this will reduce shine and give you a more matte finish for the entire day, without stripping essential moisture,” she explains.
Bottom line: Using products with the right skin detoxing and protecting ingredients, like the high quality ones found in Perricone MD formulations, can divert your skin away from summer’s complexion challenges - and instead leave you with its skin-glowing effects.