Is Seasonal Acne Really a Thing?
Have you noticed there’s a time of year when you tend to experience more breakouts? If so, you are not alone. People with acne have complained about this phenomenon for years and referred to it as seasonal acne. It wasn’t until several studies in the early 2000’s when researchers and dermatologists confirmed Season Acne was not a myth, but rather a real thing.
Seasonal acne can be caused by a number of factors. Stress, diet, lifestyle and skin type play big roles in winter or summer flare ups. Perhaps in the winter, you are more stressed due to work or school pressures, or you eat worse around the holidays. Seasonal acne is also affected by outdoor temperatures. In the summer, increased sweating can encourage the growth of more skin bacteria, resulting in acne flare ups. Additionally, warm weather tends to make your skin produce more sebum (oil), which also feeds bacteria.
In the winter, the weather can be just as harsh on your skin. Moving from the warm indoors to cold outdoor temperatures can make your skin more sensitive and reactive – leading to increased inflammation and irritation. Additionally, the dryness of the season can cause excessive flaking and inflammation as well, which leads to more skin cell production. Remember pimples are formed by the retention of dead skin cells in the hair follicles.
In addition to the affects of weather, stress, diet, and lifestyle also play a role in your skin’s behavior.
Sun exposure during the summer damages your skin – resulting in more skin cells production. We know that makes new pimples form. Not to mention, late parties/decrease in sleep and alcoholic beverages/dehydration will negatively your skin if moderation is not practiced.
Winter typically brings your favorite chocolate boxes, holiday parties and feel-good comfort food. For some, the winter is especially troublesome and they experience SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which results in lethargy and lack of solid sleep. Bad food, lack of sleep and potentially less exercise than normal if Mother Nature comes down hard…. might just result in your seasonal acne breakout.
So what can you do if you experience seasonal acne?
1/ Maintain a healthy diet. Try to stay away from processed foods and sugar – only have them as an occasional treat. Fill your diet with fresh vegetables, especially those high in anti-oxidants to help ward off skin damage. Drink ALL your water. (We are talking MINIMUM 8 glasses people!)
2/ Maintain a lower stress level. Meditate. SLEEP. Don’t go to family functions if you don’t want to go. Manage your budget if that creates stress. Identify your stressors and try to mitigate or eliminate them.
3/ Stick to your skin care regime. If you are noticing that your skin care program that USED to work is not working as well, CALL or TEXT US (925.933.8425). We are here for you. We want to hear from you so we can change up your routine a little so that it will be more effective under your current life conditions. Once you figure out what that skin care routine is, stick to it. Like you have always heard: consistency is key.
4/ Consider using a humidifier if your air is dry. Summer dry heat and winter dry cold can both have extreme drying effects on your skin that can be really bad for those with seasonal acne. Humidifiers will help circulate the humidity that your skin desperately needs to stay healthy and acne free.
5/ Protect your skin. In the summer, apply your sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure and only to clean skin. Wear a wide brimmed hat and long sleeves. Yes, a tan always sounds appealing until you see those wrinkles starting to form and a dermatologist is telling you that stuff needs to be burned off to avoid skin cancer. Additionally, damage from sunburns will cause future acne breakouts, so cover up! In the winter, same theory applies. Protect your skin from the cold to prevent moisture loss.
Do you experience seasonal acne? If so, reach out to us before your flare up season so we have time to get you ready to avoid them!