We blame a lot on bad weather. It's why we're late, it's why we're grumpy, it's why we're broke (well, shopping is therapeutic) and it's why our skin breaks out. Your skin really does react to the weather and even blemish-prone, oily or combination skin can break out as temperatures drop. When the north wind doth blow, we may not actually have snow but there is the increased chance of skin woes.
There are a number of reasons why skin breaks out in winter. Today we're here to explain why this happens and to offer solutions as to how to avoid the dreaded silly season spot.
1. Changing weather
Unless you are able to make like a bear and hibernate, it's really hard to avoid the weather. Your skin is the one part of your body that is in contact with the elements at all times of year and it is especially vulnerable when seasons change. The combination of low temperatures, wind, rain, sleet and snow stresses your poor skin out and makes it difficult to maintain balance resulting in an increase in skin issues like breakouts.
If you experience more blemishes after being out and about in the harsh winter environment, you may need to reduce the amount of time you spend outside. You may also need to be kinder to your skin and give it some extra attention.
2. Central heating
When the temperature is low outside, on goes the central heating in our homes and work place and in restaurants and shops. While it's lovely to warm yourself up by the radiator, it's not doing your skin any favours. Artificial heat zaps moisture out of the air which can dry out your skin leading to breakouts, as the layer of dead cells on the skin's surface can clog pores and prevent sebum's flow.
One way to give your skin a break from central heating is to buy a humidifier for your home. It will rebalance moisture levels in the air so that you can stay warm without worrying about the effect artificial heat is having on your skin. Because you can't bring your own personal humidifier into every artificially heated space you step into, pop a small thermal water spray into your handbag to top up your skin's humidity levels when you are on the go.
3. Dry skin build-up
Your skin is hardier than it looks so you can still exfoliate during the winter months. Use a mild scrub or chemical exfoliant to gently wipe away any dead cell build-up to allow your pores to flow freely, and always moisturise well afterwards. During the winter, it's best to exfoliate the skin twice a week to ensure your skin can absorb the moisture it needs.
4. Lack of sleep and stress
It's lovely to glance at a calendar full of events and parties and reunions and the like - but it's also pretty stressful. Your body feels less active around this time of year due to the short days and pushing yourself to go about your daily business while fitting in all the extra meet-ups can leave you feeling exhausted and stressed out, and it can start to show on your skin.
You should enjoy this time of year but there's no need to burn the candle at both ends. Partying with your nearest and dearest is great fun, but so is staying in and sitting by a roaring fire having the chats (or watching the soaps).
5. Neglecting your skin care routine
When your hectic festive schedule and the short period of daylight leaves you feeling tuckered out, it's easy just to collapse into bed at night without completing your usual skin care routine. Blemishes are not far from the horizon when you skip your skin care steps since your pores won't be cleared of dead cells and oils.
There's only one solution; always leave time to cleanse and moisturise your skin every evening. When you're really short on time, try multi-taskers like micellar water.
6. Changing products
Swapping your summer moisturiser for a more nourishing one in winter can cause problems for your skin if you don't choose the right formula for your skin type. A product containing lots of oil used on blemish-prone skin can block pores resulting in breakouts.
Always make sure the products you use are formulated for your skin-type and ensure that it is non-comedogenic, to reduce the risk of clogged pores. Products with a light, fluid texture will sink into your skin easily without leaving an oily residue.
7. Updated hairstyles and make up
The new season harks a new look for a lot of people but if you change or add new hair or make up products to your routine, your skin can break out.
A general rule of thumb to avoid breakouts caused by makeup and hair products is to keep waxy or thick products away from the base of your hairline when you can.
8. Hats and scarves
Pulling on a stylish beret and coiling a massive woolly scarf around you is a sure fire way to stay cosy and look cute in winter. Until you break out that is. Hats that sit on the forehead and scarves that cover the face can trap oil - and by now you know exactly what that means.
Washing hats and scarves regularly will remove oil and dirt that could transfer onto your skin and taking them off as soon as you step inside will help skin breathe. It's better to avoid wearing the same hat and scarf every day and to choose natural fabrics when you can. And if that means going shopping for a few more woolly bits then so be it!
Brought to you by La Roche-Posay, committed to a better life for sensitive skin and recommended by dermatologists. Find out more about which products are right for your skin type at http://www.laroche-posay.ie/