Baby Got Winter Backne?
By: Lee Phillips
So, there’s all this buzz around summer months leading to increased oil and sweat that clogs pores… but does anyone else notice that their skin actually clears up in the summer? I for one have! Is *the ziterature* wrong?! Because as soon as I start showing a little skin, my backne all but clears up. I relish the months of clear sun kissed-skin, and every year like clockwork, as the days get shorter and the temperature drops, my backne returns. What gives? Let’s get to the bottom of it.
At the risk of sounding way too obvious, winter is colder than summer. (You’re welcome!) The thing about cold air is that it’s also drier. Add in some whipping wind, and you have the potential to dry out your skin. Our bodies’ natural remedy for this is to produce sebum, a natural moisturizer. Unfortunately, dry skin is most often also damaged skin, meaning that when sebum is produced, the moisture is not retained. Your skin then begins to over-produce to compensate, and that’s when backne happens.
Your Defense Against The Backne
With this in mind, your first line of defense against winter backne is simple: a good moisturizer (or two). This moisturizer should be brimming full of humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid to draw out moisture from your deeper dermis and maybe ingredients like niacinamide to curb sebum production and inflammation. To help your skin trap in the moisture, patting on a light occlusive can help. Occlusives are ingredients like carnauba or beeswax, as well as most oils and butters (shea butter etc.).
Ok here’s a less obvious reason why your backne is worse in winter. While precautions should always be taken when it comes to the sun, one cool thing about the sun is that UV light exposure kills populations of bacteria on the skin, which can reduce breakouts. This is so effective that some dermatologists even prescribe tanning beds as treatments to get rid of stubborn fungal and bacterial skin conditions. Can you imagine? A doctor RECOMMENDING a tanning bed?!
Anyway, the good news is that there is a healthier and safer way to regulate the bacteria on your skin—that isn’t also the lead cause of skin damage—and that’s probiotics for your body. Yes, just like the microbiome in your gut, the surface of your skin contains an ecosystem of good and bad bacteria that can be balanced with probiotics, so that good bacteria thrive and backne-causing bad bacteria bugs off for good. NO, you don’t just open up an oral probiotic and rub it on your skin. Thankfully dermatologists have specially formulated a probiotic body wash for this special occasion, and it’s called SILKSHAKE. In this body wash, there are live microorganisms called Lactobacillus ferment that restore microbiome balance. SILKSHAKE also brings to the party tea tree oil and an array of omega fatty acids. These barrier-building legends help regulate bacteria while calming and nourishing dry winter skin.
Speaking of the shower... Ditch the scalding hot water and go easy on your loofah!
I know, it’s been a long cold day and your Converse didn’t do the best job of keeping your feet dry. All you want to do is run the shower molten hot and lay under the scalding water until your skin sloughs off. I’m so sorry to inform you that this is not doing anything good for your poor skin. Super hot water both dries out and inflames already sensitive winter skin. Now, I would never deny anyone a hot shower, but maybe more on the very warm side?
Now, if you’re privy to a loofah, or any insane kind of physical exfoliation like those infamous walnut scrubs, this is for you. There is such a thing as doing it wrong. Physical exfoliants like loofahs and harsh scrubs deliver uncontrolled damage to your skin which can cause redness, irritation and inflammation. Not a good environment for preventing backne. While this is just as important for summer months, remember that your winter skin is already dry and sensitive. Over exfoliating can strip away your skin’s moisture and skin barrier that you’ve been trying so hard to cultivate and start you right back to square one. Not to mention, loofahs are a trap for dead skin cells and a breeding ground for bacteria. Every time you use it, that’s what’s coming in contact with your body.
If you want to exfoliate to resolve your backne instead of aggravating it, let me introduce you to FIZZ FOUNTAIN, a product designed to renew your skin just the right amount. Part of the magic of FIZZ FOUNTAIN is that it contains chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid to unclog your back WITHOUT being abrasive. It does have physical exfoliates, like fine pumice grains and bamboo powder, but they’re fine and formulated to exfoliate without damaging.
So there you have it. I knew I wasn’t crazy! Backne does get worse in the winter, but with a little TLC, effective hydration, bacteria management, and proper exfoliation techniques you’re on the right track to conquering your backne all year round.
Why stop here? Click here for a the full body routine.