Cold weather zaps away moisture and this is not good for our skin. Sometimes it’s easy to confuse oily skin with moisturized skin, but they shouldn’t be considered the same. Colder months can really dry out the skin, but this doesn’t necessarily apply to a decrease in skin oiliness. Skin can still be oily but low in hydration. In fact, dry, irritated skin can lead to an increase in oil production leading to clogged pores and breakouts. This is why it’s so important to keep your skin moisturized during the colder fall months. It’s best to apply moisturizer right after washing your face and applying your acne treatment to lock in hydration. Depending on the dryness of your skin, it also might be a good idea to switch from a moisturizer to a cream to provide a stronger barrier for increased skin hydration. This will also help improve your skin barrier function to make your skin more tolerable for acne treatment products. And, we can’t stress enough that the best way to hydrate your skin is to hydrate your body. Drink up that water!
No matter what time of the year it is, if you have acne-prone skin, you need to exfoliate! Clogged pores lead to acne and daily, gentle exfoliation works to remove dead skin cells and keep those pores unclogged. Again, gentle exfoliation is key since too harsh of an exfoliant can irritate the skin and cause redness, dryness and worsen acne. Chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid and glycolic acid at lower concentrations work the best for daily use, but of course, always follow with a hydrating moisturizer. As an added plus, daily exfoliation will help brighten your skin and reduce dark spots and acne scars over time if used consistently. Just don’t overdo it. Gentle is key!
Switch to a gentle cleanser and acne treatment
Dry skin can lead to a weakened skin barrier and, therefore, make your skin more sensitive to topical acne treatments and increase redness and dryness. Many commonly used acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide and sulfur can really dry out your skin, which can lead to more redness and irritation than when used in the summer months with higher humidity. This is why, especially for fall and winter months, you want to use a gentle cleanser with a lower pH and an acne treatment product that is gentle and hydrating.
Cold weather and thick sweaters can make that second helping of pie much more enticing during the fall and winter months. Sweets high in sugar and fats, and delicious salty soups and breads are all fall favorites but remember to have everything in moderation! Foods high in sodium and sugars can contribute to breakouts so if that extra piece of pumpkin bread is just too irresistible, remember to drink lots of water and fill the rest of your meals with wholesome nutritious foods.