On our blog, you are always sure to find heaps of helpful information geared toward helping you alleviate your acne, including teen, adult, hormonal, and male acne.

What is Acne?

The condition of acne is due in part to a hormonal imbalance that takes place within the body. Certain hormones can affect the amount of sebum, an oily substance, produced by the sebaceous glands. When too much sebum is produced, it can clog pores. These clogged pores combined with dead skin cells and debris from the skin’s surface and bacteria is formed within the pore, often leading to inflammation or breakouts.

Certain things can potentially trigger the imbalance of hormones, such as sugar and lack of sleep, while other habits can create unsavory conditions on the surface of the skin, which will often lead to a dry, flaky complexion that can contribute to the formation of acne symptoms. Read on to learn about our top three holiday party dangers to avoid, ensuring a clear and healthy complexion!

Holiday Party Culprits That Might Interfere With Acne-Prone Skin

  1. Alcohol. This one might be hard for some people to hear, but those holiday drinks are not only dehydrating, but may interfere with your sleep schedulelater, which can potentially lead to breakouts over time. That being said, if you can’t cut out the cocktails altogether, just try to drink in moderation or make smarter choices for your skin, like choosing wine or straight alcohol over mixed drinks high in sugar which can lead to inflammation, exacerbating acne symptoms. Red wine is preferred over white unless you have rosacea, in which case avoid red wine. Straight liquor can either be consumed as a shot or over ice, and a refreshing blend of alcohol and sparkling water is another easy way to enjoy your spirits while minimizing the impact of alcohol on your acne. Adding a dash of lime or lemon can add a healthy dose of vitamin C, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which contributes to clear healthy skin.
  2. Sugar. With all the sweet foods at our fingertips during the holiday season, temptation is around almost every corner. While everyone should allow themselves to indulge from time to time, those with acne-prone complexions might find themselves paying for it on the surface of their skin for days.  Many people blame their acne on sugar, and although no single food is the cause of the condition, certain things we eat, including sugar, can affect the way our bodies react. When we eat too many sugary foods, our insulin hormones kick into high gear, which many believe to be directly related to the condition of acne. That is not to say, however, that we cannot have our sweet needs met. The trick is to find alternatives to sugar as a way to sweeten your treats, such as organic honey, stevia, and coconut nectar, which all taste great and won’t wreak on your complexion
  3. Sleeping in your make up.Most people wash their face upon waking, but if you’re the type to fall asleep in a face full of makeup, you could be making your acne worse, and with some long nights of festive fun ahead of you, it’s important to get into the habit of washing your face before bed. Keeping a clean surface is half the battle when it comes to acne, and washing with a gentle cleanser followed by a moisturizer suited to your skin type before bed can go a long way in keeping those pores clean and unclogged, which can result in fewer breakouts.

Of course, even the most skin savvy person can slip up from time to time, especially when faced with the festivities of the holiday season, which is why it’s important to have something working for you even if you let your guard down for a night or two. The most effective way to keep your skin looking and feeling its best is to prevent acne before it starts, which means breaking the acne cycle,

So we want to hear from you!  What are some top tips that you usually do during the next week to avoid breakouts? 


Out with those flowy summer dresses and in with the bulky, comfortable sweaters. Out with the cute wedge sandals and in with the ultra-lined, soft boots that can battle snow and sleet effortlessly. Wardrobes, sunsets and nutrition all take on a warmer role as the season transitions from hot weather to cold temperatures, and your beauty products are no different. While you don’t have to replace absolutely everything in your vanity cabinet during the winter, it is a good idea to pay extra attention to the ingredients in your products to ensure you’re not putting your skin at a higher risk for dryness, inflammation or redness.

“The main problem my patients present with in the winter is dry skin.  Dry and cold winter weather strips the skin of its natural moisture barrier, resulting in skin that is dull in appearance, and in worst cases itchy and inflamed, Dr. Arash Akhavan, MD, FAAD, founder and owner of The Dermatology & Laser Group in NYC says. “For those suffering with dry skin in winter months, adjustments sometimes have to be made to our skin routines.”

Here’s what skin care products dermatologists recommend to cut or go easy with during the winter:

  1. Cut: Cleansers with Salicylic Acid

Though effective at helping you combat an aggressive pimple, acids that are usually found in your cleansers can wreck on skin that’s already sensitive to cold weather. “If you are struggling with dryness one of the main items to set aside in the winter is harsh cleansers that de-fat our skin, exacerbating winter skin issues. Instead, switch to a cleanser that has a high moisture content. As for getting rid of unfortunate breakouts, reach for an acne spot treatment instead.

  1. Go Easy: Anti-Aging Products That are Retinoid Based

Most women will start some sort of anti-aging routine long before they ever need to worry about menopause. While it’s always a good idea to make sure your skin is getting the agents it needs to stay firm, youthful and elastic, Dr. Akhavan says that retinoid-based formulas can be especially irritating in the colder months. “This can be especially true with prescription retinoid products,” she notes. “Consider switching to a gentler retinol-containing product, or anti-aging products that are based on vitamin C or other antioxidants in a moisturizing base.

  1. Cut: Peel Masks

While peels are generally amazing products to use on your skin throughout the year, some may not work the same magic or give you the same results during this chilly season. That’s why Dr. Akhavan says it’s a good idea to pay special attention to how your skin behaves and instead of exfoliating or peel masks, add on a hydrating mask to make sure your skin is retaining its moisture levels. “When it comes to face masks, we find that most patients need to switch to more hydrating masks in the winter to avoid over drying their skin. A hydrating mask can restore oil balance when applied regularly about once every one to two weeks,” she advises.

  1. Cut: Perfumed Hand Lotion 

Even if you’ve been swearing by the same lotion since you were a teenager, your skin is thirsty for something heavier during the winter. In fact, if you’re not using the correct formula, you’ll start to notice dryness in your hands first and foremost. That’s why Dr. Akhavan says hand cream is a must for wintertime. And not just when you remember to do it in between meetings at work but all the time. “The skin on our hands can crack, leading to inflamed, itchy, and sometimes painful skin in this area.  We recommend using an ultra-rich moisturizer a few times a day in the area, including as frequently as possible after hand washing,” she says. Because certain ingredients, like perfume, can be especially drying, reach for a fragrance-free one—and don’t forget the SPF!

  1. A matte lipstick

It might make your puckers look sensual and sexy, but your typical matte lippy isn’t doing much for dry chapped lips. “For the lips, carrying around a hydrating lip balm or lipstick is key, as we have to reapply moisture to this area frequently when we are being exposed to frigid temperatures and the dry wind of winter months,” Dr. Akhavan says. “Ideally, lip balms have sun protection built in protecting against harmful UV rays that are still present in winter months.”

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