Anyone who has the tendency to breakout knows how emotionally jarring it is to face your face in the mirror daily. UGH! We turned to top tier dermatologist experts for some solid advice to solving any weather-related complexion imperfections.
WHY ME? The good news is, it isn’t just you. Unfortunately, breakouts are something that affects all types of skin. Although most anti-acne products are targeted for oily skin, acne is actually based on a combination of genetics, stress and the environment itself. Dr. Kathy Fields, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at U.C. San Francisco and co-founder of Proactiv Solution and Rodan + Fields Dermatology, recommends following a basic guideline when treating aggravating acne:
Unclog pores: to prevent dead cells from clogging pores, they must be kept from clumping together. Additionally, the plug that begins to develop when oils and cells mix together must be broken down or prevented altogether. This requires delivering the right ingredients deep into pores. Salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, retinoids, and sulfur are ingredients capable of disrupting the plug forming union of cells and oil to keep pores clear.
Kill bacteria: Benzoyl peroxide is my preferred antibacterial agent for long-term control of acne. We recommend using benzoyl peroxide at 2.5%, the lowest clinically effective concentration. Medical studies demonstrate that a 2.5% benzoyl peroxide product is equally as effective in removing the P. acnes bacteria as a 10% product, with less potential irritation.
Treat inflammation: While unclogging pores and killing bacteria will keep new bacteria from forming, the most immediate improvement in acne comes from treating the swelling or inflammation. This will help reduce redness as well. Sulfur is commonly used for its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Bubbles might be fun, but they are just no good when it comes to winter skincare. According to skincare advocate Dr. Brooke Jackson, when cleansers show bubbles or your skin “squeaks,” it is due to a high PH level which strips the skin of vital essential oils and natural moisture. Look for gentle, non-foaming face washes to treat and prevent breakouts while not stripping skin of vital moisture.
New from the experts behind ProActiv, UNBLEMISH Acne Treatment Sulfer Wash is a dermatologist developed, medicated cleanser that penetrates deep down to heal blemishes and breakouts from the inside out with the aid of sulfur (heaven sent!).
Clean and Clear Deep Action Cream Cleanser penetrates deep into pores with its oil free formula, specifically designed to remove the dirt of the day. The gentle cleanser leaves skin soft, refreshed and gently cleansed with a cool minty after-effect.
With the added benefit of thousands of Vitamin E microbead milicapsuls, Clarisea Purifying Scrub sweeps away dirt and dead skin cells with salicylic acid to prevent bacteria. Plus—improvements can be seen right away.
Use an astringent toner to remove any dirt and oil that your cleanser didn’t take care of. Dr. Schultz recommends using an astringent marked for oily or acne-prone skin after cleansing and apply toner with a thin, cotton makeup pad. Gently wipe down your entire face to get rid of any left-over nastiness.
Perricone MD Skin Clear Toner is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and medicates skin with salicylic acid to gently exfoliate without over-drying. The added bonus of consistent use? A minimized appearance of fine lines and a reduction of pore size—beautiful!
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Triple-Action Toner stops acne before it even can begin with salicylic acid, MicroClear Technology, coating skin with soothing ingredients to reduce redness and irritation while unclogging pores.
A natural alternative Darphin Purifying Toner reduces irritation and calms skin all the while controlling oil with its formula of supremely gentle plant-based extracts.
MOISTURIZE & PROTECT
Due to a sudden drop of humidity in the air, the winter can be an incredibly drying time for skin—leaving it thirsty, sensitive and exposed. The flakey feel of parched skin can be painful, annoying and devastating but it can also be avoided. And just because the weather is cold, don’t fool yourself into thinking the sun’s rays aren’t harmful! Look for products that are water-based, oil-free and have an added SPF for protection against the harsh winter sun.
Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 15 gives skin a healthy dose of much needed moisture and even contains natural light diffusers to improve skin’s tone and texture—radiance, right away!
Lightweight B. Kamins Matte Moisturizer SPF 15 leaves skin feeling fresh and smooth while eliminating shine. It’s the perfect primer for oil-free makeup too.
PURPOSE Dual Treatment Moisturizer with SPF 15 goes on as gentle as water itself and protects skin from harmful UV rays while delivering lightweight moisture.
To complete any long-term skincare routine, steer clear of spot treatments, as they will only act as a band aide for acne but not treat the problem long term. To bid acne adieu for good, skip the quick fix and look for powerfully effective treatments to use daily.
Rodan + FIelds UNBLEMISH Dual Intensive Acne Treatment is a powerful, deep pore treatment to calm and sooth irritated, acne prone skin.
Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel eliminates acne emergencies quickly with 2% Salicylic Acid and Neutrogena’s own powerful MicroClear® technology to deeply penetrate skin and treat at the source.
click R Vanishing Mist is a powerful breakout banisher that soothes irritation, calms breakouts and reaches deep into pores to restore moisture.
A few last things to keep in mind when changing up your routine:
Consistency is key when you revamp your routine. Dr. Monia Halem, a dermatological surgeon specializing in laser and cosmetic surgery from ColumbiaDoctors Eastside, says the most important thing you can do for your skin in the New Year is get it into a great routine and be consistent! But keep in mind that just because a product works for your sister, it doesn’t mean it will work for you.
Give it time. In today’s fast paced society, we all want instantaneous results but, as the old saying goes, patience is a virtue—especially when it comes to skincare. Skincare advocate, Dr. Jackson recommends giving a product six to eight weeks to begin to show signs of improvement. Whenever you change your normal products, it takes time to readjust and—remember—when anti-acne products work, they bring everything to the surface so that means many times skin gets worse before it gets clear.
It’s never hopeless. If all else fails—head to a dermatologist to get your skin properly diagnosed. This is especially a worry in the dry winter months, when all skin seems sensitive. Dr. Hilary Baldwin, MD, Vice Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, State University of New York – Downstate, and president of the American Acne and Rosacea Society said a common mistake many people face is misdiagnosing their own skin types. Sometimes the side effects of a supremely sensitive skin can look like acne, but when you are dealing with rosacea, it is a different ball game entirely. If your new routine doesn’t seem like it is working or is causing a different issue, head directly do a professional.
– Elizabeth Engelhardt
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