The Unexpected Culprit Behind Your Breakouts? Humidity

Photo: Getty Images/Maskot
All it takes is one step outside in this sauna-like weather to know that humidity and hair are a questionable combo. Like Lauren Conrad and Spencer Pratt, or dairy and my digestive system, they just don't go together well— and most of us have the frizz to prove it (womp). But in addition to ruining your blowout, this nasty weather is also messing with your skin. You know how it often feels like you're walking around with a thick coat of sweaty, sticky grease on your face this time of year? Well, there's a reason for that.

"Humidity envelops skin in a blanket of heat and moisture, which leads to pores expanding wide, an increase in oil production, and a smothering of the skin," says Audrey Kunin, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of DERMAdoctor. "This can lead to congestion or even an outbreak of blemishes." If you feel like your breakouts are hitting extra hard now that the season has changed to summer, this could be the culprit. When it's humid, your skin loses less water, which means it stays hydrated longer (which is a good thing!). But, explains dermatologist Lily Talakoub, MD, it can also sweat and clog more, hence that greasy feeling I personally know all too well.

And so, it may be worth tweaking your routine to makes sure your skin doesn't suffer. Dr. Kunin suggests using a chemically exfoliating AHA/BHA cleanser followed by a light hydrating toner, like DERMAdoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Healthy Skin Toner ($39) to help "remove excess sebum, surface debris, and unplug pores," she says. Then, add an exfoliant like, Drunk Elephant Glycolic Serum ($90), which, according to Dr. Lily ,will unclog your pores and help keep skin oil-free. "In the humid summer, I use a glycolic serum in the morning and a light retinol mixed in my moisturizer—like Drunk Elephant A-passioni—to keep my skin dewy and clear of unwanted blackheads and clogging," she says. And one more thing? Avoid using primers, thick makeup, and setting sprays to help keep pores clean all day.

So yes—humidity sucks. But according to the derms, the way your skin feels doesn't have to.

Now that your skin's in good shape, here's everything you need to know about fending off frizz during humid season. Plus, why you may be suddenly dealing with... butt acne now that summer is officially here.

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