During the winter it is ever more important to keep your skin moisturized to prevent flare-ups. A good skincare routine this winter can help you reduce flare-ups, improve the success of any medical treatment, and generally help your skin look and feel healthier.
We offer our top tips so you can enjoy the winter festivities, hopefully without having to worry about your acne or rosacea.
Cream cleansers are more gentle on the skin than foam cleansers and help skin retain its natural moisture. Soap substitutes are another option if cleansers cause you irritation. Wash your face no more than twice a day so that you don’t cause your skin to dry out and then react by over-producing sebum which clogs pores and follicles.
High heat can damage skin by drying it out. This can lead to acne break-outs. Furthermore, overheating also aggravates rosacea, as higher blood flow triggers flushing of the face and causes flare-ups. So, while a hot shower may be tempting after a hard day's work, it may do more harm than good. Stick to milder temperatures.
Thicker skin creams with emollient ingredients such as butters, fatty acids and natural oils help to keep the skin moisturized. An important point when selecting skin products is to make sure they are non-comedogenic and therefore will not cause blackheads or whiteheads, leading to acne. Make sure that you test products on an area of unaffected skin before use, if you have sensitive skin. The order in which you use products is also important because it can affect medical treatment is. A sensible routine may look like this:
Adding eye cream to your routine will give you extra protection from dry skin around the eyes. Skin around the eyes tends to be thinner and more sensitive, and needs protection form the harsh, dry cold of winter.
Avoid going from extremes of one temperature to another suddenly. Instead, gradually increase the heat in your home, and avoid high temperatures that can dry out your skin. When you are outside you can protect your face with a scarf, though try to avoid wool scarves which can cause irritation. Just as dramatic changes in temperature are not good, neither is dry air. You can use a humidifier or bowls of water near your heater to combat dry air.
Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. Avoid foods which ar high in refined sugar, hot drinks and spicy foods. As you ma have specific triggers, try keeping a food journal and record what you eat and when. This will allow you to indentify and avoid triggers which may be specific to you.
Stay with a treatment plan that you may have dsicussed with your doctor. Be patient, as some treatments may take several weeks to show an effect. Acne and rosacea can be exacerbated by sun exposure and certain treatments can make your skin more photosensitive, therefore, using sun protection when you are outside can help. This is especially true if you are at high altitudes indulging in outdoor sports such as skiing or snowboarding. Always use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater.
The main aim of the strategies above is to avoid skin dryness, damage, irritation and clogged pores, which could lead to flare-ups of acne and rosacea. Winter can be a tricky time to take care of your skin but getting into a regular routine will help.