With winter in full effect, the lack of moisture and humidity along with harsh winds can wreak havoc on your skin. And if acne has always been an issue for you, winter breakouts may be a common occurrence because contrary to popular belief, excessively dry skin causes acne.
How Dry Skin Causes Acne
People with oily skin usually have problems with acne because pimples are caused by excess sebum (oil) on the skin. However, when skin gets dry, it produces more oil to counterbalance the lack of moisture. That’s why people who have combination skin (e.g. dry skin with oily skin in the T-zone area) typically deal with even more breakouts in the winter.
And since acne is also a result of dead skin cells that accumulate and clog pores, dry skin causes flakiness, which can plug up the pores as they slough off. This poses a real problem for acne sufferers because their skin doesn’t have the natural ability to shed dead skin cells.
Exfoliation and Hydration Is Key
The key to preventing acne from worsening during dry, winter months is to keep your skin properly hydrated and renewed using moisturizers and exfoliators. Look for moisturizers that contain ingredients like glycerin, naturally extracted ingredients like jojoba oil or apricot kernel oil, ceramides and linoleic acid, and gentle exfoliators that slough off dead skin cells without irritating the skin.
Since physical exfoliators like facial scrubs can be too harsh on already inflamed, acneic skin, look for chemical exfoliators that contain salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acids as they are more effective on acne prone skin.
Be selective about ingredients and choose products carefully, and you’ll soon be on your way to a clear, healthy, balanced complexion for all seasons.