The onset of summer means warm weather, sunny days and time spent with family and friends. As the sun comes out, our spirits rise, and we feel ready to enjoy the summer days ahead of us. But for some of us, especially those who live in more humid climates, summer can also mean sweaty, oily skin that is more prone to breakouts, dehydrated skin, irritation, and so more.
However, one’s skin need not deter one from enjoying the warm weather. In Ayurveda, it is believed that the mind, body, spirit and external environment are intimately connected, and as such, we need to respond attentively to changes in our environment to maintain overall health. When the seasons change, it is best to adjust one’s lifestyle practices accordingly, a philosophy that is encompassed by the concept of Ritucharya. By doing so, we can maximize balance and minimize any irritation or inflammation that can result from a change in the external world.
In Ayurveda, summer is ruled by Pitta, which is oily, hot, sharp, light and liquid. Especially for those with naturally oily skin, summertime tends to increase the oiliness, sebum production and liquidity of Pitta, making one more susceptible to breakouts.
If you find that Pitta feels exacerbated during the summer, there are a number of Ayurvedic tips for combating breakouts and restoring balance to the skin.
SUMMERTIME TIPS FOR COMBATING ACNE, INFLAMMATION & OILINESS
Soffer combines South Indian and North Indian styles of Panchakarma. And because she practices in California, she incorporates native Western herbs to replace what she can’t get from India.
Depending on what someone needs from their Panchakarma cleanse, here are some of the treatments Soffer might offer.
1. Cleanse Your Face Daily—But Not Too Often!
During summer, we tend to spend more time outdoors, which also means that there are more opportunities for toxins, dust and debris to accumulate on our skin. (For more on Ayurvedic tips for remedying the negative effects of pollution, check out our recent blog here.) To remove excess dirt and oil, it’s important to wash your face twice daily with a gentle cleanser and provide proper Hydration. Ayurveda recommends not washing your face more than 3 or 4 times a day, though, which will dry out your skin and stimulate more oil production—which is the opposite of what we want.
2. Don’t Over-Exfoliate
Similarly to how it can be harmful to wash your face too often, exfoliating too often also strips the skin of its natural oils, which are necessary for protecting and hydrating the skin. While exfoliating is good for removing debris and dead skin cells, which can cause breakouts and other inflammatory problems if they accumulate, try not to exfoliate more than twice or three times a week.
3. Try Out a Lightweight, Clarifying Face Oil
While adding face oil to oily skin might seem like a big no-no, a clarifying, detoxifying and lightweight essential oil can work wonders for spot treating imperfections. While many acne creams and solutions can be extremely drying for the skin, a face oil can help skin retain a healthy moisture while combating the root cause of blemishes. Our UMA Deeply Clarifying Blemish Spot Treatment, for example, harnesses the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and infection-combating powers of tea tree, clove, grapeseed and more to provide targeted relief for blemishes.
I have naturally oily skin myself, and whenever I experience an unexpected breakout, I apply a small amount of our Blemish Spot Treatment to the affected areas. It amazingly reduces and soothes irritation, all while keeping my skin hydrated.
4. Use a Detoxifying Face Mask
Applying a face mask several times a week is a great way to thoroughly and deeply extract impurities from the skin, leaving it more hydrated, radiant and toned afterward.
Especially for those who struggle with acne and oiliness, we recommend trying our UMA Deeply Clarifying Face Mask
5. Keep Your Hair Out Of Your Face
Our scalp and hair can be another extraneous source of oil production, especially during the hot summer days. Try keeping your hair out of your face during the summer months to avoid excess oil and irritation.
6. Don’t Touch Your Face!
Our hands harbor impurities, dirt and oil, and when we touch our face unnecessarily we introduce those external factors onto our skin. Avoid touching your face whenever possible to prevent unnecessary breakouts.
7. Use a Toner For Soothed, Radiant Skin
Toners help to hydrate, brighten and nourish the skin without leaving it feeling too heavy or weighed down with formula, making them essentials for summer skincare. A light spritz of toner helps to clarify and cleanse the skin of toxins while also providing both moisture and coolness. We recommend our UMA Deeply Clarifying Aloe Alum Toner, which harnesses aloe, tea tree and rose water to offer potent cleansing and detoxifying benefits, regulating oil production, reducing blemishes and clearing the skin of impurities.