How to Beat Summer Shine and Blemishes

Lionesse Gem

Published: August 5, 2019

The warmer temperatures during the summer months stimulate the skin’s sebaceous glands into increasing the amount of oil that they produce and release.

For many people, this is seriously bad news…

It means an onslaught of oily skin, breakouts, blemishes and more, which is definitely not what you want to be dealing with when you are trying to enjoy all that summer brings.

Don’t worry, there are ways to get around this!

Here are some tips on how to beat that summer shine, as well as the blemishes that it brings.

Use Oil-Free Skin Care Products 

Do your skin care products contain any oil-based ingredients?

If so, now is the time to make the switch to oil-free products. Those oils may be great for nourishing your skin in the winter, and are ideal in the summertime too for those with dry skin, but if you are dealing with summer shine then oil-free products are definitely what you need.

Make sure that you take a look at the ingredients list of all of your products, from your cleanser to your serums to your moisturizer, ensuring that none of them contain any oils.

Of course, there are always exceptions…

There are certain oils out there that can actually be beneficial to those with oily skin.

These are some oils that can actually help to reduce the amount of oil that your skin naturally produces:

  • Jojoba Oilhas a molecular structure that is almost identical to sebum. This tricks the skin into thinking that jojoba oil is natural sebum, causing it to cut back on the amount of oil it produces itself 
  • Geranium Essential Oil – regulates oil production while tightening up the skin
  • Ylang Ylang Essential Oilalso regulates oil production while soothing blemishes and softening the skin too 

Add a Toner into Your Skin Care Routine

Do you use a toner?

This is a step that many people skip, and, for some, this may not be much of a problem.

However, if you are trying to reduce your summer breakouts, a toner may be just what you need.

How can a toner help?

Well, a toner is designed to be used immediately after cleansing. The reason for this is because most cleansers out there disrupt the skin’s natural pH balance, which can lead to an increase in oil production.

Woman applying toner on face using cotton pad

Toners also help to close up pore openings after the skin has been cleansed, which also cuts back on the amount of oil that your sebaceous glands are able to release.

Don’t Over-Cleanse or Over-Exfoliate

Cleansing and exfoliating can feel so satisfying, especially when your skin has been overloaded with excess oil. 

While this may be the case, you need to be careful about exactly how often you cleanse and exfoliate.


Because while both of these actions help to clear away excess oil, doing this too much can actually trigger your sebaceous glands into increasing their oil production. This is because your sebaceous glands will be trying to counter the sudden loss of your skin’s protective oils.

So, how often should you cleanse?

When dealing with summer shine, you can often get away with cleansing twice a day, but make sure that the cleanser you are using is a gentle one.

How about exfoliation?

It depends on the exfoliant you choose…

If you go for a physical scrub, or anything similar, do not exfoliate more than three times a week. Keep in mind that this only applies to people with excessively oily skin – any other skin types would need to exfoliate less than this.

However, if you are using a cleanser that contains a chemical exfoliant, such as glycolic acid, your skin should be able to deal with this being used daily. Of course, if you notice any irritations or sensitivities, cut this down straight away.

Keep Your Skin Moisturized

Many people think that if their skin is quite oily, then they don’t need to moisturize.

However, moisturizing is all about increasing your skin’s water content. As you know, oil is completely different from water, and the two play contrasting roles when it comes to the health of your skin.

Water keeps your skin cells hydrated, enabling them to function as they should. Oil forms a layer over the top of your skin cells, preventing that important water from evaporating out of your skin.

Some moisturizers work in the same way as your skin’s oils, and this is where the problems begin…

Those moisturizers contain occlusive ingredients, which form an additional barrier over the surface of the skin. This is great for those with dry skin, but, if you are dealing with excess oil, then occlusives can often cause these oils to clog up your pores faster, resulting in breakouts. 

Which ingredients are occlusives?

Common occlusives, and therefore, ingredients to avoid, include:

  • Oils
  • Waxes
  • Silicones

On the other hand, moisturizers that primarily contain humectants are ideal for dealing with summer shine.

Humectants attract moisture from the air, sending these molecules deep into the skin.

It is so important to keep your skin cells topped up with moisture because if your skin is lacking moisture, it tries to make up for this by producing more oil.

Want to know which humectants are most effective?

The ones to look out for include:

  • Hyaluronic Acid or Sodium Hyaluronate – hyaluronic acid is one of the best humectants out there, as it is capable of holding up to 1000 times its weight in moisture. Sodium hyaluronate is a form of hyaluronic acid with smaller molecules, meaning that it penetrates deeper into the skin rather than focusing on the skin’s surface 
  • Glycerin – another popular humectant, glycerin acts as an emollient too, meaning that it fills in any gaps in between your skin cells, giving your skin a smoother and softer look and feel
  • Aloe Vera – not only is aloe vera an effective humectant, but it is also packed with active vitamins, minerals and enzymes, bringing with it a whole host of extra skin benefits

One more thing to be aware of is the texture of your moisturizer…

Even if a moisturizer does not contain any occlusives, it can still be quite rich and thick.

