Acne is that guest who shows up uninvited at the worst time. You also probably thought your breakouts would settle down in the fall because less sweat means fewer clogged pores, which means less zits, right? Well, not exactly.
If you’ve suddenly found yourself dealing with breakouts, you aren’t alone. Aside from the stress of school and work that can cause a spike in acne (due to an increase of the “stress hormone” cortisol), the seasonal shift can also contribute to pimples and boosted dryness. And if you thought you’ve aged out of zits, think again. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, acne continues to affect adults aged 30 to 60.
As the weather cools down, now’s the perfect time to do an inventory of your skincare. Think about swapping in products that will soothe and protect your skin while also keeping breakouts at bay. Here’s what you need to know about dealing with seasonal acne and the best skincare routine for acne.
Can acne be seasonal?
As the days start to get shorter and the weather becomes brisker, you may start to notice some less-than-favourable changes in your skin. For instance, your skin might feel tight or appear drier than usual, or if you’re acne-prone, your pimples might be more inflamed than ever. But is seasonal acne a thing? And can weather affect acne? According to skin experts, yes! These adverse changes in your skin, including seasonal acne, can be attributed to the transition of seasons.
The skin, no matter what type it is, thrives on consistency. And when we shift from summer to fall, both temperature and humidity take a nosedive, so it must work harder to maintain adequate hydration as the cold weather sets in. If you have oily and acne-prone skin, the drier the conditions, the more sebum your skin will produce to compensate—and the more likely you’ll suffer from clogged pores and breakouts.
How to treat acne
If the seasonal switch has left you struggling to get your acne under control and you’re wondering how to treat breakouts, step number one is: keep your pores clean. You need to ensure that you’re acing the basics before moving on to any kind of treatment. Start by gentle, diligent cleansing, both day and evening.
The right cleanser can help treat blemishes before they become unmanageable. Look for oil-free and water-based cleansers and scan the ingredient list for things like salicylic acid, which can help decrease inflammation and smooth skin. Enter Normaderm PhytoAction Daily Deep Cleansing Gel. Packed with exfoliating salicylic acid, it also contains other hard-working ingredients such as zinc, which has anti-inflammatory properties that help to relieve some of the redness and irritation associated with acne.
But there’s more to acne treatment products than just finding the perfect wash ’n’ go cleanser. Kick-start your blemish-busting skincare routine and learn how to treat acne quickly by regularly exfoliating skin, once or twice a week. Exfoliating helps to brighten your complexion while preventing pores from clogging, lightening acne spots and banishing blackheads and whiteheads. But it’s not just how often you exfoliate that’s important; it’s also what you’re using to get rid of that dead skin before it settles into your pores. Look for chemical exfoliators with ingredients like glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid.
Another product to have in your pimple-fighting roaster come fall is a trusty acne spot treatment—especially if you don’t break out in clusters but have the occasional pimple or blemish instead. Normaderm S.O.S Acne Rescue Spot Corrector, containing glycolic acid, 10% sulfur and niacinamide, helps kill bacteria and dry zits overnight.
How to prevent seasonal acne
There are a few things folks with oily and acne-prone skin can do to set themselves up for success—and even sidestep the dreaded cycle of seasonal acne.
Refresh Your Routine
Swap your moisturizer
For starters, consider opting for a slightly heavier moisturizer. This may seem counterintuitive for acne prevention but slathering on a traditional gel-based moisturizer won’t have the same effect in fall and winter.
Cooler weather slows down sebum production, and harsh weather conditions paired with indoor heating can leave skin more sensitive. These fluctuations can cause inflammation, which is one of the main factors in the formation of acne. Try adding Normaderm PhytoAction Acne Control Daily Moisturizer to your routine. The serum-like lotion works to fight (and prevent) acne while boosting the skin’s barrier function. It’s also packed with salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid and probiotics to clear skin and add hydration.
Stop touching your face
A simple way (in theory) to help prevent breakouts is to keep your hands off your face. On a daily basis, our hands come into contact with tons of things—and living on those things is bacteria, which can transfer to your face and easily create a zit. This, combined with heavier hand creams (which are often formulated with a lot of oils and occlusive ingredients) and weather that weakens our skin barrier, is a recipe for pimples.
Avoid hot showers
We know that central heating can zap our skin of moisture, but so can hot showers. In fact, hot water can strip skin of natural oils and healthy bacteria; this weakens the skin barrier, allowing moisture out and letting the bad stuff in. Dryness also triggers the sebaceous glands, so they produce more sebum, worsening pre-existing acne or causing breakouts.