A post on how the skin—and, by extension, skincare products and skincare routines—changes with the seasons. This post will be most helpful for those living in temperate climates where all four seasons are realized, but hopefully those who don’t will still find this interesting and/or useful!
Our skin has a tumultuous relationship with the environment. Personally, my skin is at its “worst” when the seasons are transitioning. How we interact with the environment changes from season to season, so it only makes sense that the way we take care of our skin changes as well. I’ve always found it useful to have an arsenal of skincare products at my disposal to chop and change depending on how my skin is behaving (or misbehaving). Curse the people with normal skin (whatever that means) who can use the same products every day for their entire lives.
There is really no way to pinpoint exactly when the best time is to start switching up your products to accommodate seasonal changes, but if you pay attention to your skin, you’ll start to see the signs; which, let’s be honest, won’t be good signs. Winter and summer are the most challenging seasons, for obvious reasons, where spring and autumn are the easy transitional seasons. One piece of advice that runs consistent across all seasons is wear sunscreen if you go outside. That Baz Luhrmann song wasn’t joking.
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– Chapped lips
– Eczema/atopic dermatitis flare-ups
Most, if not all, of the above are spurred by bitterly cold temperatures coupled with low humidity. Those prone to redness or high-colour find winter particularly challenging, as the constant temperature flip from cold outdoors to piping hot central-heated indoors wreaks havoc on facial capillaries.
– Use common sense and your own better judgment—check the weather forecast before going outside so you can dress and prep your skin accordingly.
– Even though it’s tempting, do not take piping hot showers. I struggle with this one a bit, because I like my showers so hot the temperature of the water is enough to melt the flesh right off my bones. It’s counterproductive in the wintertime, though, as too-hot water compromises the skin barrier, which leads to further dehydration and dryness.
– Change to products that have richer textures (provided your skin can tolerate them) if the products from a previous season aren’t doing anything for you by way of correcting dryness.
– Add humidifiers to the rooms you’re in most often—dry air (low humidity) as a result of central heating literally pulls the water from your skin (diffusion gradient).
– Exfoliate the lips regularly. I like to smear on a thick layer of some kind of anhydrous balm, let it soften the dead skin on the lips for around half-an-hour, and then remove by rolling over them with a Q-tip or wiping over them with a hot damp face cloth. Take all of your skincare products over your lips and seal in all of the goodness with a moisturizing balm.
– Use redness-relieving or redness-correcting products and products containing anti-irritants to knock any high-colour on the head.
– Do not use harsh, acid-based exfoliants on skin that is chapped, windburned, or experiencing eczema, as you will only irritate it further. Stick to healing, rich, emollient formulas. [General purpose comment; not intended to substitute proper dermatological advice.]
– If you would rather take baths than showers, do not use stripping, foaming bubble baths—instead try adding oils and/or cream/milk bath products to moisturize the skin. Don’t forget to moisturize the body immediately after stepping out of the bath or shower.
– Clarins Cleansing Milk with Alpine Herbs
– The Body Shop Aloe Calming Cream Cleanser
– Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser
– Sarah Chapman Skinesis Ultimate Cleanse
– Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
– Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic
– NUXE Gentle Toning Lotion with Rose Petals
– Lush Eau Roma Water Toner Water
– Clarins Double Serum
– Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil
– Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte’s Magic Cream
– Crème de la Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream
– Balance Me Restore And Replenish Face Cream
– Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment
– May Lindstrom Skin The Blue Cocoon
– Clarins Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate SOS Treatment
– Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream
– Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Face Cream
– La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense
– Elemis Frangipani Monoi Body Oil
– Elemis Skin Nourishing Milk Bath
– Aromatherapy Associates Bath & Shower Oils
. . . . .
– Waterlogged skin
– Razor burn
– Irritation (allergies)
– Raw skin
– Itchy skin
– Chemical burns
– Skin that is waterlogged and thus softened as a result of wet weather is highly susceptible to blisters and sores (caused by rubbing from walking in wet shoes). You might find it helpful to keep an emergency pair of shoes and dry socks in your car just in case.
– Let’s be honest—you probably haven’t shaved your body all winter. An unpracticed hand coupled with skin that isn’t adequately prepped to be shaved can be disastrous. Make sure you exfoliate the skin you’re about to shave thoroughly beforehand and use a razor and a shaving aide (cream, gel, lubricant, oil) that you know your skin is comfortable with. Follow your shave using an astringent, if necessary, to quell razor irritation, and a lotion with healing/soothing ingredients and anti-irritants.
– Spring is the worst season for allergy sufferers. Exposure to airborne allergens—pollen, hay, mites, mold spores, dust, dander, etc.—increases histamine release, which causes blood vessels to dilate and leads to skin inflammation and redness. As an allergy sufferer myself, I am getting itchy just typing this. Keep your antihistamines, EpiPen, and whatever else you may need on-hand just in case!
– Use an anhydrous balm in between blowing your nose to keep the skin from getting dry and peeling.
– Skin that is thoroughly hydrated and moisturized, in my experience, is less likely to become itchy. If regular moisturizer isn’t cutting it, try looking for ones that are specifically for itch-relief in the drugstore.
– If you’re planning a big spring cleaning, always wear protective rubber gloves when handling cleaning chemicals to protect your skin from sensitization and chemical burns. After you finish cleaning, shower (to get the feeling of “yuck” off of you), and moisturize.