This can cause it to clog up the pores pretty quickly, meaning that you would be better off with a lighter lotion instead.

Of course, if you have an effective hydrating serum, you may be able to get away with using that instead of a moisturizer in the summer months, especially during the day.

Hydration is important in the evenings too, but your skin needs the support of several other ingredients while it heals and regenerates overnight, which is why a nourishing moisturizer may still be better for night use.

Use the Right Makeup

It is always best to deal with a problem by tackling it at its root. In the case of summer shine and blemishes, the best way to beat this would be to minimize your skin’s natural oil production.

However, that can take a little time, which is where makeup comes in…

Although only a temporary fix, makeup can be a great way to hide that shine away, while also minimizing the visibility of any blemishes.

Of course, you do need to use the right makeup products in order to achieve this effect.

Which products should you be using?

Begin with an oil-absorbing primer. Since a primer is placed directly against your skin, having an oil-absorbing formula here can be really useful in keeping your skin shine-free.

However, make sure that the formula is also a non-drying one. As you now know, drying your skin out could lead it to overcompensate in the form of producing extra oil.

There are many other oil-absorbing makeup products out there, and these should all be the ones you choose when deciding which products to use.

Keep your makeup quite light and minimal whenever possible too.

You want your skin to be able to naturally breathe as much as possible, and you also need to prevent clogged pores, which can sometimes occur with heavy makeup.

Once you have jazzed up your face, dust a translucent powder over your skin.


Because this will not only help to mattify your complexion by absorbing any excess oil that may still be lingering around, but it will also help to set your makeup in place, enabling it to last for so much longer.

Blot the Oil Away

Even with the right skin care and makeup products, shine can sometimes still occur.

When this happens, it is best if you can clear away that excess oil as soon as possible.

If you don’t, it will only end up settling within your pores, resulting in a breakout.

Blotting papers are ideal for absorbing excess oil while on-the-go. All you need to do is lightly pat your face with one of these sheets, holding it against your skin for a few seconds so that it can soak up that oil.

Make sure that you never re-use a piece of blotting paper on another part of your skin, as this will just mean that you are only moving the oil around, rather than clearing it away.

However, just like with all of the other products you use on your face, make sure that you check the ingredients list of your blotting papers.

Many brands use mineral oil in their formulas, and this is an ingredient that is known for being a common culprit of clogged pores. 

Use a Mineral Sunscreen

Just about everybody knows that sunscreen is so important, and needs to be worn on a daily basis. After all, excess sun exposure can lead to everything from premature skin aging to skin cancer, none of which anyone wants to be dealing with.

However, when it comes to oily summer skin, not any sunscreen will do…

Sunscreens come in two forms:

  • Physical sunscreens – these contain minerals that reflect the sun’s rays away from the surface of the skin
  • Chemical sunscreens – these contain chemicals that absorb the sun’s UV rays before converting them into heat and emitting them from the skin

Infographic on physical versus chemical sunscreen

For those of you dealing with summer shine and breakouts, a physical sunscreen is the way to go.

What makes physical sunscreens better for oily skin?

The fact that the chemicals in a chemical sunscreen can often clog up the pores, exacerbating breakouts.

Plus, the heat that chemical sunscreens create within the skin can intensify any inflammation, once again making your breakouts so much worse.

When choosing a physical sunscreen, there are two main ingredients that you will notice:

  • Titanium dioxide
  • Zinc oxide

Zinc oxide is the best one, as this works against both UVA and UVB rays, giving your skin broad spectrum protection. On the other hand, titanium dioxide is only really effective against UVB rays, along with some of the UVA rays, meaning that if you use this ingredient on its own, your skin will still be vulnerable to damage.

Physical sunscreens are great, but you still do not want a formula that is thick and greasy. As with the rest of your skin care products, anything with an oil is to be avoided.

If you cannot find an effective lightweight lotion, with an SPF of at least 30, look for a sun protecting gel or powder instead.

The gel will be more hydrating, but a powder will absorb any excess oil, making this quite a multi-functional product. All you need is a few swipes on your face and you’re ready to go.

Don’t forget to keep re-applying your sunscreen through the day…

Sun exposure will only intensify that shine and trigger even more breakouts, making it important to keep your skin constantly protected. 

Excessively oily skin, along with the breakouts and blemishes that this brings, is never fun to deal with. However, by adjusting your skin care routine and having a few key makeup products to hand, it will not take you long to beat that shine so that you can enjoy clear and healthy skin throughout the summer.

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