4 ways your skin can react to the rising temperature and humidity and how to fix them

The heat and humidity can wreak havoc on your hair and we all have the frizz to prove it. But the rising temps can also affect your skin, leaving it more prone to acne, redness, congestion and irritation. Sounds too familiar? We spoke to the pros about the heat-related skincare issues that could crop up, and what you can do to treat them now.

1. You’re breaking out more than usual

Our bodies have a natural mechanism to deal with the heat. We sweat, which when it evaporates from the skin, is meant to cool the body. When there is humidity along with heat, the sweat cannot evaporate quickly due to the high moisture content in the air, leaving that uncomfortable slick layer on the skin.

Humidity envelops the skin in a thick blanket of heat and moisture, which can force the pores to expand and increase sebum production. This excess sebum can lead to congestion and the blocking of pores, and can cause breakouts, particularly blackheads and whiteheads. This can be even worse if you’re cranking up the AC. The airconditioning can dry out the air, even pulling moisture from the skin, causing it to overcompensate and over-produce oil, leaving your skin feeling matte and tight, but with sebum production on overdrive inside.

You’ll want to skip heavy occlusive products like thick creams and moisturisers. Instead, gel-based products are a good call. “It is recommended that you still keep moisturisers with humectants in them like hyaluronic acid, polyglutamic acid, urea or sodium lactate to bind water and hold it in the skin,” adds Dr Sethi. Hydrating the skin and maintaining the natural skin barrier is important. Plus, using exfoliating products like salicylic acid and retinol is key too.

2. Your skin feels congested

When you’re touching your skin with your fingers, blotting papers or towel to mattify it as often as you do, you could be irritating your skin barrier. Both pros say that it is important to keep your hands off when your skin is already greasy, which can prevent your congested skin from turning into acne breakouts.

3. You’re struggling with maskne

“Rosacea, dermatitis and breakouts have become a major complaint. Our patients are experiencing an increase in daily breakouts, blemishes, clogged pores and irritation because of prolonged use of masks,” explains Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, consultant dermatologist at MedLinks, New Delhi. Maskne is the result of clogged pores. You already have oil, bacteria and dead skin cells on the skin surface, but when you wear a mask, these substances build up and occlude pores. Thanks to breathing, speaking and sweating, this creates a warm environment and lots of friction, both of which can cause irritation and zits.

Dr Chaturvedi suggests against wearing makeup, as the oil-based products can only increase the chances of breaking out. “In the morning, apply niacinamide or azelaic acid as this can reduce inflammation. In the evening, apply a retinol-based product to improve cell turnover,” he confirms.

4. Your body is suddenly prone to zits

Much like spots on your face, body acne has many different factors. Excess sweat can clog the pores of the parts of the skin that don’t get exfoliated as much, like the back and chest. This is worse when you’re spending too much time in the sun, as sun damage can worsen your skin’s ability to heal too. To help prevent this, pros suggest hopping in the shower as soon as you’re home (two-three times a day if necessary) and rinse off with a body wash that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, so you can treat breakouts before they stop.

The article was first published in Vogue


  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

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