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How to keep your pores clear (and your skin breakout-free) all summer


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If you paired skin conditions with the seasons, winter would undoubtedly be matched with dryness. Spring and fall are sort of in-between, but they do offer the best natural lighting. Then there’s summer, where we are now—it’s lovely, without a doubt, and you can finally wear your lighter-than-air dresses. But you’re sweating a lot.

It is detoxifying, but it can also lead to clogged pores and maybe even breakouts (ugh). So it’s prime time to lighten up your beauty routine in order to maintain that glow.

Pesky pimples and rough skin aren’t ideal for the season in which you want to wear the least amount of makeup possible.

“It’s really important that with the season, you need to adapt your skin-care routine to what’s happening,” says wellness guru Valerie Grandury, founder of Odacite skin care. “Summer involves sunscreen, a lot of partying—rosé, right?—maybe too much sugar. What happens is that if you don’t prevent it, you’re going to end up with enlarged and clogged pores.”

Of course, this leads to pesky pimples and rough skin overall, she adds—which isn’t ideal for the season in which you want to wear the least amount of makeup possible. Thankfully, Grandury has some easy methods for keeping your complexion as clear as the summer sky (phew).

Keep reading for the 4 key steps to make sure your skin stays flawless in the hot-and-sticky months.

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how to keep skin clear in summer
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1. Regular (gentle) exfoliation

If there’s a skin-care question that practically everyone gives a different answer to, it’s most likely this: How often should you exfoliate? Everyone seems to do it on their own time, whether daily or once every two weeks. But sloughing off dead skin is key to keeping your pores free of gunk—especially when temperatures are high.

“By doing it regularly, you’re making sure all your pores stay clear and your skin can breathe,” says Grandury. “That’s really important because breakouts happen when you start sweating and everything’s clogged.” She recommends something gentle that uses jojoba beads, for instance—not a harsh peel or exfoliator with sharp edges. “Exfoliate at least three times a week,” she adds.

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how to keep skin clear in summer
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2. Skip the moisturizer—yes, really

Hear her out on this one. “To make a moisturizer, you have to blend liquid and an oil—to do that, you have to use an emulsifier,” explains Grandury. “This is often a wax, which makes pore clogging even worse.” Instead of a cream, keep your skin hydrated with a spritz of a facial mist plus an oil serum. “Doing this two-step mist then oil really lets your skin completely breathe through the summer,” she says.

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how to keep skin clear in summer
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3. Stay hydrated

Back to the facial mists—Grandury advises you keep one on hand at all times. “Facial mists are really your best friend,” she says. “Keep one in your purse and take it to the beach.” The number one ingredient to look for? Aloe vera. “It’s a very underrated ingredient when it comes to your skin, yet it’s actually one of the most studied,” she adds. “It has over 200 actives in it. Not only is it super-soothing, but it helps heal the bacteria that could be causing acne.” Make sure it’s the first ingredient in whatever mist you choose, and then douse yourself with it.

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how to keep skin clear in summer
Photo: Stocksy/Simone Becchetti

4. Slather on the vitamins

Nighttime is when your complexion works on itself, and it’s counting on you to feed it essential nutrients. “That’s when your skin’s actually repairing itself from sun damage and everything else, so you really want to treat it,” says Grandury. “You really need vitamin A, E, and C on your face when you go to bed. My summer go-to is the Wild Carrot Serum, which has all three.” Whatever it takes to keep you looking fresh and dewy—just like that cool coconut juice in your hand.

You can keep your skin unclogged, but can you really shrink your pores? Regardless, this is how to read your face to decipher the root cause of a breakout.