How To Prevent Winter Skin Breakout, Acne And Dry Skin

3 women with great skinThere are many basic things that we can do directly to our skin to help reduce winter breakouts, from basics like don’t touch your face to changing up your skin care products. However, there are a number of actions we can take on a daily basis to help our skin, like staying hydrated, turning down the central heating, and potentially even making some time for ourselves. Stay skin safe this winter and enjoy healthy skin all winter long.

Winter can be hard on your skin. Dryness and breakouts can be common in the colder months, with 11% of us reporting increased acne over the winter period. As the dry winter weather and time indoors can dehydrate our skin, we often combat this with skin treatments that may make breakouts worse.

“Acne breakouts are common during winter months,” Pharmacist Stuart Gale from Oxford Online Pharmacy tells, “in the drier weather our skin will produce more sebum, a natural oil that hydrates the skin but can also block pores and increase breakouts. All of this combined can wreak havoc on the health of our skin.”

Fed up of winter skin breakout? Here are some tips and advice to manage your skincare regime through the winter months.

Don’t Overwash Your Skin

As counterintuitive as it sounds, washing too much will dry out your skin. As your skin is already extra dry over the winter months, your twice-daily face wash may be too much. If you reduce your wash to once an evening to wash off makeup and the grime of the day, this could stop dryness and any subsequent breakouts. If you are prone to body breakouts and a once a day wash still makes you breakout, try to limit your use of soaps to those necessary areas and use clear water everywhere else.

Go Outside

Dry skin over the winter months can be associated with dry indoor air, as central heating can dehydrate our skin. Go outside as much as possible over the winter months (protecting yourself from the sun, of course). Fresh air oxygenates the skin and facilitates healthy sebum and collagen production. Be sure to wrap up in excessively cold weather and wear SPF, but going outside is an essential part of a healthy skin regime. Exercising outdoors is also a great way to give your body the fresh air it needs.

Stop Touching Your Face

On average we touch our faces over 20 times a day. As a species we frequently touch a large number of public things like doorknobs, surfaces and other people. Putting this on your face can spread grease, grime and all sorts onto your pores and clog them up, leading to winter breakout. Add to the fact we may be moisturising our hands, and the breakouts can only get worse. There are a few theories as to why we do this – potentially as a comfort mechanism. If you are prone to stress-touching your face, sanitise a fidget spinner and use these instead.

Try A Non-Medicated Cleanser

Medicated cleansers to treat acne may have the opposite effect in winter. They can often be dehydrating, stripping the skin of moisture. Cleansers that claim to remove excess oil can also dehydrate the skin over the colder months. Try a gentler or unmedicated cleanser and avoid putting stronger products on your skin. Talk to your dermatologist if you are having problems with your cleanser choice.

Change Your Moisturising Regime

Upping your moisturising over the winter months can help rehydrate your skin with the moisture it is desperately missing. Rather than use a heavier cream, explore a different range of products to apply layers of protection to the skin (like one with SPF). If you find that a change in moisturiser leads you to break out, you might actually be moisturising too much. Find a cream and a routine that works for your skin and doesn’t clog or under hydrate your pores.

Stay Hydrated

Over the winter, we tend to switch to the cosy and warm drinks like coffee, or hot chocolate. But don’t neglect your eight cups of water a day to keep your skin dewy fresh. If you find it hard to drink cold fluids over the winter months, try a herbal tea over a caffeinated beverage to stay hydrated, or drink infused hot water. Drinking lots of water over winter not only has the benefit of improving your skin but can act as a helpful boost against winter colds and flu.

Protect Yourself From The Sun

We still need to protect ourselves from the sun over the winter months. Wearing suncream 365 days a year can also prevent coarse or lined skin and combat some of the signs of aging. If you’re already prone to acne or on acne-based treatment, protection from the sun is even more important. Use an SPF of at least 30 for adequate coverage from the winter sun. There is a range of sunscreen you can choose from that best helps your skin, from non-oily to natural-based products.

Be Careful Indoors

Indoor heating can dry out the skin, as can extended hot showers. Limit the length of your showers and don’t max out the heating as a way of preventing winter skin breakout. Always use a dehumidifier and switch your heating off or turn it on to low overnight to prevent dried out skin. Buy some blankets rather than keep your heating on overly high every night.

Relax Over Winter

While stress is not directly linked to breakouts, studies suggest that acne may be made worse by those already prone to acne. Take some time out this winter and have a break. You may find that winter is a more stressful time at work in the run-up to the end of the year, so be kind to yourself. Make some time to relax and spend time with your loved ones over the winter period, and hopefully your skin will thank you in the long run.

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