Acne and rosacea sufferers: skincare routine for winter

7 tips to beat dry skin, inflammation and flare-ups this winter.

During the winter it is ever more important to keep your skin moisturized to prevent break-outs. A skincare friendly routine this winter can help you to:

  • Feel comfortable in your skin.
  • Reduce flare-ups.
  • Improve the success of your treatment.
  • Help your skin to be healthier in general.

We offer our top tips so you can enjoy the winter festivities, hopefully without having to worry about your acne or rosacea.

 

1. Use a creamier cleanser

Creamier cleansers are more gentle on the skin than foam cleansers and help the skin to retain its natural moisture. Soap substitutes are another option if cleansers cause you irritation. Keep washing your face to no more than twice a day so that you don’t cause your skin to dry and the body to react by over-producing sebum which clogs hair follicles.

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2. Have warm, NOT hot showers

The high heat will cause the skin to dry and become damaged. This can lead to acne break-outs. Furthermore overheating also aggravates the skin in rosacea - higher blood flow triggers flushing of the face and causes flare-ups. So, while a hot shower may be tempting after returning home from outside it may do more harm than good. Stick to milder temperatures. 

 

3. Use a thicker skin cream

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. Make sure that you test products on an area of unaffected skin before use particularly if you are sensitive. The order in which you use products is also important because it can affect how effective your medical treatment is. A sensible routine may look like this:

  • Cleanse and let face air dry
  • Apply topical medication if prescribed, allow to dry
  • Apply moisturizer or make-up. (a warning on make-up - avoid cosmetics that will clog pores)

 

4. Use an eye cream

Adding eye cream onto your routine will give you extra protection to avoid drying around the eyes. The eyes are a sensitive part of the body so this is beneficial against the harsh, dry cold of winter. 

 

5. Pay attention to the temperature and humidity of your home

Avoid going from extremes of one temperature to another suddenly. Instead, gradually increase the heating in your home and avoid very high temperatures at home which will dry out the skin. When you are outside you can protect your face with a scarf, though try to avoid wool scarves that will cause irritation by rubbing against the face. 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 make sure the air in your home is humid enough that your skin does not dry. 

 

6. Take care with your diet

Drink plenty of water to keep you and your skin hydrated. Avoid foods high in refined sugars as they interfere with the balance of hormones in the body. Avoid hot drinks, spicy foods and any other triggers of your condition. With factors like diet, it is useful to keep a log of what you ate, when and how much and other factors to pinpoint what your triggers are. 

 

7. Stick to your meds and continue sun protection

As discussed with your doctor stick to your personalized treatment plan. Note that 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 if you are at high altitudes doing winter sports or outside for a long period. It may not be the summer but the sun can still affect your skin so use sun protection that is SPF 30. 

 

Summary

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 to protect your skin. 
 

References

  1. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/acne/
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/rosacea/
  3. https://www.britishskinfoundation.org.uk/acne
  4. https://www.britishskinfoundation.org.uk/rosacea
  5. https://www.rosacea.org/rosacea-review/2013/winter/careful-care-can-defeat-dryness
  6. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/rosacea/triggers/tips
  7. https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/postings/2016/01/rosecea.php

 

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