Why do I get breakouts when the weather changes? How to solve seasonal skin woes

Zoe Cripps OK! beauty editor

By Zoe Cripps

Zoe is OK! Head Of Beauty and covers celebrity beauty news, product launches and helpful beauty hacks.
Why do I get breakouts when the weather changes? How to solve seasonal skin woes


If you’re thinking that it’s a coincidence that your skin decides to break out into whiteheads and pimples as soon as the season changes, think again. Seasonal spots really are a thing, and they can most certainly be brought about by a change in weather.

It makes sense if you think about it. In summer, when the weather is warm, our sweat and oil production are at their peak, making us prone to clogged pores and breakouts. In winter, the cold temperatures are more likely to compromise our skin barrier, resulting in irritation and spots. And when we swap between seasons? Well, there’s definitely an adjustment period our skin goes through before it gets used to the new conditions. 

So what’s the fix? Dr Qian Xu, founder and medical director at Skin Aesthetics, says relief from redness and breakouts lies in our skincare regimes.

“It’s usually necessary to make some subtle changes to your skincare routine as the season changes because the conditions in the summer and winter are very different and the skin often cannot acclimatise to the new conditions quickly enough to protect itself adequately,” she explains.

“During spring and summer, when the weather is warmer and the air is more humid, you may only need a light moisturiser. On the other hand, during the winter, the cold winds and indoor heating can dry the skin out too much, compromising its barrier function. This is why a richer moisturiser is almost always needed.” 

Dr Xu also explains that all of the steps that make up a good skincare regime can be condensed into the acronym CREAMS.

C for cleanser, which is the vital first step twice a day.  

R for resurfacing, which involves gentle exfoliation of the skin.

E for eye cream, which anyone over 25 should consider starting to use.

A is for active ingredients, which are serums containing vitamin C, niacinamide and retinol. 

M is for moisturiser - the formula depends on your individual skin type.

S is for sunscreen, which everyone should be using whatever their age. 

If you’re experiencing a skin breakout now as we transition from winter into spring and summer, we have just the additions to add to your skincare regime. This month’s All About You OK! Beauty Box, from £7.50 but worth over £105, contains three skincare essentials (along with three other gorgeous products) to help your complexion adapt to the new season.

Our top spring skincare pick is the Pixi Milky Remedy Mask (worth £20), which makes for the perfect soothing treat for stressed-out skin.  It features a blend of coconut, oat, chamomile and sea buckthorn to quench thirsty skin and immediately targets redness. Simply leave it on for ten minutes and rinse off to a healthier-looking complexion.

Click here to find out more about our latest OK! Beauty Box.