Hot and Bothered: The Ways Summer Heat Causes Skin Problems


Hot and Bothered: The Ways Summer Heat Causes Skin Problems

It's not just the sun's rays affecting your skin -the rising temperature can wreak havoc too. Dermal Therapist Yadira Cauchi shares the causes and solutions to summer skin's suffering.

Yadira Cauchi

Dermal Therapist

0 minute read

We all know already that the sun is not our skin's friend.

Staying out of it, and protecting our skin from it with sunscreen and clothing, is vitally important. Living in Australia, naturally, doesn't help.

However, as a Dermal Therapist, I’m always chatting to clients about the different ways heat can affect our skin too - and now that it’s summer we need to discuss this. 

You see, while summer does feel like the most fun season for many, it can unfortunately cause a multitude of skin concerns as well.

We naturally tend to blame the sun - however the heat, too, is actually a major factor for certain skin types.

How? Below I’m sharing some of the most heat-related common skin issues that tend to pop up in clinic. 

Increased oil production 

Oilier skin types will know the less is more drill if they’re planning to holiday in a warmer climate, although an increase in oil production won’t just affect an oilier skin type - it can affect anyone.

Heat can increase the skin’s oil production.

This in turn can lead to an increase of clogged pores and/or breakouts. Especially if you’re not removing our SPF/makeup properly - you can read my article on the importance of proper cleansing here.

Another thing that excess oil tends to do to our skin is increase the appearance of pores, which for many is already a concern.

To control oil production in the summer or even year round I would recommend incorporating an ingredient like salicylic acid into your routine, either via cleanser or toner, and using it as needed. Salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliant but one that is great at treating acne and controlling oil production in the skin. 

Melasma (and other forms of hyperpigmentation) can worsen

If you have melasma you’ll know that heat is a major contributing factor to worsening the appearance of it.

Melasma is a hormonal form of pigmentation that tends to appear as blotchy brown patches on the face. It appears with an increase in hormones, during pregnancy or is induced by UV exposure.

Heat is also a common trigger for melasma as it increases vasodilation (which is the dilation/widening of blood vessels).

Moral: fighting pigmentation takes a lot of work and staying out of the sun/reducing sun and heat exposure is key.

In addition, I’d also be wearing a broad spectrum SPF every single day and including tyrosinase inhibiting ingredients such as kojic acid, tranexamic acid, alpha arbutin and/or vitamin C in your routine. 




Fun fact: heat increases water loss! So while yes, I always see dehydration in clinic during the cooler months - it’s honestly just as common during the warmer months too.

Especially if we are working/living with the air conditioning on all day.

Dehydration is not a skin type but more of a skin concern. It tends to happen when our skin lacks water which often leads to a tight feeling in the skin. 

If your skin is feeling a little tight and as though it could do with a little more hydration, it’s definitely worth adding a hyaluronic acid serum into your routine.

Using a sleeping mask at night with additional hydrating ingredients can also help. 

Increased Redness

Are you prone to skin redness? Perhaps you have visible telangiectasis (those fine red capillaries you might find on your face).

Heat can actually make them expand - and with that comes additional blood flow and ta-da our face can appear a little redder than normal.

A little redness in the skin is very normal. There’s no need to freak out about it. 

However, if you are prone to skin redness through summer you may want to limit your time spent outdoors as well as time spent using hot saunas or doing hot yoga workouts.

Honestly, your blood vessels can and will shrink back to their regular size, although if you are prone to redness a broad spectrum SPF and a hat for extra skin protection is a must!

Yadira Cauchi

Dermal Therapist


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