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How to maintain flawless skin this fall

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If you’re anything like me, as the seasons start to change, so does your skin. For many this means breakouts, acne and other issues due to the stress, climate and routine shifts that come along with the transition to a new season. Seeking some insight as to why this takes place, as well as how to manage, I turned to dermatologist Dr. Michael Lin. Having personally struggled with acne, Dr. Lin has devoted his practice to providing his patients with continuously clear skin. In that time, he established several successful practices in California, where he has built a loyal and trusting patient base. He is a California-licensed physician, a Diplomate of the American Academy of Dermatology, and Adjunct Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Southern California.

Every year like clockwork when the seasons change, I seem to get crazy breakouts. Why would that happen?
As the weather changes, some skin types are prone to over-producing excess oil. This can contribute to seasonal breakouts. Combat this pimple problem by washing with a cleanser that contains 2% salicylic acid to unclog pores. After cleansing, use a benzoyl peroxide lotion or spot-treatment for blemishes. If you have dry patches, try my Daily Hydrating Gel, which is a non-comedogenic, oil-free moisturizer that contains soothing aloe vera.

What lifestyle factors lead to a breakout?
There are many lifestyle factors that can impact acne. A healthy diet is one: Recent studies show certain foods, such as chocolate or high sugar foods, may aggravate acne-prone skin. Proper cleansing and makeup removal is another. I recommend removing makeup and using a gentle cleanser with salicylic acid, followed by benzoyl peroxide lotion or spot treatment. And sun protection is always important.

How does stress impact your skin?
Prolonged stress causes the body to release cortisol, a steroid hormone, which can lead to breakouts. This is why if you are stressed about next week’s exam or school dance, you might notice new eruptions. Getting enough sleep and exercise can help alleviate stress-induced breakouts.

As the seasons change how should you evolve your skincare regime?
During hotter seasons when your skin is prone to producing excess sweat and oils, many people only need to moisturize the dry areas. Similarly, some people may want to begin layering a moisturizer over a serum as the weather gets colder to prevent dryness and irritation.

What ingredients should you look for in your skincare products to help combat acne?
1) Benzoyl Peroxide. Use a Benzoyl Peroxide medication for acne. Benzoyl Peroxide (BP) concentrations should be between 2.5%-10%. Benzoyl Peroxide helps penetrates deep into the skin to kill acne-causing bacteria to shrink breakouts.
2) Salicylic Acid – Look for a cleanser that contains 2% salicylic acid, the maximum strength available over the counter, to unclog pores. I've had patients ask why their salicylic acid cleanser isn’t working for them and often times it's because it contains a small 0.5% concentration of salicylic acid. My Daily Cleanser contains 2% salicylic acid. It's powerful enough to rid the skin of impurities, but gentle enough to not cause irritation.

Are there any long-term habits you should adopt to make clear skin long lasting?
Continuously clear skin is attributed to maintaining healthy skin habits. Find a regimen that works for you and stick to it. Quick fixes often deliver temporary results, but maintaining clear skin is like maintaining a healthy weight. They both require healthy lifestyles that you stick to.

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