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Here’s Why You Get More Acne During Fall & Winter

If you’ve noticed a change in the amount of breakouts now that we’re heading into colder weather, you’re not alone. 

Keep reading to find out why breakouts seem to get worse in the driest months of the year and how you can prevent and combat fall and winter acne. 

The colder weather can take a toll on our skin. The dry air and harsh winds can turn our skin red, dry, uneven and inflamed. Did you know that fall and winter acne is actually a thing? And for those who battle blemishes year-round, breakouts can worsen during these drier months. 

Dry, cold air draws moisture out of the skin via the skin barrier. Once your skin senses this dryness, it reacts by producing an excess of sebum and oil — causing acne and pimples to flare up. An overproduction of sebum can cause skin cells to clump together and — you guessed it — clog pores, creating pimples. Sebum aside, inflammation, irritation and breakouts can also be caused by a decreased amount of fresh air exposure. Hence why these can be considered the worst seasons for pimples! 

So, how can you combat seasonal acne flare ups? 

The easiest way to avoid seasonal acne is to prevent it through proper hydration. Using occlusive oils will work to create a barrier on the outer layer out the skin, sealing in moisture, preventing transepidermal water loss and keeping the skin barrier protected. By sufficiently hydrating the skin, our sebaceous glands won’t overproduce oil and sebum (so yes, facial oils in the fall and winter are great for oily skin types too). Using thicker facial oils in the winter not only will protect against dryness but will also protect the skin from environmental stressors that can cause acne, such as wind, pollution, irritants etc. Restore Facial Oil is our cold weather go-to. 

Use gentle cleansers. Avoid hot baths and showers that rob the skin of necessary oils — especially if you’re washing your face in the shower. Use lukewarm water instead. Make sure to also avoid harsh cleansers that compromise the skin barrier and instead use light, gentle cleansers (we prefer plant-powered cleansing balms) that won’t strip the skin of it’s natural oils and will give your skin a hydrated base to follow with your serums and oils. We love the non-toxic balms from Midnight Paloma and Glow Recipe

Exfoliate regularly. There can be a big misconception that only certain skin types need to exfoliate, but that’s not true. Everyone needs help sloughing off dead skin cells — even dry and sensitive skin types. The key is to avoid over-exfoliating as it can cause more harm than good. Winter can exacerbate dry skin issues, and in turn, the need to exfoliate. If you have sensitive skin opt for once a week, otherwise you can gently exfoliate up to 3x times per week. Reach for a gentle exfoliant (like our Detox Clay Mask) to help clear out your pores and reduce breakouts. 

Use a humidifier. A great way to avoid dry skin and acne is by keeping a humidifier running in you home. This will restore the humidity to an optimal level and keep your skin hydrated and healthy. We love this one from vitruvi. 

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