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During the winter, people typically experience drier skin due to a number of factors, including cold and windy weather and central heating. The exposure to drastic temperature changes tends to dry out the skin (actually not just on your face but also on your entire body), often resulting in dead, flaky skin cells, which can clog pores and lead to breakouts in places you did not think you could ever break out. People who struggle with acne may experience flare-ups more frequently, and sufferers of eczema or rosacea may experience more intense symptoms such as itchy skin and redness in dry and cold weather, which may require a little extra care.
Some people with normally clear skin may have problems with acne in the winter. This is referred to as “seasonal acne.” Regardless of the skin type, acne symptoms are usually exacerbated during the winter, which is why people suffering from the aforementioned skin issues should adjust daily skin care routines during the winter season. Below are easy to follow tips to help keep your skin healthy and moisturized amid the harsh, bitter-cold winter winds. (*Note for AcnEase® users: AcnEase® will not further dry or irritate skin during treatment as most of the topical products especially those containing salicylic acid, alcohol or Benzoyl Peroxide will do, and will target only the source of the problem with no side effects.)
Invest in a humidifier. For starters, getting yourself a humidifier will be one huge step towards hydration. Simply turn it on while you sleep, and wake up to soothed and supple skin. The surface of our skin gets dryer as the air does, so keeping adequate moisture in the environment helps skin, hair and your throat from becoming too dry.
Clean, Gently. Keeping your skin clean is very important during the winter season. Why? During the winter, the air is full of loose dust, dirt and debris, and these particles can get stuck on your face and skin, especially when you’ve applied moisturizer and skin creams. It’s important to find a gentle, soap-free cleanser that won’t dry out your complexion, but will still keep environmental stressors from lingering. A cleanser containing aloe can moisturize and tighten your skin while it cleans. You can also refer to other, all-natural skin cleaning products such as plain milk, yogurt, and chickpea powder, which can make for a cost-effective way to remove dirt and grease without over-drying.
Moisturize the Skin You’re In. During the cold, dry winters, moisturizing is an important step in an acne skin care routine. Chilled and dried out air zaps moisture from your skin, causing the outer layer to dry out and crack. People of all skin types, including oily, combination and acne-prone skin, should use moisturizers on a daily basis. People naturally inclined to dry skin may want to reach for an even thicker moisturizing formula during the winter, while those with oily, combination or acne-prone skin should use lighter formulas, such as moisturizing gels and lotions that hydrate without clogging pores.
A vitamin E-based moisturizer can not only keep your skin soft, smooth, and younger looking, but may also contribute to the healing of acne scars, and is widely used by many with acne-prone skin. A good quality night cream containing olive oil extracts or royal jelly extract may repair the surface as you sleep. A cod liver oil supplement can be taken orally to hydrate skin from within, while offering a rich dose of vitamins, DHA, and omegas that nourish the skin, hair and nails. For those who like to DIY, thick and luscious coconut oil can make for an excellent way to treat dry skin, and its delicious scent can take you away to sunnier times, even if just in your mind!
Treat Yourself to a Fruity Facial. Treating your skin to a bit of nourishment on a regular basis is crucial to keeping your complexion glowing and radiant. By using the hydrating and vitamin-rich power of fruit, you can offer your skin an extra dose of love and care, as well as protection from the elements with a simple, DIY acne facial treatment. Fruits such as vitamin C-rich papaya or mango, antioxidant heavy strawberries or grapes, or the hydrating and potassium-rich power of banana can be whipped up in a flash, costing you mere pennies. Simply add fruit to a dollop of plain, organic yogurt in a blender and blend until smooth. Feel free to add some anti-bacterial honey to hydrate as well. Mix well and apply on your face, rinsing off with lukewarm water after 15-20 minutes. For the best results, apply the fruit-pack at least once a week to your face and neck.
Treat from Within. If you’re looking to add some skin-saving ingredients to the food on your plate, flaxseed oil is one of the best sources of plant-derived, inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil reduces skin sensitivity, roughness, and scaling of the skin. Moreover, it will smooth the skin and increase the hydration. Eating foods and drinking beverages rich in vitamin C as well as supplements lowers the risk of wrinkles, dryness, and thinning of the skin. Most importantly, drinking at least 8 cups of water a day will work to keep your skin hydrated and prevent dryness of your skin. If water is boring to you, add some lime or lemon and few cubes of ice, garnish with fresh mint and drop in few raspberries. You get a refreshing “new water” and the feeling of summer with it.
What to Avoid. As always, anyone with acne should beware of skincare products containing dyes or fragrance, as these artificial ingredients can irritate the skin, exacerbating seasonal skin conditions. Makeup containing certain types of oils and waxes may clog pores and lead to more acne breakouts, so always check ingredients for parabens or mineral oil. Instead, look for labels marked non-comedogenic, which contain ingredients that will not clog pores.
Keep these quick tips in mind. During the winter, people should take simple steps to clear and prevent acne breakouts. Long, hot showers should be avoided during the winter, as they will dry the skin. Using exfoliating products every day will most likely irritate the skin. Rubbing the skin vigorously while cleaning may spread the bacteria on the face and increase the incidence of breakouts. If you feel that exfoliation is for you, try to use mild dead skin “dissolvers” rather that harsh scrubs (papaya is an excellent natural exfoliator that “dilutes” dead skin cells)
Note to AcnEase® users: A total overhaul of your life isn’t needed to maintain a healthy complexion, and with AcnEase® working from within 24/7, any of these suggestions can work as a wonderful supplement to your system, whatever the weather outside is feeling like.
We want to hear from you! What do you do to keep the winter blues away and off of your skin? Tell us in the comments below!