Not only is the summer heat uncomfortable, but it also causes my skin to start acting up. I've mentioned before about an observation I made a while ago. I noticed that people, who typically had clear skin, would experience heightened congestion, oil production, and breakouts during the summer months.
It happens to all of us. I too enjoy better skin in the fall & winter. I had my suspicions as to why it was happening. But now I've stumbled on info that explains exactly why our skin's oil production goes haywire in the summer.
The simple reason why oily skin is prevalent in the summer has to do with the temperature of our skin. In a nutshell, the warmer our skin becomes, the more sebum is released through our pores. We know this because a study confirmed it.
Basically, they measured the level of sebum production by skin temperature. They used the forehead as the focus of the study. Half of the subject's forehead remained at room temperature. The other half was slowly heated or cooled. What they observed is the correlation between skin temperature and sebum production. The hotter the skin, the more sebum present.
Maybe that has to do the with how our pores open up slightly in warmer temps. Or maybe the excess heat "softens" the sebum allowing it to secrete more freely. These are just speculations but we know for a fact that our skin is much more oily when it's hot out. Knowing is only half the battle. So what can we do to keep summer oily skin at bay?
The first strategy is to develop skin care regimen that promotes a natural matte finish. We've discussed this in the past. No longer can we carry the same skin regimen throughout the entire year. Summer skin is different than winter skin and we must adapt accordingly.
Beyond the change in routine, we can leverage the newfound data regarding skin temperature to our advantage. The cooler we keep our skin, the better. I'm not a fan of drinking ice cold water but if it means that I can keep my internal temp down, then I'm happy to enjoy cold drinks. Some say that drinking a hot beverage on a hot day causes the body to work hard to cool itself down. But it does so by causing you to sweat. In most cases, sweating is undesirable (unless you're being active) so I'd rather take my chances with cool water which immediately drops your internal (core) temp.
The other course of action to help maintain the proper skin temp is to cool down using spray mists. I'm a huge fan for facial mists. Within seconds I can hydrate and cool the skin at once. Not only does it set your makeup, the fine water particles can replace the use of sweat to help cool your skin. Heck, you can even keep your facial mist in the fridge to create an even greater cooling effect. As long as your skin maintains a desirable temperature, you'll help prevent oil production from increasing. Keep this in mind if in you're engaging in activities this summer like enjoying lunch at an outdoor cafe. If you can keep your skin temp down as much as possible, you doing a great thing to keep your oil glands will remain in check.