What Causes Seasonal Acne and How Can You Defeat It
Is your skin prone to breakouts, but only during certain times of the year? Do you experience skin inflammation whenever the sun comes out, or perhaps only when the dry winter air takes over? Do you find yourself unable to bask in the sun as much as you would like because you fear further skin irritation? Do you dread Christmas gatherings because you don’t want to feel self-conscious in the company of all your relatives? If the season dictates the condition of your skin, then you may be be a victim of seasonal acne.
While in our books this is still a better option than having all-year-round acne, seasonal breakouts are indeed the stuff of nightmares. Seasonal zits are as unpredictable as the weather, and they seemingly come and go as they please. We feel your pain and we therefore present you with the ultimate guide to seasonal acne. The article presents an extensive overview of how and why seasonal acne occurs. We will discuss the causes of acne so that you understand your condition and learn how to control it. You will also find a discussion of research on the topic, such as on the connection between acne and seasonal melancholy. We provide a selection of scientific experiments which have been conducted in the hopes of investigating the unpredictable phenomenon of seasonal acne. While no unanimous conclusion has been reached by the scientific community, the discussion on the topic may help you make your own judgment of why you experience breakouts during select months. Of course, we will also discuss a wide variety of cures and remedies available in order to make your skin glow up and thrive again!
The Causes of Winter Acne
The most common cause of seasonal acne is a shortage of vitamin D (a hormone generated by your skin when faced with the sun). This vitamin is arguably the most important component responsible for your body’s, as well as for your mind’s well-being. It has an impact on a whopping 10 percent of your body’s genetic makeup. As a lot of acne is caused by stress (resulting from high levels of cortisol, which also brings about indigestion and skin inflammation), the vitamin serves to boost serotonin, helping you fight breakouts. In fact, seasonal affectivity disorder, or seasonal depression during the winter, is considered to largely affect acne rates. The lack of sunlight brings people down, and they end up seeing these effects on their skin, too.
Vitamin D is thus also related to acne in that it can provide antioxidants which help you rid yourself of pimples, it can decrease your organism’s insulin, ridding you of greasy skin, and it can generally boost your immune system, decreasing inflammation.
Unfortunately, people often find themselves quite deprived of the necessary nutriment. Between 30 and 50 percent of Americans have levels of vitamin D that are too low for their own good. Children, in particular are severely affected, too. Between 50 and 70 percent of children under 11 experience an insufficiency of the substance, while only 5 percent of elderly persons have enough of it within their organism. The UK is also suffering, as a fourth of its population experiences a lack of the hormone.
The deficiency of vitamin D that we experience during winter may thus be contributing to your winter breakouts. If you think that you are not getting enough vitamin D in the case that you, for example, live in a very cloudy country, then try to boost its levels by taking it in the form of a pill. Alternatively, you can get low levels of the hormone from certain foods like fish and dairy.
Winter months may also bring about acne because of the increase of porphyrin that our skin’s outermost layer experiences due to the lack of light. How can we counter this? Exposure to UV light can decrease porphyrin levels or it can change them into free radicals which fight the germs that irritate your skin and cause breakouts. What is more, it has also been suggested that we simply experience more pimples in the winter because of our skin’s exasperation from its exposure to artificial heating, or even from overeating during the cold months. Whatever the reason, you cannot go wrong with giving your vitamin D levels a boost.
The Causes of Summer Acne
Not everyone is susceptible to acne in the summer. Depending on your lifestyle choices and your genetics, you may or may not suffer more in the heat. So, why do some people argue that human skin is more prone to acne during the summer months? One reason is that some people’s skin become excessive sensitive during the warm part of the year due to UV rays’ intensity. This produces free radicals which affect your complexion.
On the other hand, many people do not experience a proneness to breakouts during the summer simply because they may possess ‘tougher’ skin. If your skin is less sensitive in the summer, this may be because you have higher levels of vitamin A, which offers strong protection against sunlight. This protection is based on a buildup of substances like retinol on the surface of your epidermis. If you do not have naturally high levels of retinol, you may want to feed your body with foods like black chocolate, which contain polyphenols and flavonoids, as well as with various antioxidants like resveratrol.
Which season is worse for your skin?
You may have found yourself wondering whether seasonal acne is an actual thing or whether you merely imagine it as recurring according to your local meteorological forecast. Indeed, your suspicions were not delusional, as medicine has confirmed the existence of seasonal breakouts. This information has been reinstated over and over again by studies dating back to the early 2000s. Still, scientists disagree on the exact causes of seasonal acne and thus also differ on whether or not acne worsens in the winter or in the summer. Which months are more debilitating to acne-prone persons?
A report that was compiled in 1996 posits that all seasons can cause equal amounts of acne. 139 acne-prone subjects were examined, 33 percent of which believed themselves to be suffering from seasonal breakouts. At the end of the study, a third of the subjects blamed winter for a higher rate of acne, and an equal number of subjects blamed the summer for the same. For a lack of a better explanation, the researchers concluded that the sun’s rays were the cause of acne, but findings were not precisely finalized.
One other experiment claims that the winter period is a worse time for your complexion. Dermatologists from Saudi Arabia tested 220 teenagers suffering from acne, 65 percent of whom were girls. The experiment was conducted during the winter of the turn of the millennium, and it posited that breakouts for acne-prone teenagers are much worse during the cold months. Other, smaller-scale surveys confirm that most people suffer from pimples during the cold months.