– Amp up the use exfoliants – both chemical (acid) and physical (tonic) – to get rid of the drab skin that the winter has left you with.
– Start to use lighter textured products with awesome ingredients like waters, essences, and milky toners, in preparation for the summertime.
– Jack Black Beard Lube Conditioning Shave
– Origins Blade Runner Energizing Shaving Cream
– ClarinsMen After Shave Energizer
– CeraVe Itch Relief Moisturizing Cream
– Biologique Recherche Lotion P50
– Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Extreme Night Pads
– Omorovicza Refining Facial Polisher
– Origins Modern Friction
– Mizon Water Volume EX First Essence
– Paula’s Choice Resist Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner
– Paula’s Choice Moisture Boost Essential Hydrating Toner
– Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Balancing Softener
. . . . .
– Heat rash
– Bacterial and fungal infections
– Rosacea flare-ups
– Oiliness tends to be exacerbated in the summertime, coupled with the fact that we’re sweating more. Most people change their products to those of lighter textures to keep things from feeling “too heavy” on the skin. People with oily skin may find it beneficial to switch to a more thorough but still non-stripping foaming cleanser, whereas people with normal-to-dry skin might start alternating cleansing balms, oils, and creams with gentle washes for a fresher feeling.
– All skin types can use facial oils, regardless of what you may have heard. If you have oily and acne-prone skin, you might find it helpful to forgo using a moisturizer altogether and swap in a light facial oil. Often times it’s the stuff that “makes a moisturizer a moisturizer” what causes acne-prone skin to play up. Oils are purer, and a few drops is all you need. If you’re staunchly opposed to using oils, why not try substituting in a milky toner that’s overflowing with great ingredients?
– Keep a refreshing mist-on toner in the refrigerator for use during your skincare routine to cool you down. You will get even more of a boost out of it if the mist contains cooling ingredients like eucalyptus and peppermint.
– Heat rash is a cause for concern in the warmer months—it occurs when the pores become blocked in a way that prevents them from expelling sweat. There are different types of heat rash with varying degrees of severity, but at the most basic level, you can stop it from happening by wearing loose-fitting clothing, staying hydrated, and staying cool. If you’re a fitness junkie, try working out in moisture-wicking clothing (made of fabric that pulls moisture away from the skin). If you’re experiencing heat rash, use mild cleansers that are free of artificial fragrance, and don’t weigh the skin down with greasy moisturizers.
– Heat and moisture—two things that bacteria and fungi love. Pay attention to what’s going on with your skin, and if you see anything out of the ordinary, go to a doctor.
– You can get a sunburn during any season at any time, but it’s most likely to happen in the summertime. Always wear SPF – you don’t have to go crazy if you’re only going to experience indirect, incidental sunlight, but if you’re going to be in direct sunlight for any period of time, go for a factor 25-30 and apply it generously to all exposed areas, and reapply as often as you can. Wear hats or other clothing that will minimize sun exposure. Anything you can do to lower the chance that you’ll get burned is good. Even though sunburns come and go, we don’t see the detrimental effects they can have on our skin until decades later. We know the sun is the number one cause of skin aging, so it’s better to be safe than sorry! P.S., your daytime lip balm should have SPF, too!
– If you wear sunscreen during the day (on days you go outside, of course…) you should cleanse twice at the end of the day—once to remove the sunscreen, and once to cleanse the skin.
– If you’re feeling particularly grubby after sweating a lot, use a gentle yet thorough physical exfoliant (facial scrub) to give your skin that “ahhhhh” feeling.
– Sun, heat, and humidity are three of the most common rosacea triggers, and there is a greater likelihood for flare-ups, given that most of us want to be taking part in outdoor activities during the summer. Nothing I can say here could ever be a substitute for proper medical advice, so always speak with your doctor, particularly if you’re taking medication to deal with rosacea symptoms.
– MAC Cosmetics Green Gel Cleanser
– Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser
– Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
– Omorovicza Cleansing Foam
– Clarins Daily Energizer Cleansing Gel
– Omorovicza Balancing Moisturizer
– Tata Harper Beautifying Face Oil
– Paula’s Choice Resist Advanced Replenishing Toner
– Caudalie Beauty Elixir
– Lush Tea Tree Water Toner Water
– CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
– CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
– Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection SPF 50
– Avène Hydrance Optimale SPF 25
– Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25
– Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser with Orange Extract
. . . . .
– Early stages of dehydration and dryness
– Dullness/sallowness (colour from summer fading)
– The autumn months are the easiest, in my opinion—my skin tends to be the most behaved during this time. In autumn I like to use face masks to treat and pamper my skin.
– Start introducing products designed to tackle dehydration and dryness into your routine. These will be in addition to the hydration that face masks (particularly sheet masks) are providing.
– Use products containing retinol to resurface the skin and counter any sun damage that may have occurred during the summertime.
– Try to hold on to your summer glow by using self-tanners.
– Innisfree Sheet Masks (literally any of them—they’re all great)
– Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask
– Caudalie Glycolic Peel
– Liz Earle Brightening Treatment Mask
– Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment
– Clarins Facial Lift V-Facial Intensive Wrap
– Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase
– Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum with Retinol
– Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream – NIGHT
– Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil
– Clarins Liquid Bronze, Self Tanning for Face and Décolleté
. . . . .
That’s all she wrote for now, folks! Hopefully you enjoyed! Leave any questions below.