Dryness, Acne & the Winter Blues…

It’s particularly challenging to manage acne during the winter months.  The outdoor cold coupled with dry heat from homes, businesses and cars cause moisture loss and skin becomes tight and dry.  This dryness stimulates the oil glands to produce more oil.  The excess oils subsequently accumulate and solidify in the pores, mixing with dead cells on the surface to form waxy plugs.  Add bacteria and you’ve got blackheads! 

An acne breakout can take the form of blackheads, pustules, cysts or any combination of those.  It can negatively impact a person’s life by lowering their self-esteem and changing the way they are perceived by others because of their altered appearance.  But you can battle winter dryness and the acne associated with it by following a simple skin care routine and changing some basic lifestyle behaviors.

Daily cleansing and hydration is crucial in winter months.  Look for products without major irritants like fragrance, alcohol, lanolin, dyes and propylene glycol.  Use an exfoliating cleanser that’s gentle but effective. Wash and rinse your skin in cool water, not hot, because hot water tends to dehydrate skin even more.  If you are using a topical prescription, you might want to try a gentle cleanser without exfolients and use a tonic with ingredients like multi-fruit acids, zinc and non-alcoholic witch hazel after cleansing. 

Hydration is the most important part of your winter regimen.  Use a water based moisturizer with hyaluronic acid (they should be the first and second ingredients listed to ensure high concentrations of both) and apply a thin film dail in the AM and PM to keep skin healthy and hydrated.  An enzyme mask used once or twice a week is a gentle way to lift dead cells and dried surface skin without dehydrating or irritating the skin underneath.

Other tips for battling winter dryness and acne:

  • Use a humidifier to keep moisture in the air of your bedroom
  • drink 8-10 glasses of water a day, every day
  • Don’t rub skin and avoid tight turtlenecks and scarves, because friction causes pimples
  • Keep hair out of your face
  • Wipe your cell phone often to remove oils and bacteria
  • Don’t use topical or oral steroids since its known to aggravate acne
  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, especially ones that have zinc

If you do get a pimple:

  • apply a dot of pure tea tree oil on pimples or pustules to kill the bad bacteria but not the good
  • Dont touch the affected areas unless your hands are clean
  • Don’t squeeze the skin beneath!

Don’t let winter dryness and acne get you down, follow a winter regimen like the one above to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.  If you are not already using it, dermHA’s enzyme mask is a perfect addition to your winter skin care regimen.  Go to http://www.dermha.com/ to learn more about our other hydrating products. 

Stay Beautiful,
Millie