Seasonal changes can wreak havoc on your skin. Our bodies – and therefore our skin – are constantly changing, even at the cellular level; add climate change into the mix it, and you’ll feel and see the effects. So what can you do about it?
Let’s start with spring, when we finally get some sunshine and nature begins to awaken. This is also a time when the skin is still dealing with the effects of the cold, dry winters. The combination of low humidity, chilly temperatures and moisture-zapping heaters can cause skin to become dry and rough. During this time, use exfoliating and moisturizing products to get rid of dry, dead skin cells and replenish your skin.
The summer season can bring with it humidity, which can keep skin supple. But heat and humidity can also make skin feel oily and sticky. Although humidity is good for our skin, extreme heat kicks the sebaceous glands into overdrive, causing an excess of natural oils. Controlling these problems requires a good daily skin care regimen. Use a clarifying facial cleanser and body wash with salicylic acid, followed by an alcohol-free facial toner and a lightweight moisturizer (apply this immediately after showering to lock hydration in). Lotions, which tend to be lighter than creams, are perfect for summer. And remember: No matter your skin type, use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher and reapply to your face and body every two hours when you’re in the sun.
When fall arrives, it's important to exfoliate dead skin cells and keep your skin hydrated to prepare it for the coming winter.
Winter is probably the harshest season for skin. The dry, cold, low-humidity outdoors combined with parching indoor heat can cause skin to become dry, chapped, itchy and sensitive. And dry skin can even look older. Stay hydrated and youthful by drinking loads of water, and eat a diet high in omega-3s. Keep your skin moisturized by applying lotions and moisturizers rich in aloe and vitamin E whenever your skin feels tight or dry. Try to turn down the heat in the shower, as boiling-hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils.
And remember: No matter the season, be aware that your hormonal changes may affect your skin. You may need to switch your skincare routine to reflect your current needs – the methods you used at 20 may not be right when you hit 50. Remember, too, to get enough sleep every night and to exercise regularly to increase blood flow. And exfoliate – as we age, our skin cell turnover slows and it becomes increasingly important to get rid of the dead cells. Exfoliation is key, so get a professional peel once a month. Finally, use sunscreen every day. If you take proper care of your complexion, your skin should glow throughout the year.