Is The Climate Causing Your Acne?
Have you noticed that you breakout more during a certain time of the year1? Maybe during winter you have the worst breakouts or being in the sun during the summertime seems to lead to more breakouts. That’s because, what many people don’t realize is that climate can definitely affect your acne2. But there are things you can do to combat this depending on your skin type and where you live. And no, please don’t think you have to run and buy fancy Proactiv products at the first sign of weather-related acne.
Here are a few weather elements that will affect your acne…
Not only will 95 degrees make you sweat a ton, but it will also dry out your skin3 and that’s definitely not a good thing. Sweat accumulation can mean disaster for anyone’s skin, especially if you’re acne prone. Depending on how frequently you can shower it might not be a problem, but most people don’t have the option to shower after every drop they sweat. It’s not practical, which means that sweat and bacteria are sitting deep in your pores, just waiting to cause your next breakout4.
Irritation and dead skin cells are twice as likely in drier climates5. There’s a reason your lips get chapped so fast when you visit Colorado. The dryness zaps away any moisture your body has to offer, which means you need to artificially put it back in. So moisturize6! Not only can dry weather cause irritation and dead skin cells, but it can also lead to your body over compensating and producing too much oil.
So I know you’re thinking “so I can’t do the heat, I can’t do dry, and now I can’t do humid. Where am I supposed to go?”. Valid point, but the humidity is likely going to make your body sweat an unnatural amount, which will clog your pores and enhance the probability of breakouts. The moisture in the air is also going to trick your body into thinking that it needs to produce more oil than normal7, which can be a nightmare for people with already oily skin.
When it’s cold outside it can cause dryness in the skin8. When your skin is dry it’s the perfect place for bacteria to live and cause annoying breakouts9. This can be troublesome because we are used to using drying ingredients like benzoyl peroxide to fight blemishes. Substances like this can actually have a negative effect. Moisturizing is just as important10 as drying the skin out depending on the time of year.
I know after reading this you’re wondering what time of the year is good for your face. But please keep in mind that when we talk about extreme conditions: crazy hot temperatures like 100 degrees or more, extreme cold, super high humidity or very low humidity.
You get the point. The climate certainly can enhance the probability of a breakout, but if you take the necessary precautions you can increase your chances of limiting the breakouts and enjoying the weather whatever it may be.
- Dréno B, Bettoli V, Araviiskaia E, Sanchez Viera M, Bouloc A. The influence of exposome on acne. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2018 May;32(5):812-819.
- Balato N, Ayala F, Megna M, Balato A, Patruno C. Climate change and skin. G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2013 Feb;148(1):135-46.
- Sardana K, Sharma RC, Sarkar R. Seasonal variation in acne vulgaris–myth or reality. J Dermatol. 2002 Aug;29(8):484-8.
- Editorial: Summer acne. Br Med J. 1975 Oct 18;4(5989):125.
- Engebretsen KA, Johansen JD, Kezic S, Linneberg A, Thyssen JP. The effect of environmental humidity and temperature on skin barrier function and dermatitis. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2016 Feb;30(2):223-49.
- Chularojanamontri L, Tuchinda P, Kulthanan K, Pongparit K. Moisturizers for Acne: What are their Constituents? J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014 May;7(5):36-44.
- Tucker SB. Occupational tropical acne. Cutis. 1983 Jan;31(1):79-81.
- Aesthetics Journal. Aesthetics. 2019.
- Meyer K, Pappas A, Dunn K, Cula GO, Seo I, Ruvolo E, Batchvarova N. Evaluation of Seasonal Changes in Facial Skin With and Without Acne. J Drugs Dermatol. 2015 Jun;14(6):593-601.
- Moisturizer: Why you may need it if you have acne | American Academy of Dermatology. Aad.org. 2019.
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