You might have noticed clear skin throughout the summer, but as soon as the fall season starts, you become prone to acne breakouts. If this seems odd, don’t worry: there’s a good explanation of why acne appears on your skin more often during the fall and winter seasons.
Most of it has to do with the temperature and humidity during these seasons. However, this is not the only cause attributed to fall. Here are three common reasons that might be the cause of your acne breakouts:
Cold Air Drying Your Skin
As the fall welcomes below-average temperatures, the weather can have a drying effect on your skin. When your skin becomes dry, your sebaceous glands (the glands responsible for producing oils to keep your skin moist) produce higher amounts of sebum. Too much sebum — coupled with the dead skin cells built up from dry flaky skin — can result in clogging pores, which then develops into acne.
In terms of temperature, there’s not much you can do except to use heaters and humidifiers indoors to prevent prolonged exposure to the cold. Also, use mild exfoliants and skin moisturizers intended for dry skin: Exfoliants can remove the dead skin cells while moisturizers lock in your skin’s natural moisture from drying factors like cold weather.
There are a lot of stress-inducing factors that come with fall. It’s the start of the school season, so students may feel stressed about returning to school while parents are stressed about making sure their child is equipped to return. And then there are the many holidays that follow the fall and winter seasons, so many people might be thinking about the expenses, home winter preparations, holiday planning, and family reunions expected during this season.
Too much stress can have an effect on your skin. When you are stressed, your body releases hormones like cortisol because it assumes you are in a stressful situation where your basic fight-or-flight instincts are necessary. One effect of cortisol is triggering your sebaceous glands to produce more oils which, again, can result in acne breakouts.
Fall and winter season can be stressful for many. But it’s important to remember to take time to breathe and relax your body, else endure multiple acne breakouts.
There’s a chance that your acne is caused by hormonal changes, and it’s only coincidental that it falls on the fall season. This is common for everyone, especially women between the ages of 20 and 40. This is not necessarily linked to menstruation (though your period cycle can have an effect on your acne), but based on the amount of estrogen, progesterone, and even testosterone you have in your body.
These hormonal fluctuations can affect your sebaceous glands’ oil production. So, if you notice that you get minor acne breakouts at least once a month, it’s a sign that your hormones may be causing you to have breakouts. And external factors like weather, humidity, and stress are only intensifying how bad your breakouts can be.
Acne isn’t detrimental to your health, but given all the holidays and events lined up for the fall and winter seasons, it can be embarrassing to have on your face. Perhaps it’s time to update your skincare routine to help prevent breakouts or visit a dermatologist to see if there’s an underlying cause for it.