Does Humidity Cause Breakouts?

The ESK blog

Does Humidity Cause Breakouts?

22 July 2021

We KNOW that humidity causes breakout because we have experienced it ourselves. But in 2017 we got some extra scientific proof. (1) In a Saudi Arabian study of 144 women aged between 22-24 with acne, the higher the humidity and heat, the higher the number of pimples. 

The authors of the study proposed heat and humidity provide the perfect environment to promote the growth of Cutibacterium Acnes, the bacteria blamed for zits

SO WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT IT?

I’m writing this on a hot, steamy, Sydney summer day. I’ve escaped to my air conditioning but the minute I step outside, I am going to start sweating like crazy. It’s just what happens living where I do. I can’t change the weather but I can change my skincare.

  • Cleanse: This will help remove dead skin cells and probably bacteria from the surface of your skin. Soap-free cleanserswill be gentler on inflammation and break out prone skin. Both of ESK’s cleansers (Hydroxy Cleanser and Calming Cleanse) are soap free.

Hydroxy Cleanser

Hydroxy Cleanser

A soap free, lightly foaming cleanser.

  • Leaves skin feeling clean and soft
  • Doesn't strip natural oils
  • Perfect for normal/oily skin


  • Sunscreen: Ideally non comedogenic sunscreens will help prevent ultraviolet damage and inflammation. Given pimples are inflammatory in origin, anything that reduces inflammation reduces your risk of a breakout. Try ESK’s ultra-matt Zinc Shade which is non-comedogenic and is ideal under makeup

Zinc Shade

Zinc Shade

Zinc Shade – UV Protection Skincare Product

Zinc Shade based daily moisturiser providing you with the protection you need from both UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays.

  • Protects from UVA and UVB protection
  • Can be used under make-up
  • Rated SPF15

  • Hydroxy acids: Choose a leave-on hydroxy acid skincare product (2). Hydroxy Acids are keratolytic so they break down old skin cells, and seem to be antibacterial as well. (3)

Smooth Serum

Smooth Serum

An Alpha Hydroxy Acid exfoliating serum for daily night use.

  • Smoother skin
  • Evens out skin texture
  • Promotes skin cell turnover


  • Use Retinal at night. Retinal is the most effective and gentlest form of non prescription vitamin A to put on your skin. Vitamin Ahelps with skin cell turnover and reduction in the number of pimples. Plus it is antibacterial (in fact Retinal is the most effective form of Vitamin A when it comes to battling bacteria!)

Ultimate A+

Ultimate A+

A Vitamin A (Retinal – 0.1%), B3 (Niacinamide – 4%) and AHA (Glycolic Acid – 2%) based night cream. Vitamin A is the ingredient with the strongest anti-ageing evidence and Retinal is the most effective and least irritating form of Vitamin A. 

  • Scale back oil based skin care products. I LOVE my vitamin C Serum in the morning but it is an oil based product. That’s because the best evidence for Vitamin C is at a 5-10% concentration in an oil emulsion. During the humid season, you might need to avoid your T Zones or any part of your face where you tend to break out.
  • Use Beta Hydroxy Acids AKA salicylic acid. Salicylic acid applied overnight once or twice a week is anti-inflammatory, and improves skin cell turnover. Our Hydroxy Overnight Mask contains 5% salicylic acid as well as soothing aloe vera.

Hydroxy Overnight Mask

Hydroxy Overnight Mask

Salicylic Acid 5% and Urea 10% based exfoliating and hydrating leave-on night mask, for acne-prone, oily, sun-damaged or sensitive skin. 

Stay cool!! 

 

REFERENCE: 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5722010/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26032934
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/50851403_Applications_of_hydroxy_acids_Classification_mechanisms_and_photoactivity
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