Conversely, two other experiments blame the summer months for a higher rate of acne. One of them was conducted in 2002 and it found that more than half of the subjects had their acne become exacerbated during the warm months. Researchers concluded that this was due to the hot air during the summer, and because of the consequent perspiration and clogging of facial pores. This study involved a much higher number of patients – almost twice as many as in the Saudi Arabian one. Half of them were already suffering from alleged seasonal acne. Another experiment blaming summer for the worsening of acne was conducted 7 years later in India. More than 300 teenagers were observed, out of which 80 experienced seasonal breakouts. 89 percent of those suffering from seasonal acne found their condition worsening in the warm months.
As findings differ largely among different people and different climates, it is safe to say that your particular kind of seasonal acne most probably largely depends on your personal skin type, lifestyle, genes, etc.
Curing General Seasonal Acne
Although dealing with acne can sometimes seem like a battle that is impossible to win, it is actually easier than you think. It just takes commitment. Firstly, as outlined, a vitamin D deficiency may be the most common reason for your outbreaks. The trick is to ingest vitamin D3-only supplements, which is the most natural form of the nutrient, as opposed to D2. A good source is the High Potency Liquid Vitamin 3, of which you only need two drops per day in order to feel tip-top. A popularly praised, but more expensive source of the vitamin is the NatureWise Vitamin D3, which represents 5000U of the vitamin wrapped in virgin olive oil that helps your organism take it in most efficiently. If you feel a sharp need of vitamin D, you may want to take it on a daily basis. After a while, and as your body replenishes itself, you might want to take breaks every two days or so.
Another solution for seasonal acne is the ingestion of magnesium and vitamin C, both of which are common and widely available. Both of these ingredients are universally healthy additions to your system, but they also decrease cortisol levels, thus relieving you of stress. Indeed, they have even been praised as particularly helpful in intensely stressful situations such as stage fright. It is quite easy to effortlessly obtain these two substances. This is because they are present in various fruits and vegetables. If you are seeking extra magnesium, opt for bananas, basil, various kinds of nuts, and even chocolate. For artificial magnesium, look for Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate or the topical Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil. If you are looking to up your vitamin C intake, opt for broccoli, garlic, potatoes, peppers, kiwi etc. An artificial supplement is contained in the Garden Of Life Raw Vitamin C.
You might also alleviate your seasonal acne symptoms caused by stress, by increasing the amounts of zinc in your body. Zinc ups your serotonin levels and relieves you of harmful stress. Zinc also aids in the production of retinol-binding protein, contributing to your complexion’s vitamin A storage – leading to less sebaceous gland activity. Indeed, an experiment on curing depression with zinc concluded that half a dozen of test subjects felt happier after several months. If you are willing to give this method a try, look for plain MegaFood Zinc which is far superior to zinc oxide tablets. If you are looking for a natural intake of the substance, focus on eating meat and animal organs, eggs, and seafood such as oysters. That does not sound half bad now, does it?
Curing Summer Acne
If it is the hot months of the year that cause your skin to break out, look no further than vitamin A for a natural sunblock. It significantly reduces your body’s manufacturing of sebum. Retinol is the animal version of vitamin A and it is found in fish, dairy and eggs. Beta carotene is the vegetarian version of this ingredient and it is found in tomatoes, carrots and peppers.
A healthy lifestyle is automatically the best way to improve your organism’s functions, including the way your skin handles the summer months. This includes exercising, so you might want to opt for increasing your visits to the gym as soon as the heat strikes. Ingesting a lot of carbohydrates is also harmful, as they up your insulin and thus cause a higher sebum production (in addition to increasing your testosterone and DHT activity). Not only should you stray from simple sugars but you should decrease your potato and dough consumption.
Additionally, don’t forget to take in more antioxidants during the summer. Focusing on a vegetarian diet mixed with lots of spices can have great results on your skin. Particularly, green vegetables and eggs can provide you with a natural barrier from the sun, contained in their lutein component. Moreover, Cocoa polyphenols, flavonoids and resveratrol can do miracles for your complexion. Spices such as cinnamon can prove to be an unexpectedly powerful remedy for seasonal acne in the summer. If you are having a hard time cutting down on foods high in sugar, then add cinnamon to your diet which is reported as lowering your system’s glucose and insulin. The best option on the market is the Certified Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Powder.
If all else fails, stick to showering with cold water this summer. The cold water combats potential dry skin resulting from the hot air in your surroundings. While excessively warm baths parch your skin and stimulate the production of sebum as a lubricant, colder baths moisturize your skin, alleviating the symptoms of acne. If you have ever taken a really cold shower, you may also have noticed a mood boost afterwards – and you cannot go wrong with serotonin when fighting acne.
Seasonal acne is a real and pestering skin condition which appears unpredictably and has the potential of ruining both your summer, as well as your winter holidays. Still, adopting a generally healthy lifestyle, eating right, exercising and stimulating the production of glutathione can rid you of most or all symptoms of seasonal acne before the weather extremities get a chance to get at your skin.
To be your most trusted ally in your pursuit of clear, healthy skin.