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Does Winter Weather Make Acne Worse?

Does Winter Weather Make Acne Worse?

Acne is a common skin condition that can affect people of any gender and age. Chronic and severe acne can have detrimental effects on emotional well-being and self-confidence. Many people who struggle with acne notice seasonal changes in their complexion. Typically patients will report clearer skin in summer and fall and more severe breakouts during the winter months: as many as 11% report higher incidents of moderate to severe acne compared to summer months. There are a few reasons that winter weather can wreak havoc on your skin, but there are treatment options available to specifically address the causes of winter acne. Let’s explore what it is about winter that can make acne worse and then explore your options for treatment.

What Can Make Acne Worse In Winter?

Dry Conditions: The typical dryer conditions of the winter months can cause your skin to over-produce sebum. Sebum is an oil made by your glands to naturally moisten and keep your skin supple. An overproduction of sebum can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts.

Inflammation: Cold temperatures and dry conditions can cause inflammation of the skin, especially in areas that are exposed to harsh conditions. This exposure can harm the natural barrier properties of the skin, trigger Inflammation, a major pathogenic factor for acne formation, and create optimal conditions for an acne breakout.

Low Levels Of Vitamin D: It is suggested that people with lower levels of vitamin D are more prone to developing acne. One of our main sources of vitamin D is exposure to sunshine. Due to the shorter and darker days of winter, many Canadians find it difficult to get a sufficient daily dose of Vitamin D and may find that this impacts acne flare-ups in the winter months.

Decreased Exposure To Certain Light Wavelengths: There is some evidence to suggest that certain wavelengths of light can impact the body's production of immune cells that control the populations of bacteria that exist on the surface of our skin. The decreased exposure to a fuller spectrum of light wavelengths in the winter months can cause imbalances in the immunity and bacterial ratios and open the way for acne breakouts.

Holiday Impacts: Seasonal celebrations are highly anticipated in the winter months. But there are some consequences of holiday festivities that could impact your complexion. Stress, overindulgence in sweets and alcohol, and disrupted sleep schedules can all contribute to increased cortisol, testosterone, and DHT, hormones that have all been linked to increased incidents of acne. Although there is not a lot of direct evidence that these typical winter stressors do cause acne, many patients report breakouts due to stress and overindulgence in the wintertime.

How To Manage Winter Breakouts

There are a few things you can do to care for your skin and minimize winter breakouts:

  • Use an Oil-Free Moisturizer: Lock in moisture and fortify your skin against the harsh winter conditions. Consider Vivier® Daily Moisturizing Cream SPF 15 to hydrate and nourish your skin.
  • Cover Up: Protect your skin from exposure to cold and wind with a scarf or face covering when outdoors. Cold and wind can draw moisture from your skin and promote inflammation and injury to your skin.
  • Don’t Over-Wash: Wash your face no more than twice per day and avoid harsh scrubs and exfoliants that can irritate skin and make it more prone to breakouts.
  • Continue Your Medications: Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holidays interrupt your medication routine. Not sticking to your regular doses and times can actually make acne worse.

If your acne breakouts do not respond to typical over-the-counter treatments and remedies, consider consulting with a dermatologist and skin care team to explore advanced acne treatments including topical solutions, oral therapies, and ground-breaking technological therapies that can transform your complexion.

Advanced Acne Treatment In The Okanagan

Our team at Okanagan Skin Care Centre understands how important clear and healthy skin is to your emotional health and your self-confidence. We offer a variety of therapies to treat mild to severe acne on all areas of the body. After a thorough analysis of your skin, we will design a completely personalized treatment plan to address active acne, to prevent future breakouts, and to minimize and revise scarring from past acne outbreaks. To learn more about our advanced acne treatment options including Blu-U Treatment and Blu-U Treatment with Levulan click here.

At Okanagan Skin Care Centre, we are invested in the health and well-being of all our patients and strive to develop personalized and effective acne treatments to give you the healthy, glowing skin you deserve. To learn more about our effective, safe, and proven acne control treatments, contact one of our skin specialists today by calling our clinic at 1-250-868-9290 or book your consultation today.


Q: When should I seek help for my acne?
A: There are many stages of acne and it is advisable to come in for a consultation as soon as possible for an in-depth skin analysis. We will determine the best course of action specifically for you to achieve optimal outcomes for acne treatment.

Q: What Is Blu-U acne treatment?
A: Blu-U and Blu-U with Levulan are effective treatments for acne that use a certain type of light and aminolevulinic acid. This is known as “photodynamic therapy”. Learn more about it here.

Q: How long before I see results from my acne treatment?
A: It is very important to follow the protocol that the nurse gives you to achieve the desired results. It can take up to 6-8 weeks before changes are seen. Improvements may be expedited if treatment is performed in the clinic, followed by a good product regimen.

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Donna McAteer

Donna McAteer

Donna is the general manager and has been with the Okana­gan Skin Care Cen­tre for over 14 years. She is a certified Es­theti­cian and previous business owner with over 20 years enjoying the skin care industry. Her passion for knowledge, integral client care and maintaining a syn­er­gis­tic team that represents professional excellence in skin care remains her focus.

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