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Best skincare routine for oily, acne-prone skin in the summer

My recommended skincare routine for oily and acne-prone skin in the summer.


Summer is hot, humid and sweaty. And if you’re like me who lives in a tropical metropolis while wearing a mask almost 24/7, it’s a nightmare for our skin. I switched up my skincare routine recently to target unclogging pores and controlling oil on my face.

On my research, I realize two things are most important when it comes to choosing which skincare routine works best for you: understanding why your skin is reacting in certain ways, and what active skincare ingredients are best to address these issues.

Here are the skincare routine that works best for oily and acne-prone skin in the summer.

What causes your acne to flare up?

acne skin
Ảnh: India Today

Acne occurs because of the overactive sebaceous glands under your skin, leading to the excessive oil that clogs pores, and forms comedones. When the comedones appear, the bacteria in the pore will start to reproduce, causing redness, inflammation and even infection.

So why are your glands acting up?

  • For oily skin and acne-prone skin, sebaceous glands are naturally more active than for normal skin, thus makes it more prone to acne.
  • Your skin is not hydrated, causing it to produce more oil, which in turn causes clogged pores and acne.
  • Hormones change during puberty or menstruation
  • Polluted environment, smoke, and dirt causing pores to clog
  • Unbalanced diet with lots of oily, hot, and spicy food
  • Stress
  • Using skincare products with unknown origin, causing irritation and allergic reaction from the skin

Knowing the causes of your acne is very important to build a suitable lifestyle and skincare routine to solve the problem.

Skincare for oily and acne-prone skin in the summer

The skincare routine for oily skin, acne skin should not have too many steps. It is essential that you use the products and ingredients that help remove sebum from the pores, reduce inflammation and infection, and moisturize the skin.

Morning routine

1/ Choose a gel cleanser that will gently remove excess oil and sebum from your skin. If you have acne, use a cleanser that contains Benzoyl Peroxide to reduce inflammation and unclog pores (like Paula’s Choice products, for example). Be careful not to rub on your acne too hard when you cleanse, otherwise it will cause skin irritation. Gently massage your face in a circular motion for about 30-40 seconds, especially the chin area and around the nose, because those areas are most prone to acne. Then wash with water and pat your face with a soft towel.

2 / Use a toner with AHA or glycolic acid to remove sebum deep in the pores and to help exfoliate dead skin and excess oil on the surface. Be careful not to choose a product with too high of an acid concentration, which will dry out the skin and make it even more oily.

3/ Moisturize your skin during the day with a product containing SPF, preferably a light gel, that is easily absorbed to your skin.

4/ Apply an extra layer of sunscreen with SPF over 30 to protect your skin under the summer sun.

5/ Use makeup products that are light and oil-free. My personal experience is to skip foundation when you have acne. Instead, switch to a tinted moisturizer or BB cream to let your skin breathe, especially when your skin is very oily.

Night time routine

1/ Removing makeup with both a makeup remover and a cleanser will help you remove dirt on your skin after a day out. Remember to gently massage your skin. You can use the same cleanser in the morning and at night if it suits your skin.

2 / If you have blackheads, use a chemical or physical exfoliator 2-3 times a week to clean the pores.

3/ If you already use an exfoliator, you can skip the toner.

4/ How about trying on a mask? Clay masks are proven to help tighten pores and reduce inflammation on your skin

5/ If you’re in the process of an acne treatment, this is where you can use treatment products, such as a retinoid cream or topical medication. Most of these products are recommended for night time skincare for a faster and more effective result.

6/ Finally, night time is when the skin recovers,  so use a gentle gel moisturizer to hydrate the skin in your skincare routine. Avoid products with thick texture that clogs pores. Especially if you have oily skin, your skin needs to be well hydrated.

You can also see that most skincare products for acne and oily skin in the summer contain ingredients such as AHA/BHA, glycolic acid, Benzoyl Peroxide… In addition, the product should be light, oil-free and easy to absorb. Be as gentle with the skin as possible during your acne treatment. You must be very consistent with your routine to see real results.

Finally, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of drinking enough water and eating a healthy, balanced diet as the most sustainable skincare routine. I hope these tips and routines are helpful for you! 


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Khanhlinh Nguyen
Jun 10, 2021 12:04
Love u
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