When you think of the T-zone, oil (and probably acne) immediately comes to mind. For many of us, that’s the spot we use blotting sheets on the most. But, in the winter, it also happens to be a place prone to dryness and visible flakes not even foundation can cover up. Eeek. Because we’re definitely not into dealing with that, we went to a dermatologist who gave us insight into what causes a dry t-zone, along with a few ways to fix it.
Ditch the drying cleanser.
Although this is a place vulnerable to oiliness, Beverly Hills-based Dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer explains that the dry weather and dry indoor heat can actually cause a disruption in your oil production and even mess with your skin’s ability to hold onto needed moisture. “This flawed barrier function is the root of a rough or uneven and dry complexion, and can be helped by avoiding harsh cleansers and acne treatments in favor of a richer moisturizer,” he notes.
Don’t cleanse with hot water.
We know it can be hard to give up a steamy shower, but overall, your skin will thank you. Dr. Lancer says hot water can dry out your skin more and recommends washing your face with tepid or barely warm water instead.
Sleep with a humidifer.
Dr. Lancer says that investing in this machine will help “combat the excessively dry heat of indoor furnaces” that tends to dry out your skin.
Exfoliate to get rid of flakes.
Did you know that flaking, dry skin can actually make it difficult for your moisturizer to work? Dr. Lancer explains this dry, hardened skin can prevent the formula from penetrating. The solution is exfoliating, but there’s a catch. Dr. Lancer says if your skin is red, sensitive, or irritated, exfoliating can make the problem worse.
Boost your moisturizer.
“I tell my patients dealing with short-term bouts of dry skin due to the weather, traveling etc., to add a drop of an oil rich in essential fatty acids to their moisturizer,” suggests Dr. Lancer. “Olive oil, grapeseed oil, and rosehip oil are all excellent for nourishing dry skin.”
Stay on top of your skin care regimen.
Following a healthy skin care routine can help you stay ahead of the issue. Dr. Lancer says a regimen of physical exfoliation, gentle cleansing, nourishment, hydration, and sun protection should help. “If, in the winter you notice skin beginning to feel dry or ‘tight,’ don’t be afraid to skip your usual application of retinol, glycolic acid, or acne treatments, which tend to have a drying effect on the skin,” he adds.
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