Botanical Solutions for Summertime Breakouts

We all break out at some point or another and summertime often causes those that are prone to acne (like myself) to flare up. Sweat mixed with makeup or sunscreen mixed with bacteria from hands, sunglasses or a cell phone is a gorgeous recipe for acne.

Here are a few tips to prevent a summertime breakout from happening in the first place.

  • Wash your face twice daily, most importantly in the evening, with a natural cleanser containing astringent, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory plants, such as rose, lavender, sage and thyme (recipe coming soon!). It will help remove the sweat and dirt accumulated on your skin, while balancing oil and fighting bacteria. And always, always remove your makeup at night before cleansing so skin can breathe and regenerate while you sleep.
  • Add a natural, gentle facial scrub to your skin care routine two times a week to further assist in exfoliating debris (sweat, dirt, products, dead skin cells) from the surface of your skin. Natural botanical cleansing grains, such as BUTTERFLY WINGS Gentle Facial Polish, offer a delicate, yet thorough exfoliation, while also offering toning, soothing and antibacterial properties - and they are even gentle enough to use daily.
  • Swipe skin with a cotton pad soaked in cool witch hazel or peppermint hydrosol  during the day when you feel like your skin is funky. You can also infuse witch hazel with various plants to create your own custom toner for freshening skin.
  • Keep cell phones and sunglasses clean so bacteria is not being transferred from them to your face. Use a 1 oz. spray bottle filled with vodka and a few drops of tea tree or thyme essential oil to wipe down these items (don't spray your phone directly, however, as it could break your phone - spray a cloth, then use that).
  • Do not skip your moisturizer. Skin still needs moisture in the summer to counteract the drying of the sun and to keep skin in balance after cleansing. Switch to lightweight serums or light facial oils that sink into skin without being greasy, like Gilded Camellia Rejuvenating Facial Oil
  • Go makeup free as often as possible (especially when at the beach or working out) or use mineral makeup for light, breathable coverage (and some sun protection).
  • Try to use as few products on your face as possible. Do not skip sunscreen if you will be outside for a long period of time, but do look for a moisturizer with sunscreen and soothing/healing botanicals added in a lightweight formula that offers full-spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30+ protection from zinc oxide (great for folks with sensitive or breakout prone skin). One of my favorite off-the-shelf sunscreens are the Goddess Garden line with helichrysum, lavender, green tea and aloe.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep skin in proper moisture balance and to keep toxins flushing regularly out of your system.

Should a spot (or more) arise, follow this plan for helping it to make a hasty exit:

  • Continue to follow the recommendations above. 
  • For those big mothers, apply an ice cube for 5 minutes to lessen the inflammation. Follow this with an application of warm chamomile tea on a cotton ball for 15 minutes. Chamomile is anti-inflammatory and will help to soothe the breakout. You can repeat this a few times daily until the inflammation has subsided.
  • In between time, apply one drop of tea tree essential oil directly to the zit or zits. Tea tree is antibacterial and will help to dry up the breakout. You can also use one drop of lavender essential oil instead, which will help to soothe the area.

Best wishes on beating those breakouts! <3