One dermatologist explains why you get acne in the winter and shares the best ways to treat it.
The cold weather takes a huge toll on our complexion. The dry air, harsh temps and sharp winds turn our skin red, splotchy, dry and uneven—and it doesn’t end there for some of us. Winter acne is a thing, and for those who battle blemishes year-round, breakouts can worsen during the frosty months. Sounds weird, right? Shouldn’t we be breaking out more in the heat, when we sweat? To help us understand winter acne and find a way to treat it, we’re turned to Dr. Benjamin Barankin, Toronto dermatologist and spokesperson of the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada, for help so we can welcome the new year with a fresh start face.
Why am I breaking out in the winter?
The main culprit to blame is the dry air. “There’s less humidity and moisture in the winter air, so your skin can become more irritable, dull and flaky,” says Dr. Barankin. “During the cold weather, what happens is your oil glands try to counteract the dry environmental air and start to over-secrete oil, resulting in breakouts and sometimes the appearance of larger looking pores.”
The reason your skin is better during the summer months is that a bit of sunlight can soothe blemishes. “The sun itself has some anti-inflammatory properties, so the lack of a strong sun in the winter time can cause acne to flare on the face in particular.” Time to book that winter getaway, right? (But that doesn’t mean you should ever skip your daily dose of SPF—it’s the best way to prevent premature aging and sun damage, as well as more serious concerns like skin cancer.)
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Credit: By Alyssia Tria, CanadianLiving.com