Treating Winter Acne Flare Ups

When the leaves begin to fall from the trees and the temperature drops, you may notice you've been having more breakouts than usual, even though your complexion seems dry and flaky. Does dry skin cause acne? While summer months tend to be hot and humid, cold weather creates dry air that can lead to dry skin. In response, your body produces more oil, which can clog pores and lead to blemishes. In addition, the impact of frigid air on the skin's moisture barrier makes it difficult for your complexion to ward off acne-causing bacteria. If this scenario sounds familiar, try these tips to keep your skin clear from the first frost to the first spring flowers.

Avoid Touching Your Face

Thick, heavy hand creams do wonders for dry winter skin, but they can wreak havoc when they come in contact with the face. These pore-clogging formulas can combine with bacteria from your hands to create sudden acne breakouts. Resist the temptation to touch your face or any existing blemishes, which can make matters worse. Instead of squeezing a pimple or treating it with harsh medicated cream, look for an organic blemish treatment that reduces inflammation, removes bacteria and relieves pain and redness.

Switch to a Gentle Cleanser

A fragrance-free natural face wash clears pore-clogging dirt and debris without further compromising the skin's moisture barrier. Look for a formula with soothing botanicals and plant extracts that provides a deep clean without stripping the healthy natural oils that provide hydration and protection. If exfoliation is a part of your normal routine, skip it if your skin is super dry. Otherwise, cut back from a few times a week to just once to prevent irritation.

Use an Oil-Free Moisturizer

Formulas without oil give your skin much-needed hydration without exacerbating dry skin acne. Apply a product with SPF to shield your skin from UV rays, which can still cause damage even if it seems like days since you've seen the sun. Use moisturizer morning and night after washing your face but while skin is still wet so you can seal in hydration!

Invest in a Humidifier

Combat dry skin by placing a humidifier in your home. This small plug-in appliance adds moisture to the air, which will in turn hydrate your complexion. For best results, keep your thermostat set between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, since warmer temperatures indoors can also be drying.

Limit Hot Showers

While you may crave a long session in a steamy shower when the days are short and gray, the heat can really dry out your skin. What's more, the water removes natural oils and may create redness and inflammation if you have a sensitive complexion. During the winter, limit showers to less than 10 minutes.

Reduce Stress

If you feel anxious or overwhelmed as the holiday season approaches, these emotions could also contribute to breakouts. When you feel stressed, try meditation, deep breathing, yoga, aromatherapy or whatever helps you rest and reset. Take time each day to do something just for you and don't give in to the pressure to attend every festive engagement if you need a break.

Now that you know what causes acne breakouts to become more prevalent in the winter months, you're ready to fight back. These winter skincare tips can serve as the basis of your cold-weather complexion regimen.