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Surprising Reasons You're Breaking Out In Winter—And What To Do About It

Why does congestion occur in the winter? Believe it or not, it all comes down to dehydration.

By Kaleigh Fasanella, she/her

If you’re still breaking out in the thick of winter when the air is bone dry and humidity is at an all-time low, well, you’re not alone. It’s actually a common misconception that breakouts are more rampant during the summer months—while that may be the case from some people, there’s still a huge portion of the population who deal with breakouts during the wintertime, too. 

Why does congestion occur in the winter though? Believe it or not, according to Jacob Tomas dél Rosario, Youth To The People’s Director of Field Sales + Education, it all comes down to dehydration

“Skin that’s dehydrated and over-producing oil could aid in keratinization and the retention of breakout-causing bacteria,” says del Rosario. “On top of that, we also have a tendency to scratch when we’re dehydrated and anytime you bring your hands to face, you’re bringing bacteria to the skin.”

To address the latter, Rosario highly recommends being diligent about hand washing and cleaning your cell phone and pillowcase, as they both harbor a ton of bacteria. As for the key to keeping your skin hydrated and pores clear of bacteria? 

“Retinoids, when paired with exfoliation, can help alleviate that traffic jam on the surface of your skin that leads to congestion, so long as you're of course mindful of things like cadence of use and what type of exfoliator and retinoid you’re using,” says del Rosario. 

Click here to shop the Retinal + Niacinamide Youth Serum.

Any of YTTP’s exfoliators are MVPs when it comes to staving off breakouts in the winter months. 

“I would recommend any of our exfoliators, but specifically our Mandelic Acid + Superfood Unity Exfoliant because it has that BHA element to it in the form of salicylic acid,” says del Rosario. (If you didn’t know, BHAs basically vacuum-clean your pores.)

“I also love the Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial—especially keeping it in the shower so I have easy access to it when my skin’s feeling dull and needs a boost.” The Energy Facial is a powerful exfoliator that contains active enzymes from papaya and pineapple, as well as bamboo and diatomaceous earth to polish, and aloe to soothe and restore moisture to skin. To further prevent dehydration, follow up with a vegan, hyaluronic acid filled hydrating serum such as YTTP’s new Triple Peptide + Cactus Oasis Serum, which as the name suggests, contains a supercharged blend of fine line-smoothing peptides, along with moisture-replenishing cactus stem and 4D hyaluronic acid that help bring dehydrated skin cells back to life. Finally, apply a rich moisturizer—the Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream is a failsafe choice—to lock everything in so you wake up with glowing, supple, clear-looking skin.

Written by Kaleigh Fasanella for Youth To The People




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Superfood Cleanser Refill
Superfood Cleanser
Superfood Cleanser 2 oz. Travel Size
Retinal + Niacinamide Youth Serum
Triple Peptide + Cactus Oasis Serum
15% Vitamin C + Clean Caffeine Energy Serum
Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Oil
Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream
Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream
Mandelic Acid + Superfood Unity Exfoliant
Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask
Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial