Photo by Enokson
Welcome back to “Winter Trilogy”. Today, we will be talking about the second episode: skincare tips for acne skin during the season (sorry that this post comes in a little bit late). Let’s jump right into it.
Not sure if you think the same: while everybody is almost horrified by the dryness and cold in the winter, I feel that the thought of developing more breakouts in an uncontrollable fashion in this season is more horrifying. This can cause the already-low mood –due to the weather- to sink to new low, which then leads to stress and anxiety, a primary reason to develop more acne. Do you see? There is the vicious cycle here: breakouts, stress and anxiety, more breakouts, more stress and anxiety…Fortunately, according to Tony Robbins, a big part of human motivation comes from the desire to avoid pain. So, if you do not like your circumstance right now (in this case, your current skin condition), you should be able to get a little motivated by now to religiously follow through an acne-fighting winter skincare routine (hopefully).
“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.” – Tony Robbins
With a little bit of motivation in place, let’s crack on!
Winter Skincare Tips to Stop New Breakouts
Photo by Marlon Malabanan
As I like to use keywords to summarize important concepts under one topic, I have prepared several key concepts here regarding what to do to control new breakout to help you memorize all the content you cannot ignore. They are: 1. exfoliating, 2. avoiding dehydrating activities, 3. avoiding pore clogging ingredients, 4. protecting your precious and delicate skin.
[Exfoliate]: As an important step to skincare all year round, exfoliation is particularly important during this dry season. As, in winter, it is easier to build up dead skin cells and cause skin inflammation, both potentially resulting in breakouts. Exfoliating the dead skin cells lays a crucial foundation to help skin absorb nutrition from moisturizers and keep it from external damage. Afterwards, try applying a creamy healing mask weekly – perhaps one with lavender in it.
[No pore clogging]: While some cosmetic dermatologists recommend looking for petroleum in skincare products, we should also use it with great caution, as petroleum is likely to clog pores and lead to new breakouts (I only use petroleum-based products on my lips. Since lips do not have follicles, there is no danger of clogging follicles and causing acne).
[Avoid dehydration]: Do not assume your summer skincare products work just as well in winter. If you still experience dry or flaky skin even after you apply your lotion, do not just let it be and hope for the best. If you do not pay attention the signal of dehydration your skin sends you, it will produce excessive oil, making it become more dehydrated and more acne-prone. So, get busy and look for creamier moisturizers. While staying in the hot shower can be comfortable and enjoyable, make sure the water is warm instead of hot; and avoid having the shower for too long (5-10 minutes would be ideal). Also, avoid scented products, as products like perfume are set in an alcoholic base, which also means it is very drying to your skin. Oh, another thing: as clay masks absorb oil, we should try to avoid that as well.
[Protect]: You may have known this already. But in case you haven’t – just because the winter sunshine does not seem bright enough during the day, it does not mean you should totally ignore your sunscreen. When you go out, apply a day cream with antioxidants and SPF (in the winter SPF 15 is enough) to protect your skin from ultraviolet rays and from pollution, so that you minimize the risk of triggering any skin disorders.
Winter Skincare Tips to Avoid Acne from Getting Worse
Photo by Howard Lake
The key concepts are: 1. avoiding harsh ingredients, 2. watching out to those fabrics that kiss your skin.
[Avoid harsh ingredients]: Let’s face this. It can be particularly hard to get on an anti-acne regimen without drying out the skin, since a lot of acne-fighting products are very drying, which can stimulate oil glands to produce more sebum and cause your acne to get worse. Try to be very careful about using ingredients with harsh ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or alcohol. Instead, consider ingredients such as witch hazel, rose, and a very gentle fruit acid. Make sure the step of moisturizing your skin immediately follows, which will be covered in more detail below.
[Watch out for what you wear]: Such fabrics as synthetic and even wool can be irritating to your skin. Keep an eye on them to see if that’s an issue for you, too. They can be fabrics from the clothes you are wearing, your scarves, your towel or your pillowcase.
Winter Skincare Tips to Heal Acne Skin
Photo by Hilts UK
Once you know how to stop new breakouts and how to prevent acne from getting worse, which are two essential prep lessons, you now can focus your energy on curing acne. Important notes that should stick with your memory are: 1. using acne fighting ingredients sparingly or avoiding them, 2. moisturizing with oil-based or antioxidant-rich ingredients.
[Red flags for acne fighting ingredients]: While in the warm show, wait until your skin is soft and your pores are open, scrub your face with an oil-free exfoliating wash that contains salicylic acid to unclog pores and fight acne (note that salicylic acid can be drying. That’s why the next step is crucial to protect your acne skin).
[Moisturize]: Immediately after the shower, apply a moisturizer that contains natural humectants. Hyaluronic acid, honey and royal jelly are some of the recommended ingredients that not only hydrate but also attract moisture from the air and form a protective barrier so water can’t escape. Also consider trying an oil-based moisturizer with non-comedongeic oils such as almond, avocado, coconut, olive or jojoba oils (I use argan oil mixed with jojoba oil during the day; and it works pretty well for me). Alternatively, you can look for antioxidant-rich products that contain lipoic acid and CoQ enzymes (which encourage cell turnover and circulation, and can help with the healing process).
Hooray! So far, you’ve already learned how to eat right for your winter skin and how to take care of your skin in the season. I hope you not only find these two articles informative and helpful; but also get started with at least one suggestion mentioned in the two posts. And, always remember doing is way more powerful than knowing.
Photo by Chris Florence
Later this week, I will be sharing the last episode of the Winter Trilogy: Winter Lifestyle Tips for Acne Skin, where some of the ancient Chinese wisdom will be revealed. Stay tuned!
Alright, the stage is back to you. What is the one skincare regime you use in this winter? How does that help your skin? I look forward to your sharing and learning from you, too ; )
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- Telegraph UK
- News Health
- Sophia Breene from Huffington Post Healthy Living
- Yahoo Anwers by Sahah Karimi
- Yahoo! Voices by Nancy Lichtenstein