Is Summer Acne a Thing? (And What to Do About It)

This article tackles the phenomenon of summer acne. It explains why acne flares up during the hot and humid summer months and offers some suggestions for minimizing the occurrence and impact of summer acne breakouts.

If your acne breakouts get worse when the heat and humidity soar, you are definitely not alone; summer acne is absolutely a phenomenon. A recent study examined the seasonal variation of acne in patients in tropical conditions over a one-year period. With more than 40 percent of participants experiencing worsening acne during the summer months, the study concluded that temperature and humidity were found to impact seasonal acne aggravation significantly. This comes as no surprise to anyone whose acne flares up during the summer. But knowing why acne flare-ups happen—and how to prevent them—can prevent acne from putting a damper on your summer fun. Read on to learn more about summer acne; how you can help prevent it; and why sleeping on a silk pillowcase from Mulberry Park Silks can play a part in breakout-proofing your summer.

What Is Acne?

Woman with zit

Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Acne affects about 50 million Americans annually, making it the most common skin condition in the United States. It typically appears as pimples, blackheads, or whiteheads on the face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders.

Acne develops when sebum (oil) and dead skin cells clog hair follicles. Bacteria can then grow in these clogged pores, leading to inflammation and the formation of various types of acne lesions. While acne is often associated with adolescence, it can affect people of all ages and can be influenced by factors such as hormones, diet, stress, and environmental conditions, including summer temperatures and humidity.

Triggers and Types of Summer Acne

Woman sweating while running

Warm temperatures; damp, humid conditions; and dehydration can cause increased oil production from the skin. At the same time, pores get clogged with this excess oil, sweat, dead skin cells, and even sunscreen and moisturizers. These conditions allow acne-causing bacteria to thrive. Along with blackheads and whiteheads from oil-produced acne, summer can also trigger other types of breakouts:

  • Inflammatory acne: Heat and humidity can worsen inflammatory acne, causing more painful, red pimples and cysts.
  • Body acne: Increased sweating and friction from clothing can clog hair follicles, which can lead to more breakouts on the chest, back, and shoulders.
  • Fungal acne: The warm, moist environment of summer is perfect for the growth of fungal acne, which appears as small, uniform bumps on the skin. Technically, "fungal acne" is a misnomer, as these outbreaks are caused by yeast and treated with antifungal medicine.

Even worse? Your skin doesn't necessarily grow immune to summer acne as you grow older.

"Summer acne can affect individuals of all ages, though it is more commonly observed in teenagers and young adults due to the higher activity of sebaceous glands during these years," said Dr. Anna Chacon, a Board-Certified Dermatologist based in Miami, FL. "However, adults can also experience summer acne, particularly those with oily skin types or those who are prone to sweating.

Tips to Help Prevent Summer Acne

Woman applying sunscreen

Employing some smart skin health habits and skincare practices can help minimize summer breakouts. Dr. Chacon recommends the following to prevent summer acne flare-ups:

  • Use non-comedogenic sunscreen and skincare products to avoid clogging pores.
  • Cleanse the skin gently—but thoroughly—to remove sweat, dirt, and oil.
  • Avoid touching the face frequently to reduce the transfer of acne-causing bacteria and oils.
  • Shower promptly after sweating to prevent sweat from clogging pores.
  • Maintain a consistent skincare routine that includes exfoliation to remove dead skin cells.

New York-based esthetician and makeup artist, Amanda Gabbard, echoes this advice and adds a few tips of her own. "Drink plenty of water to help maintain skin hydration and balance," she says. "Well-hydrated skin is less likely to overproduce oil, which can lead to acne." She also recommends wearing breathable clothing to allow air to circulate and reduce sweat build-up and regularly exfoliating your face. "Gently exfoliate your skin once or twice a week to remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores," Amanda counsels. "Be careful not to over-exfoliate, as this can irritate the skin and worsen acne."

PSA: Don't be tempted to skip the sunscreen! Find an oil-free formula that doesn't irritate your skin to protect against skin cancer. Every skin type needs some sun protection.

Fight Summer Acne While You Sleep with a Mulberry Park Silks Pillowcase

Model Holds Silk Pillowcase

Dr. Chacon and Amanda Gabbard agree that sleeping on a pure, hygienic, Mulberry Park Silks pillowcase can help reduce acne. Silk pillowcases are less absorbent than cotton, which means they are less likely to retain oils, dirt, and bacteria that can contribute to acne. Additionally, silk is smoother and less likely to cause friction against the skin, which can reduce irritation and inflammation that can exacerbate acne.

Not Sure Which Pillowcase Is Right for you?


Mulberry Park Silks pillowcases are 100 percent pure mulberry silk of the highest grade, 6A. The genuine silk fiber and smooth charmeuse weave have properties that naturally fight bacteria and dirt:

Hypoallergenic: Silk is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to mold, dust mites, and other allergens that can irritate skin and inflame acne. Mulberry Park Silks pillowcases are also certified OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 as safe from harmful chemicals.

Moisture-wicking: Unlike a cotton pillowcase, which absorbs moisture and can create a breeding ground for bacteria, silk wicks away sweat while helping your skin retain natural, healthy moisture.

Gentle and non-irritating: Silk's smooth surface is incredibly gentle on the skin, reducing friction and irritation that can worsen acne (even high-thread-count cotton contains tiny fibers that can abrade skin). The protein structure of silk, rich in amino acids, is particularly soothing for acne-prone or sensitive skin.

Temperature-regulating: Silk naturally regulates temperature, helping to keep you cool in summer, which can reduce sweating and oil production while you sleep.

By switching to a Mulberry Park Silks pillowcase, you're providing your skin with a clean, smooth, and breathable surface that can help manage oil production, reduce irritation, and minimize bacterial growth—all crucial factors in managing a summer acne flare-up. So, while summer acne is indeed "a thing," it doesn't have to be your thing. On top of that, sleeping on a pure silk pillowcase is the definition of luxury; it will also tame frizz, tangles, and hair breakage.

Our team of silk experts is here to answer any questions and provide personalized recommendations; give us a call or send an email. And if you're ready to treat your entire body to a pure, healthful, and luxurious night of beauty sleep, check out our collection of silk sheets.

Our Clients Also Ask

Why am I getting acne in the summer?

Heat and humidity can aggravate summer acne by clogging pores and creating a breeding ground for bacteria.

Is acne worse in summer or winter?

Acne can flare up at any time of year. Summer acne is triggered by heat, humidity, and sweat which causes clogged pores.

Can acne break out due to hot weather?

Yes, hot weather can definitely trigger an acne breakout.

Mulberry Park: Accessible and Affordable Luxury Silk

We founded Mulberry Park with one simple mission: to design the highest quality silk items in the market and offer them at an affordable price. And we've done just that, with a full range of silk products made from 100% pure mulberry long strand silk fabric. The silk fabric used for our silk sheets and silk pillowcases has also been OEKO-TEX® Certified (Standard 100) to be free of chemicals.

Visit us online or call us at (800) 860-1924 to learn more about our silk sheets, silk pillowcases, duvet covers and shams, and real silk accessories including sleep masks, travel pillows, and silk hair scrunchies.