Hot, humid weather can act as a leading cause of acne, a skin condition that affects about 85 percent of those between ages 12 and 25, notes Princeton University's Health Services. If you live or work in an area that gets very humid, such as a tropical city or a food kitchen, and are worried about experiencing an acne breakout, several skincare and lifestyle practices can help to proactively defend against pesky pimples.
Wash After Perspiring
Wash your skin after you perspire, including after exposure to hot and humid conditions. This helps to remove the oil and dirt that may have accumulated on your sweaty skin. Wash with an alcohol-free, non-abrasive skin cleanser and rinse it away with lukewarm water. Lukewarm water helps to open your pores and, unlike hot water, won't strip your skin of moisture.
Banish the Oil
Hot and humid environmental conditions can help stimulate oil production in your skin's pores, which in turn can exacerbate skin conditions and provoke acne. Battle excess oil with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, two common ingredients in over-the-counter and prescription acne treatments. The chemicals can help to naturally dry up the oil caused by the humidity while also treating the actual bacteria that cause pimples.
While humidity can cause sweating and moisture buildup that can feel uncomfortable, avoid touching your skin with your fingers and wiping your face with your hands. This simply spreads any present dirt and oil, and can add bacteria to your skin that will only make your acne worse. Instead, when humidity strikes, try blotting your skin with a clean tissue. You can also use an oil-absorbing, skin-blotting cosmetic paper, often sold in cosmetic stores. These extra-absorbent items help to suck the oil and sweat out of your skin for a more matte appearance.
Skip the T-Zone
During excessively humid times, skip applying moisturizer to the oily areas of your face, also known as the T-zone. This generally covers your nose and the forehead right above your eyebrows. For the rest of your skin, use an oil-free lotion that won't clog your pores and create acne.
Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.