By Lindsay Tigar
Adding on the winter climate can further exacerbate one’s skin, says Adrienne O’Connell, DO, the medical director and president of Laguna Beach Aesthetics.
So how can you keep clear skin without completely drying it out? Follow our expert guide.
If you struggle with acne-prone skin, you have likely developed quite the fear of winter.
“Acne forms when sebum, the oily substance on skin, combines with dead skin cells and clogs pores,” says Anne Chapas, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and the founder and medical director of Union Square Laser Dermatology. “Talk to a dermatologist and find out if you are using the wrong skin care products, too many skincare products, or if you need to look into a prescription or in-office treatment to get to the root cause of your acne.”
Next, it’s time to figure out what type of moisture will provide the hydration you need without creating build-up, resulting in breakouts. The right moisturizer is one that’s hydrating and non-comedogenic, can help strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier, and improve acne over the long term, says Caroline Robinson, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Tone Dermatology.
“Over-exfoliation can disrupt your skin barrier leaving your skin more susceptible to irritation, inflammation, and in some cases, acne, Dr. Chapas warns. She recommends using a gentle chemical exfoliant like a low-percentage glycolic acid or lactic acid once a week and moisturizing afterward.
Many acne treatment products, such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids, do not necessarily need to be used daily to be effective at controlling acne. And since they can create dryness, irritation and potentially flaky skin, Dr. Robinson says to consider reducing the strength or frequency you use them.