During the scorching, humid days of summer, pesky pimples and congested pores is, for many, simply an unavoidable fact of life. However, come wintertime, you may find that there's a whole other beast of breakouts to deal with — and if your skin is naturally on the drier side, the last thing you probably feel like doing is slathering on a clay mask or reaching for harsh benzoyl peroxide in an attempt to get rid of them.
Let’s take a look on how to deal with acne breakouts in winter…
6 Ways to Reduce Your Acne Breakouts
When the skin is void of oils, moisture leaks out of the skin and causes dryness. When it's cold, there is less moisture in the environment; when the skin's natural moisture barrier is compromised, it less able to fight bacteria (like P.acnes) and infection.
To get to the bottom of treating winter breakouts, we debunk the myths and shed some insight into how to prevent and treat cold-weather acne. Here, we share six of the most common culprits.
1. First & Foremost, Stop Touching Your Face
If you've heard it once, you've heard it a million times: Your hands come into contact with tons of things on a daily basis — doorknobs, greasy cell phone screens, etc. — and that bacteria transfer can easily amount to a zit. However, toss in the fact that you may be loading up on heavy hand creams during the winter, and you've got a recipe for acne.
If you are someone who sleeps on your hands at night, or if you touch your face frequently throughout the day, layering on a greasy hand lotion in the winter could exacerbate acne breakouts. Hand creams are often formulated with a lot of oils and occlusive ingredients that may not be suitable for acne-prone skin.
2. The Weather is to Blame
Cold air holds less moisture and our skin suffers as a result and so the vicious cycle of oil glands overproducing sebum in a futile effort to hydrate skin begins, resulting in clogged pores and breakouts. Additionally, dealing with flaky or wind-chapped skin can sometimes mean that your first line of defense (aka acne products) may end up doing more harm than good. (More on that in a bit.)
3. Avoid Hot Showers & Inside Heaters
Central heating has less moisture, creating drier skin. People assume all acne is from oily skin or lack of washing. The truth is, dry skin causes about 50 percent of the acne we typically have. And no, that doesn't mean we're recommending you adopt the polar dip method of showering. Simply avoid standing under a scalding shower head for longer than you need to; trust us, your body will thank you.
4. Not Enough Moisturizing
In the wintertime, layer, layer, layer. Add a couple more products to your regimen: Instead of reaching for the heaviest cream, it's more beneficial to apply different layers of products to provide protection to multiple barriers.
How does this differ from what you reach for the other 275 days a year? The key might be in the hero ingredient. Humectants are another important ingredient to look for in your products not just in the winter, but for year-round hydration. Humectants, which are ingredients that attract water, include glycerin, hyaluronic acid, allantoin, shea butter, and coconut oil. For the ultimate hydration, utilize the ultra hydrating properties of manuka honey, shea butter, and coconut oil combined in a natural face and body cream.
5. Using Too Much Moisturizer
Most people experience dry or flaky skin in winter climates. To combat this, you may end up over-moisturizing or even using the wrong type of moisturizer for your skin. If you have blemish-prone skin you need to be extra cautious because the wrong moisturizer may cause congestion, bumps, and breakouts.
Not sure how to begin searching for your go-to winter moisturizer? Look for the following on the ingredients label when selecting your skin care products: Hyaluronic acid, sorbitol, or exfoliating humectants like glycolic or lactic acid.
6. Incorporate the Right Acne Products into Your Skin Care Routine
All of this isn't to say that you can't reach for the common acne-targeting ingredients during the winter — just make sure that you're picking the right ones, and more importantly, in the right formulation.
It's a myth that you have to exclusively use drying agents like calamine, alcohol, or benzoyl peroxide on acne. Dry acne needs balance and moisturization with serums and moisturizers. Incorporate a hydrating serum to keep skin from drying out.
While it can never hurt to book an appointment with a trusted dermatologist to discuss other forms of treatment, the great thing about acne products nowadays is that many options are available without a prescription. Salicylic acid-based products are also great at calming acne without over-drying if you need a little extra boost But, you may be surprised to see how you need nothing else but Wild Naturals skin care to maintain your acne and say bye bye to it in any season!