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Ah, summer. You’ll never find us complaining about the most optimistic of seasons—but we also can’t argue that, between sun exposure, humidity, and sweat, it kind of creates a perfect storm for skin, even if you’re not usually prone to breakouts. Summer breakouts aren’t exactly what we look forward to come June, but all we can do is put up a united front. Add these products to your arsenal, and acne won’t stand a fighting chance this summer.
Arcona Toner Tea Bar ($42, arcona.com)
Unaccustomed to using a bar cleanser? We don’t blame you, but if there’s one bar that can get you back in the game, it’s this one. It’s not a soap, and contains no sulfates or chemical detergents, but is actually a super gentle, pH-balancing cleanser that uses coconut oil, aloe, witch hazel, green and black tea, honey, and more to soothe and strengthen the skin, calming inflammation and thoroughly clarifying at the same time.
Clinique Acne Solutions Clearing Concealer ($17, clinique.com)
When zits pop up, our first instinct is to treat them, then cover them, but there are plenty of ingredients in makeup that can actually worsen breakouts as they cover. This concealer is medicated with salicylic acid, so not only does it provide natural-looking coverage that won’t sweat off, but it gently works to heal blemishes as well. It comes in three shades that can be worn alone or under makeup, and each shade leans slightly green, which helps to visually correct redness.
Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleansing Pads ($5.59, desertessence.com)
Natural antiseptic tea tree oil has disinfecting and soothing properties that make it ideal for fighting acne in a gentle, non-drying way. These cleansing pads also contain witch hazel, lavender, chamomile, and calendula, which all work to both heal blemishes and prevent future breakouts.
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Acne ($65, katesomerville.com)
Exfoliating (but not over-exfoliating!) is key to maintaining smooth, healthy skin, and this fine-grained formula is one of our favorites for renewing skin and improving texture while clearing up congestion and active blemishes, thanks to natural ingredients like lactic acid and lavender oil. It’s perfect for the face, but you can use it on your chest, back, or any other acne-prone area, too.
Nature’s Cure Body Acne Treatment Spray ($8.99, drugstore.com)
We talk about body acne less than we do facial acne, because come on, who wants to talk about the pimples on their butt? Even for those who don’t usually suffer from body acne, summer is synonymous with tight clothes, athletic fabrics, and sweat. This maximum-strength 2% salicylic acid formula can be sprayed at any angle to get to hard-to-reach places, so back breakouts will be a thing of the past. It also contains soothing ingredients, like aloe and calendula, so you won’t have to worry about dryness or irritation, either.
First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser ($20, firstaidbeauty.com)
When treating breakouts on sensitive, easily irritated skin, the key is to stick with gentle formulas—astringents and harsh soaps will only work to dry out and further irritate skin. This cleanser is an excellent option for every skin type, even the most delicate—thanks to aloe, glycerin, and allantoin, the creamy, whipped texture foams without stripping the skin, preserving natural oils while calming redness and strengthening skin’s barrier in the long term.
Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturizer Light – Combination/Oily ($39.90, lizearle.com)
As far as lightweight moisturizers go, this one is the tops. Formulated specifically to thoroughly hydrate oily and combination skin without clogging pores or feeling heavy on the face, the almost balm-like texture absorbs quickly and leaves skin feeling soft with a natural semi-matte finish that never turns shiny. Because it contains borage oil and vitamin E, it’s a great way to nourish skin without using straight-up facial oils, which can feel a bit slick in the summertime.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 45 Face Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid ($29.99, laroche-posay.us)
Choosing a sunscreen can be a nightmare for the acne-prone, as all too many formulas clog pores and leave oily and combination skin feeling, well, gross. This insanely lightweight formula simply can’t be beat—a matte finish makes it totally unobtrusive, so you can smooth it on right before your makeup, and it provides superior sun protection… so basically, it’s an all-around problem solver.
Boscia Clear Complexion Tonic ($24, boscia.com)
We’re all about face mists in the summer, of course, but this soothing tonic takes it above and beyond, using willow bark, rosemary, and lavender water to eliminate impurities, rebalance pH, visually shrink pores, and even help to minimize dark spots from past breakouts. You can use it like a toner after cleansing as well as throughout the day to refresh.
Read more from Daily Makeover: 10 Acne Products and Treatments That Really Work