The Smart Guide to Clearing Winter Breakouts without Drying Your Skin

Posted on December 04, 2015 by Andy Bosselman

Woman with beautiful skin showing her face in winter

The Guide

Andy BosselmanMore than half of women in their 20s and 30s struggle with breakouts (and 40% of guys). Unfortunately zits don’t stop just because cold winter weather dries out our pores and makes our skin more sensitive.  

When cold weather and forced-air furnaces zap our skin of moisture, keeping your skin clear and healthy isn't hard. It’s all about a good skincare routine and reviewing it regularly to make sure you get the basics right. Here are a few tips. 


1. Cleanse and Exfoliate Gently

365 Gentle Skin CleanserThe soap-free 365 Gentle Skin Cleanser from Whole Foods ($6) is our go-to cleanser, especially when skin is sensitive or bombarded by extreme cold, wind, or dryness. It’s a knockoff of Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser ($13). We prefer the 365 version for what it doesn’t have: skin-stripping sodium lauryl sulfate. (Note: The Facial Cleansers by 365 and Cetaphil are different products, less gentle, and potentially more drying). 

If you wear makeup or want a stronger product, we like the Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil ($32), an Allure Best in Beauty winner. (We’re always working to counter the idea that oil-free products are necessary for acne-prone skin. More on that: 1, 2, 3). 

Arithmetic Konjac Exfoliating SpongeWhatever cleanser you use, we suggest applying it with our super-soft and incredibly gentle Konjac Exfoliating Sponge ($20 with free shipping). It’s a great way to brighten the complexion and buff away dry skin flakes, whether it’s caused by the weather or acne products that dry skin. 


2. Invest in Quality Hydration and Protection

Hydration in the dry winter months is a no-brainer, especially to keep dryness at bay and balance patches of oiliness. Reminder: don't shelve the sunscreen in winter.   

CeraVe AMWe’ve sung the praises of the the drugstore CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion ($15) for its antiaging and potential skin-clearing benefits—and we’re not alone. Linda Wells, Allure’s editor in chief, said, "I don't ever leave the house without it. I put it on my face and neck, hands, even earlobes." 

Daily exposure to the sun, artificial light, and pollution really will age your skin. And we know that most people don't use sunscreen every day. If you have a hard time applying sunscreen every day, why not invest in a quality product that you really enjoy using? Over time, it’ll be cheaper than fancy procedures and expensive antiaging products. 

Other Winter SPF Moisturizers I Like:


3. Treat Breakouts without Drying Skin 


Acne Control Complex Spot Treatment for Adult AcneIf you're prone to breakouts and in your 20s or beyond, get them under control with our Acne Control Complex ($30 with free shipping). Unfortunately, adults are getting zits and breakouts more than ever and this spot treatment is made specifically for the have thinner, dryer, more sensitive skin of adults.


Actually, most pimple creams are designed for teenagers. They're too strong and actually hurt adult our skin, especially if we use them for more than a couple of weeks. As someone with adult acne, I was frustrated with this. That's why our was designed to soothe and hydrate the complexion—and allow adults to use it consistently over time.

The bottom line? This product has attracted a cult following (see the reviews) and the accolades of beauty editors. 


  • Andy Bosselman is founder of Arithmetic
  • About Us: Arithmetic is a new skincare company focused on helping adults achieve clear, healthy skin
  • Posted in acne, adult acne, beauty tips, breakouts, cerave, cleanse, cleanser, dry skin, exfoliate, gentle, hydrate, moisturize, pimples, sensitive skin, skincare tips, spf, spot treatment for dry skin, winter, winter skin, winter skincare, zit cream, zits


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