How to care for acne-prone skin during the winter

The winter season is tough on skin, regardless of your complexion. But if you have existing skin issues like acne, rosacea or dry spots, the cold, dry winter air exacerbates those problems. Here are some tips for caring for your acne-prone skin during the winter.


Excess oil clogs pores and forms blackheads, so many people assume that thoroughly cleansing their face of oil reduces breakouts. But that’s not the case. Overly drying out your skin signals your sebaceous (oil) glands to produce more sebum, the oily substance that keeps the skin hydrated and soft. You should still wash your face regularly but be sure to replace the moisture by applying a hydrating product directly after cleansing.

We’ve already covered the best types of moisturizers for oily skin, but, in general, you should look for products that are water-based, not oil-based. Gel moisturizers absorb quickly and leave your skin feeling smooth, soft and hydrated throughout the winter months.

Switching up your skincare routine isn’t the only way to keep your skin moisturized. Here are a few lifestyle changes you can make.

Drink water

Often, our skin reflects our internal health, so staying hydrated will reduce your skin’s dryness.

Flush out your pores

When you sweat, your pores open up and release the bacteria and dead skin that might be clogging them. If you have an injury or condition that prevents you from exercising intensely, you can sit in a sauna or steam room for 10 minutes. Also try placing a vaporizer in your house or incorporating face steaming into your skincare ritual. You can find a facial steamer for anywhere from $39 to $149.

Switch to unmedicated products

If your skin is oily and acne-prone, you might be scrubbing it regularly with a foaming face wash containing an ingredient like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These ingredients work in slightly different ways, but they both dry your skin, which can lead to overly-dry skin during the winter.

Benzoyl peroxide is a bacterial, meaning it reduces both the excess oil and the bacteria that cause clogged pores and lead to breakouts. When applied in a cream or cleanser, benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria and clears the dead skins from your pores’ follicles.

Salicylic acid is a lipophilic, meaning it penetrates your pores and reduces the secretion of sebum, or oil. It also exfoliates the skin and removes the dead skin cells that clog pores.

If you use one or both of these ingredients to fight your breakouts and notice your skin feeling dry, irritated or itchy, switch to simple cleansing face wash or bar of soap.

Cold, dry weather wreaks havoc on our skin and exacerbates issues like blemishes and breakouts, but with these tips you can care for your acne-prone skin throughout the winter season. For all your skincare needs, contact the experts at Coastal Dermatology Center!