Busting The Summer Oily Skincare Myths That Aren't Doing You Any Favors

Summertime is warm, sunny, and full of life — it can also be hot, sweaty, and full of grease. For all the gorgeous gals with oily skin, summer humidity is the ultimate nemesis. Between the sweating and the sunscreen application, summer acne can feel inevitable.

Makeup and skincare brands hear our moans of despair and offer all kinds of mattifying and oil-reducing products to get us through the summer months. While these products can quickly become people's skincare holy grails, most of them don't offer a sustainable solution to oily skin problems. The logical flaw in most folks' summer skincare strategy revolves around one central myth: Your oily skin needs less moisture during the summer.

On the contrary, everyone's summertime skin — even the oily variety — needs moisture to thrive. In fact, your skin isn't totally oilier in the summer like you may think. Dermatologist Dr. Aanand Geria tells The Zoe Report, "Sweat and oil don't mix well, so it'll give the appearance of little droplets on the skin, making your skin look even sweatier than it really is." If you worry about summertime acne, your primary focus should be clean, nourished skin, not oil reduction. By ditching some of these popular oily skincare myths, you can ensure your skin stays hydrated and acne-free all summer.

You need matte products to survive in the summer

If you have acne-prone skin and like to wear makeup, you probably love the word "matte." Any product with a matte, velvety texture that won't add more oil to your sensitive skin is the dream, right? When it comes to summertime skincare, think again.

Matte foundations typically contain no or minimal oil and provide a dry, full-coverage finish. Intuitively, this can sound great for oily skin with acne, but these products can aggravate your skin more. The heavy, drying formulas can soak up the oil that your skin actually needs and irritate your pores. Per the American Academy of Dermatology, your body will compensate for dry skin by producing more oil — which is the opposite of what you're going for.

You should embrace moisturizing formulas during the summer, regardless of your skin type. Many environmental factors dry out your skin in the summer, such as chlorine in pools or sun exposure, but one of the biggest concerns is sweating. When you sweat on a hot summer day, your body loses water, and you are at risk of becoming dehydrated (via Mayo Clinic). And those matte products aren't doing your face any favors, which can help your skin produce even more sweat. In addition to drinking water to replenish your body's fluids, you should use moisturizing products to protect your skin. So with that in mind, stick your matte foundation in the draw and opt for a tinted moisturizer for oily skin instead.

The more powder, the better

Much like matte products, powder makeup is not your friend. Powder foundations, setting powders, and even powder blushes should be benched for most of the summer. Technically, yes, powder is useful for blotting excess oil, and occasional light usage for a special event won't ruin your skin. However, it's not a good choice for everyday summer skincare.

Powder has similar issues to liquid matte products in that it dries out your skin and can cause more irritating oil production, especially when under the summer sun. Additionally, powders usually contain talc, which can be disastrous for sensitive skin. Talc is a natural mineral that creates the powdery consistency that you're used to in makeup products. Aside from concerns about some forms of talc-containing asbestos — although the latest FDA report found no asbestos in samples of cosmetic products — talc is a potential irritant due to its large particle size.

When you wear powder makeup, it sits on the surface of your skin and settles into fine lines and creases, where it can trigger a reaction. According to dermatologist Dr. Purvisha Patel, who spoke with Byrdie, "The rubbing of the particles may cause increased irritation to [people with sensitive skin]." If your oily skin is prone to breakouts, talc-based powders are not going to help you. Focus on light, hydrating formulas, and when you do need a touch of powder, always use talc-free powder.

Cleansing your face throughout the day helps remove oils

When the summer rolls around, you might feel tempted to constantly scrub your sweaty skin clean with a strong facial cleanser, but too much cleaning can lead to raw, sensitive skin and even more breakouts. No matter the time of year, folks with acne-prone skin should only need to wash their faces twice a day, in the morning and evening (per Healthline). Avoid any harsh ingredients that leave your face dry and red, and follow up cleansing with a lightweight moisturizer.

If your skin already feels greasy and gross by midday, that may be a sign that you need to be using fewer products on your face. Heavy makeup can trap sweat and oil against your skin and cause that uncomfortable greasy feeling. Try paring down your makeup routine to just the essentials, such as tinted moisturizer with SPF and a pigmented cream blush that gives you plenty of color with minimal product. If you still feel like your face needs cleansing in the middle of the day, reach for blotting paper or a refreshing mist instead of a cleanser. That way, you can get rid of some grease and soothe your skin without risking irritation.

It's fine to skip SPF

This should go without saying, but let's review it just in case: Don't skip the SPF. You might associate oily sunscreen formulas with breakouts, but sunscreen products have come a long way, and there are lots of effective options for oily skin types. And even if sunscreen isn't your favorite thing to put on your skin, often making your oily skin feel greasier, protecting yourself from sun damage is more important than preventing acne.

Dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Hale tells the Skin Cancer Foundation that your face needs a "nickel-sized dollop" of sunscreen, and you should reapply at least every two hours. That sounds like a huge amount, especially if you have oily skin, but the key is to find a product that won't feel heavy when you put on the medically recommended volume. Look for oil-free and alcohol-free sunscreens — there's no need to add more oil if you're already using a moisturizer, and alcohol is a notoriously drying and irritating ingredient. If you can, spend the extra money to get a sunscreen that's formulated specifically for the face with gentle, nourishing ingredients.

Oily skin requires some extra attention during the summer, but by avoiding the hype of mattifying products and emphasizing health and hydration, you can keep your skin clear and maintain that summer glow.