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What Does Autumn Do to Your Skin?

Michele Emery, DNP

Medically reviewed by Michele Emery, DNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Last updated 6/26/2020

There’s something uniquely romantic about autumn. After a long, sweaty summer, you can finally whip out your scarves and sweaters or walk in a park and gaze at the fields of dry leaves. But autumn also can bring its own unique set of health problems and concerns.

And if you’re susceptible to cold-sores, dry skin, and itchiness, there’s some important information you should know about how to make it through this season. Check out our guide on how autumn affects your skin and what you can do to mitigate damage.

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Cold Air Leads to Dry Skin

According to dermatologist Dr. Neil Sadick, there’s a myth that cold weather has anti-aging qualities when actually it can make “skin dry, raw, and irritated.”

In cold climates with lower humidity, your skin stops creating the amino acids that helps with the natural process of moisturizing.  That’s why you may find your skin being more flakey and irritable during these months.

There’s a misconception that since humid climates lead to oily skin, they are necessarily worse for acne. However, dry climates can also afflict damage and lead to acne. Human skin has a multitude of ways of cleansing itself and replacing old skin cells with new ones, a process also known as turnover.

As skin gets dry and damaged, it stops these natural processes of cleansing old cells. This could potentially manifest itself as irritation which then could lead to acne. What should you do if you’re suffering from pimples during autumn and winter?

You will have to set up a daily skincare routine that addresses the root cause of the issue while also treating how it manifests itself.

Though you should definitely moisturize, you need to look for products that are specially made for skin that’s susceptible to acne. You should find a moisturizer that’s oil free and designed to not clog pores.

Buying an oil-free moisturizer is just one step to improving your skin. Check out these tips to how to effectively moisturize your face:

  • Test Out The Product: Especially if you have fragile skin, you should always be weary of new products. Try a little bit on your face at first and see how your skin reacts. If your skin is reacting well, you should use more. This way, you will avoid your entire face breaking out, getting a rash, or having all your pores getting clogged because your skin is incompatible.

  • Wash Your Face First:  You shouldn’t moisturize skin that’s way too dry. Products work best when your skin is a bit wet and clean. An ideal time to moisturize could be immediately after a shower.

  • Look For SPF Products:  Just because it’s colder doesn’t mean the sun stops being strong. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the sun’s UV rays can still penetrate through clouds and damage your skin.  Make sure to look for moisturizers that also include sunscreen or find a sunscreen that’s compatible with your skin.

Though moisturizing can do wonders for your skin, it’s only one aspect and isn’t the entire solution to the problem. Hims offers an acne kit that’s two topical solutions containing clindamycin, Vitamin B3, and tretinoin — a Vitamin A derivative that helps replenish the skin through growth.

By helping speed the process of replacing old skin layers, tretinoin prevents acne because it stops old skin cells from building up and clogging pores. In addition, it reduces the amount of oil in skin. Time and time again, tretinoin has been proven to be incredibly effective at combating acne.

Dry Climates and Cold-Sores

Colder climates also can impact your skin in another way — cold-sores. HSV-1 is a highly common virus that manifests itself as cold-sore outbreaks around the mouth area.

These colder months can trigger HSV-1, also known as oral herpes. If you don’t have herpes, you’re more susceptible to contract it during the cold months because cooler winds make your lips dryer and more inviting for the virus. When you crank up the heat at home, that warm air can then subsequently help the virus spread.

On top of that, the crisp, dry air can dehydrate your lips, making it more likely that you will have a herpes outbreak. People generally get less Vitamin D in the autumn and winter which can also cause them to catch and develop the virus because of a weakened immune system.

So, what can you do to prevent a herpes outbreak? Here are some tips:

  • Keep Your Lips Moisturized: We can’t stress how important it is to hydrate your lips. Invest in a high-quality chapstick that will keep your lips moisturized and protected from the sun.

  • Vitamin D Supplements: To make sure you don’t get sick, you should look into buying Vitamin D supplements and eating Vitamin D rich foods like oranges, fish, and spinach.

  • Look Into Treatment: There’s no cure to oral herpes. But there are scientifically proven ways to reduce the effects of an outbreak.  Hims offers a cold sore kit which contains two Valacyclovir pills that you’re supposed to take every 12 hours during an outbreak. This antiviral medication stops the virus from impacting unaffected cells and spreading. Unlike sketchy creams, this is a medication that actually works.

Take a look at the other hims products on our online store. If you’re looking for more lifestyle and health tips, check out our blog.

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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

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