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The fall of zits: Proper skin care for the colder months

As if stress, genetics and hormones don’t work against our skin enough, winter is fast approaching. So while you’re out stocking up on those new boots and comfy cute sweaters, don’t forget to give your skin some lovin’ as well!

Woman touching face

Dannielli Marcelino, Suddenly Slimmer’s licensed medical esthetician and certified laser technician, has a few helpful tips for making this transition as smooth as possible.

Why zits happen between seasons

According to beauty experts, when your skin is transitioning from summer to fall, it has to work harder to regulate moisture for the much drier season, in turn causing more breakouts. While on the surface your skin is being dried out because of the cooler air, it is still trying to produce the same amount of moisture as in the summer beneath the surface. This causes your skin’s natural oils to be trapped beneath the surface, causing the increase in acne.

Switch up your products

The last thing most think to do in the midst of a breakout is switch to gentler products. “People have a tendency to be aggressive the minute they see a zit forming,” says Marcelino. But Marcelino says that in the transition from the scorching hot summer to the crisp, dry fall, it is important to use nourishing products. Marcelino says to stay away from the drying products as well as any containing SD alcohol 40 or sodium laureth sulfate. These ingredients aren’t ideal for already-dry factors.

The nitty gritty

Little factors can make a huge difference and this holds true for our skin as well. Changing your pillow cases more often (Marcelino recommends twice a week) will wash away the bacteria and oils that accumulate and in turn cause breakouts. Also, washing your linens with a gentle detergent can help keep your skin free from irritation. Oh, and actually sleeping on those freshly washed pillow cases will help your complexion as well! Do your best to get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night.

Don’t over treat

It is hard to resist slathering a nasty red bump in your go-to zit creams, but Marcelino warns to use discretion with any over-the-counter acne medications. These can most definitely dry out your skin which will cause even more damage in the end.


Since dead skin cells are a factor in these seasonal breakouts, unclogging pores is that much more important this time of year. Marcelino recommends chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid and fruit enzymes as well as physical exfoliants. Also, getting a regular professional facial will prove useful, according to Marcelino.

All in all, Marcelino stands by her advice of just keeping your routine simple. “If you use gentle products and maintain a good, simple routine using sunscreen regularly and incorporating chemical peels/exfoliants, your skin will transition smoothly,” she said.

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