How to Treat Summer’s Worst Skin Problem

Summer is here and it’s time to strip down and hit the beach! Wait—but what about our acne? While we’re thrilled to leave our winter wardrobe at the back of the closet, summer exposes our skin to a host of new irritants—literally. If you’re going to the beach or just want to flaunt your tan, you need to get a handle on any chest acne.

If you’ve been handling your facial acne all year, then you’ve got a leg up on any summer skin conditions. Chest acne is typically caused by the same factors as everyday pimples: the sun dries out the water in your skin leading to dehydration and overgrown oil glands. Ironically, your oil glands are just trying to help protect your skin—but that’s the last thing we need!

The solutions are also the same, for the most part. You can apply a salicylic gel or benzoyl peroxide ointment to the affected area of your chest and leave it on during the day. If you prefer an all-natural solution, oregano oil can work in many cases. Oregano oil kills acne-causing bacteria, dries up your pores, and helps to reduce any inflammation and heal damaged skin. More intense retinol-based solutions can be prescribed by a dermatologist.

During the summer there are two key things to remember about your chest acne: always apply sunscreen on top of any gel or ointment and stay hydrated. Dehydration will ruin your skin and undo any treatment for your acne, while some acne gels can increase your sun sensitivity. Burned skin isn’t going to solve this problem, people!

Let’s get out there and soak up the sun this summer!