How To Treat Acne Differently In The Winter, According To Experts

Acne is a wily foe and can change daily, yet alone seasonally. Folks who suffer with acne might wonder how to treat acne differently in the winter, because the colder months bring a whole host of different problems with them. If you're someone whose skin stays vaguely stable year round, you need to tell the rest of us your secret. During summer your skin can be affected by sunburn, sweat, sea salt, and chlorine to name a few. But winter is a whole different story: The wrath of winter is ferocious and it unleashes its fury on us mere humans in a variety of ways. In terms of beauty, winter can dry out your hair and your skin. There are a ton of ways that winter wreaks havoc on your skin and causes it to dry out, including the cold air, hot showers, and not exfoliating. Winter is a pretty cruel mistress.

Adriana Martino, co-founder of SKINNEY Medspa, tells Bustle over email, "Treating acne can be tricky, especially in the winter months where your skin can be extra dry. The best advice I can give is to keep your skin hydrated."

With Martino's advice in mind, here's a myriad of professional tips on how to treat acne differently in the winter.

1. Swap To A Gentle Cleanser

Esthetician at Haven Spa, Monique Romatowski, advises to use a gentle cleanser. In an email to Bustle she says, "During the winter months if you are using cleansers or acne spot treatments that are high in benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, then it will cause your skin to produce more oil to compensate for over drying, causing clogged pores and breakouts."

2. Try Doxycycline

"Doxycycline is a great prescription oral antibiotic that helps with acne," explains dermatologist Dr. Janet Prystowsky over email. "Unfortunately, it does make our skin more sensitive to sunlight, so I often don’t prescribe it during the summer," she elaborates.

"During the winter, however, we’re rarely exposed to enough sunlight to get a serious reaction. If you have trouble with your acne during the winter, you can ask your dermatologist about prescribing you Doxycycline. Make sure that you do not ski, work outside, or otherwise spend an extended period of time outside while taking Doxycycline," advises Dr. Prystowsky.

3. Keep Your PH Balance Neutral

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"What happens when your skin is over-dried? Your body starts to rapidly over compensate by overproducing oil, thus clogging your skin even more!” Says Martino.

She adds that the remedy lies in keeping your PH balance of your skin neutral by following these steps…

  • Start by cleansing your skin, "I personally recommend a foaming wash that will help clean your skin without stripping or over drying it," says Martino.
  • Next up involves toning your skin, "this will help to remove any dirt and residue that the cleanser didn't get," she says.
  • Exfoliating with salicylic/glycolic wipes should follow. "I recommend our Medspa in a Chemical Peel In A Bottle pads," Martino says, "these pads have just the right amount of exfoliation but will not over dry your skin. They also kill any bacteria on your skin's surface to help get rid of the breakouts."
  • "Next use a hydration serum and/or an oil free moisturizer," Martino recommends, "I love our Water Molecule In A Bottle because it helps to lock in moisture to keep your skin supple yet not oily."
  • Finally, Martino explains acne sufferers need to spot treat the breakout with any benzoyl peroxide or any salicylic acne treatment. "Clinique has a good one," she says, "if you are really inflamed I would use a drop of hydrocortisone cream topically or injections with your dermatologist, especially if you have some big night out or holiday party!"

4. Fight Acne With Blue Visible Light

"Sunlight helps with acne, but we rarely spend as much time outside in the winter as we do in the summer. The sun also shines at a different angle during the winter, meaning the rays that do reach us are less potent," explains Dr. Prystowsky, "my office uses a device called Blu-U. Unlike sunlight, it can help fight acne safely with blue visible light."

5. Change Your Moisturizer

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Romatowski tells me that you may need to swap your moisturizer to keep your skin from drying out. "Products I recommend would be a Ultraluxe Acai Cleanser, Ultraluxe Hydrasoft Clear Moisturizer, and Plum 2 in 1 For All Skin Types Moisturizer," she says.

6. Change Up Your Routine

"If you are using products with benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, or salicylic acid, then you will need to change your routine up during the winter. The drying effects of these ingredients tends to be exacerbated in cold weather, so you may want to use them less often or add a moisturizer to your routine," says Dr. Prystowsky.

With a few simple tweaks, the experts prove it's easy to continue fighting acne during winter!

Images: 2230405 (1) /Pixabay; averie woodard (1), Anete Lūsiņa (1), Quentin Keller (1), Taylor Boggs (1) /Unsplash; Courtesy Brands (2)