From Freederm's beauty journalist
If you’ve got spot-prone skin, the cold weather and days spent in centrally-heated rooms can spell bad news for your skin. Many acne sufferers notice their skin worsens and breaks out in spots more often in the winter, but you don’t have to put up with it. There’s lots you can do to help keep your skin clear and glowing with health when the temperature falls.
Winter and your skin
You might think it’s just excess oil that leads to spots, but in fact dry skin can be a factor too. In winter the humidity level in the air drops and we spend much of our time in centrally heated homes, colleges and offices. Then there’s the frequent temperature changes – going from cold, biting winds outside to a warm, heated environment indoors. This all adds up to a very dry atmosphere for our skin – that’s why chapped lips and rough hands are so common in winter.
So how does this affect oily skin and spots? This dry atmosphere leads to a build-up of dead skin cells which can block pores and cause spots, and when the skin dries out, its automatic reaction is to produce even more oil to compensate, adding to your spot problems.
How to beat low humidity
You can add humidity to a room by using a small plug-in dehumidifier, available from chemists and hardware shops. Keep one in your bedroom if that’s where you spend most of your time. Alternatively, you can place a bowl of water under your radiator or hang a damp towel over it to moisten the air.
Keeping your body well hydrated will help too. Drink plenty of fluids – it doesn’t have to be water; soup, fruit juice and hot chocolate count as well, but avoid too much tea and coffee as these can have a dehydrating effect on your body.
Use a moisturiser
While you may steer clear of moisturiser in the warm summer months, it’s a daily skin essential in winter. Using a moisturiser will counteract any dryness and help to prevent dead skin cells from clogging up your pores. If you don’t use one, your skin will try to rebalance itself by increasing its oil production, which can lead to spots.
Freederm zone balancing moisturiser is specially made for spot-prone skin. It’s designed to moisturise the areas of your face that need it most (so there’s no danger of it making your skin oilier) and it won’t block your pores. It also contains ingredients to help prevent blemishes.
Avoid harsh cleansing
While it’s important to keep your skin clean, go more gently in winter to avoid drying your skin out even more. Swap soap and water-based cleansing (which can strip the skin’s natural barrier) for a creamy cleanser that can be wiped off instead.
Freederm facial cleanser contains anti-bacterial ingredients to fight the bacteria that cause spots. But it has a gentle cleansing action so it won’t strip your skin of its protective barrier and dry it out. Simply massage into your skin morning and evening and remove with cotton wool or warm water (never hot, this dries out your skin).
Get your skin glowing
If your skin tends to look dull and pasty in winter, read on! It’s the build-up of dead skin cells, as well as a lack of sunshine, that causes a dull complexion. This is easy to remedy with regular exfoliation. Exfoliating renews the skin cells, revealing smoother, more radiant skin underneath. Simply wet your face, apply a little exfoliant and massage into your face, using circular motions, then rinse off.
Freederm exfoliating facial wash is formulated to remove dead skin cells and unblock pores, as well as gentlyremoving excess oil.
Ditch the comfort food
It’s so tempting to fill up on comfort food like hot puddings, cakes and chocolate when it’s cold outside and we feel our energy levels drop. But by filling up on these, we don’t leave room for nutritious foods like fresh fruit and veg, which in the long-run will give us more energy than quick-fix foods.
While there’s no evidence to prove that junk food will actually give you spots, your skin is a living organ and it makes sense that the better the nutrition you feed it, the healthier it will look. So don’t forget your 5-a-day!
Zap spots fast
The sooner you treat a spot, the sooner it should start to disappear. Instead of waiting for spots to get really bad before you treat them, apply a spot treatment as soon as they appear to help them clear up more quickly.
Freederm Gel contains the anti-inflammatory ingredient nicotinamide, which is proven to reduce red, swollen spots by penetrating the skin to reach the skin’s oil-producing glands. Simply apply a thin layer to spots twice a day.