People often assume that acne improves when the weather gets colder. Less sweating should mean clear skin, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Believe it or not, acne is harder to treat when the weather cools down. This is primarily because the skin lacks moisture. Some of us deal with stubborn blemishes on our neck, chest and back. Below we look at some tips and tricks to avoid this from expert Cindy Lim, founder of Koko & Kush.
Moisturise regularly: Cold weather can strip your skin of its natural moisture, leading to dryness and potential acne breakouts. It's crucial to moisturise your body daily, using a non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) moisturiser. Look for products that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid or ceramides, which helps retain moisture and protect your skin's barrier. I also recommend a moisturiser with hemp seed oil as it helps reduce acne caused by excess oils and can help modulate skin oil production, reduces inflammation and is high in omega 3,6,9 which helps repair the skin's barrier and assists in forming a seal over the skin to keep moisture trapped.
Choose suitable clothing: Wearing tight-fitting clothing made of non-breathable materials like synthetic fibres can contribute to body acne. Opt for loose-fitting, breathable clothing, preferably made from natural fibres like cotton. This allows your skin to breathe and reduces the chances of sweat and bacteria build-up, which can lead to acne.
Keep your skin clean: Maintaining good hygiene is essential for preventing body acne. Take warm (not hot!) showers or baths to avoid excessive drying of the skin. Use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser specifically formulated for acne-prone skin. And of course, after exercising or sweating, make sure to cleanse your body promptly to remove sweat and oil, which can clog pores and cause breakouts.
Exfoliate regularly but gently: Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells and unclog pores, preventing acne formation. However, be careful not to over-exfoliate or use harsh scrubbing products, as this can irritate your skin and worsen acne. Choose a mild exfoliant, such as a gentle body scrub or a chemical exfoliant containing ingredients like salicylic acid, which can penetrate the pores and help prevent breakouts.
Avoid hot showers and excessive heat exposure: Although hot showers and soaking in hot baths may be tempting during the cold winter months, they can be drying and irritating to your skin. Hot water can strip away the skin's natural oils and disrupt the moisture barrier, leading to acne. Stick to lukewarm water for showers and limit the time spent in hot tubs or saunas. Additionally, avoid exposing your body to direct heat sources for extended periods, as it can also dry out your skin.
Here are some products to use if you want to banish body acne: