mark twain may have said that the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in san francisco but locals know that the season is changing by a new crispness in the air. november through july often call for a few extra layers in the bay area (to those of you in the rest of the world, it sounds like i’m bragging about our moderate weather but it really does get cold here). check out this list of winter clothing that can cause breakouts and acne-safe solutions to each of them.
hats: beanies, toques, berets, fedoras – whatever hat suits your style, chances are that you’ve never washed it. think of all of the seasons that you’ve worn it during cold and sweaty activities alike (snowboarding anyone?), now think of all of the times that you’ve washed it. the buildup of sweat, dirt, makeup and bacteria can cause breakouts on the forehead and hairline.
solution: wash knit and fabric hats in cold water using acne-safe laundry detergent (kim’s fav is soap nuts). be sure not to scrub too hard causing friction that will make wool become felt, and rinse until the water runs clear of soap and dirt. lay flat to dry.
wash the brim of wool hats that same way or spray with 100% pure alcohol and wipe dry until no debris is coming off of the hat and onto the washcloth.
how often: every 2-3 times that you wear a hat and more often if you are prone to breakouts on the forehead. to avoid spending time everyday washing hats, find a few that you like and rotate them in your wardrobe.
ear muffs: can cause breakouts around the ears and hairline from sweat, dirt, makeup and friction.
solution: spray with 100% pure alcohol and wipe clean with a cloth until no more debris is coming off of the muffs. you can also purchase these washable ear muffs which have minimal contact with the skin around your ears. be sure to get your cleanser, toner and serums all the way into your hairline, around and behind your ears to prevent breakouts.
how often: every few times that you wear them and at the beginning of the season.
scarves: can cause irritation and sweat around the chest, neck and jawline. in addition, they often contain cloggy detergents and manufacturing chemicals when you purchase them which can lead to breakouts.
solution: wash scarves by hand using your acne-safe laundry detergent. rinse with cool water and lay flat to dry.
how often: wash asap when you purchase (before you wear it for the first time) and again every few times that you wear it. be sure to wash all of your scarves together at the beginning of the season so that you have an assortment of options clean in your closet.
jacket collars: are cozy and cute but can lead to breakouts on the chest, neck and jawline if left unwashed.
solution: wash collars by hand using a spray mix of one part water and one part pure alcohol. apply the solution and dry using a clean washcloth. repeat until no debris is coming off of the washcloth.
how often: once per week and at the beginning of the season.
turtle neck + shawl collared sweaters: are in full fashion right now but can cause irritation and breakouts on the chest, neck and jawline.
solution: wash by hand using your acne-safe detergent. rinse with cold water and lay flat to dry. wear a silk or cotton tee underneath if you are experiencing irritation on your chest from itchy materials.
how often: after 1-2 wears.
remember to always wash new clothing and accessories before wearing to remove any chemicals that may have been added during manufacturing. check out this blog for acne-safe laundry detergents.