Acne and pimples may be more prevalent in the winter — but can you prevent them?
When winter bites, and skin becomes dry, blemishes, flare-ups and breakouts can strike. It’s hard enough dealing with cold weather and dark evenings, but skin problems can make late autumn and winter seem even tougher.
So why does it happen? Well, when it’s cold outside, there is less moisture in the environment; the skin is starved of oils, moisture leaks from the skin and this causes dryness. The skin becomes less able to fight bacteria and infection because its natural moisture barrier is compromised, and acne can take hold.
Can you prevent it?
You might not be able to completely prevent or control acne and breakouts, as the winter weather may not be the only cause, but there are preventative measures you can take at this time of year.
Anything you can do to stop your skin from drying out is a bonus: so no long baths or showers, and avoid having your central heating on full blast.
Moisturiser is a must and layering products that suit your skin type can be beneficial: some dermatologists say that acne-prone skin is better suited to layers of lighter moisturiser, than a very heavy or rich cream.
Face touching is another no-no. As well as being the perfect way to introduce grease and bacteria from your phone, door handles, bus rails, etc. to your face, using greasy winter hand creams, and then touching your face, can also cause issues: these products are often formulated with lots of oil, which can exacerbate acne.
Face masks are now a fact of life – as is ‘maskne’: wearing your face mask in winter, if you’re prone to seasonal breakouts, may attract double trouble. Make sure you only ever wear a clean mask and keep your face regularly cleansed too, to avoid congestion and build-up of debris. Choose a natural material, rather than synthetic, and look for a mask that keeps your mouth and nose covered without being too tight, or pinching your skin.
Will products help?
Thankfully, there are products that may help you to keep breakouts at bay and improve the appearance of acne. Here are just five of our favourites:
Dermalogica Active Clearing Retinol Clearing Oil is a high-performance night oil combining retinol and salicylic acid into one skin-soothing formula. It helps reduce visible signs of premature ageing and clear breakouts, soothing skin while addressing adult acne to deliver clearer, more vibrant skin overnight.
New from Avant, Proactive Salicylic Acne Imperfections Repair Treatment is clinically proven to help reduce acne and breakouts, and improve skin appearance whilst targeting acne bacteria. Lightweight and soothing, this moisturiser helps eradicate bacteria, oiliness and blackheads, leaving skin smooth, calmed and glowing.
A unique lotion for compromised skin, ES Skincare Problem Blemished Skin Lotion is made with a unique blend of essential oils. It works to balance the sebaceous glands that are generally overactive in problem skin, with antiseptic and regenerating properties to heal and stimulate the production of new skin cells. It absorbs quickly and will not block the pores.
Dermalogica’s daily, foaming Clear Start Flashfoliant exfoliates skin to reduce and prevent breakouts, refine pores, and even skin tone without using water – no rinse is required when you use this product. The leave-on, flash-foaming exfoliant helps to clear skin, with salicylic acid to help wipe out existing and future breakouts, tangerine peel extract to brighten dull skin and grape extract – a potent source of Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) – to exfoliate dead skin cells.
With a combination of active ingredients, Medik8’s Balance Moisturiser with Glycolic Acid Activator provides continuous hydration and anti-inflammatory properties, whilst controlling shine and oil production. A powerful formula, containing prebiotics and probiotics to stimulate the balance of the skin, it helps to eliminate blemish-causing bacteria, minimising acne outbreaks.