There is no doubt that weather affects the health and appearance of your skin. How different types of weather affect our skin depends on factors such as genetics, the make-up we use, humidity, or how we expose ourselves to the sun.
One of the biggest concerns facing society in this regard is how to maintain our skin's condition consistently throughout the year.
Many dermatologists think that to have beautiful skin all year round, we simply have to adapt our skincare routine according to the type of climate or the season we are going through.
Get A Glowy, Pimple Free Skin In Summer
As the weather gets warmer and more humid, our skin needs to adapt, and along with it, so does our skincare routine. During summer, we’ll often feel greasy and heavy as more oil and dirt get trapped on the surface of our skin. “The heat experience during humid weather causes discomfort on the body as a whole and causes excess sweating as the body’s way of naturally cooling itself down,” says Shlomit Heller, founder of Shlomit Skin Ecology. “In an effort to bring balance, the body, and skin in particular, may overproduce oils that create an environment that is optimal for excess bacteria production that could lead to acne and congested skin,” she explains.
So how do we deal with this and avoid becoming a shiny, pimply, sticky mess? Switching to an oil-removing cleanser will help to control excess sebum. If you feel that you need a deeper clean, look for products that contain salicylic acid, like in a light moisturizer, lotion or a gel. It may sound counter-intuitive, but if you have oily or acne-prone skin, you still need to moisturize. Replacing the moisture that has been lost during the day (with the heat and humidity undoubtedly comes extra sweat!) and after cleansing is the best way to combat oily skin. Choose a lightweight, oil-free water-based moisturizer for a matte finish and long-lasting hydration.
We need sun protection all year round, but of course, we should be extra diligent in the hot summer sun. We know too much sun can damage your skin’s moisture barrier, leading to lost elasticity, dryness and even premature aging. It doesn't have to feel hot for your skin to feel the sun’s damaging effects: rays can reach through glass, so don’t forget the SPF. In hot and humid climates, you’ll want to focus on protection along with avoiding shine. Choose a lightweight, fast-absorbing sunscreen that offers a semi-matte finish and broad spectrum protection.
But of course, we don’t experience humid summers all over the world. If you live in a hot, dry climate, avoid products that strip your skin of moisture such as harsh cleansers and toners, since low humidity levels can already increase water loss from the skin. You can also apply a lightweight gel-based moisturizer at night, plus a face oil both in the morning and at night. Look for ingredients that seal moisture in. For SPF, look for a hydrating sunscreen that can even double as a daytime moisturizer. And if your skin is really struggling, invest in a humidifier - your skin and pores will thank you every morning!
Whether your summers are dry or humid, if you’re in a hot country, you’ll be exposed to blasts of cold air conditioners on a regular basis, which can irritate the skin. Try incorporating a daily serum into your skin care routine (if you already haven’t) in order to help properly hydrate the skin. You could also include using a clay mask up to three times a week for a deeper cleanse, and applying an astringent after cleansing in order to purify the skin from any environmental aggressors.
Combating Dry Skin In Winter
Cold temperatures often mean low humidity, which strips moisture from exposed skin, leaving it dry. The dryness is actually why the cold weather causes your skin to become cracked, leading to uncomfortable itching and skin that is tough to the touch. Even though we’re based in Taiwan here at gabi+skin, where it’s rarely cold and dry, our skin still experiences the same effects - maybe even more intensely when we’re jumping in and out of refreshing, yet overpowering air conditioned buildings into the heat!
When it starts to get cold (either naturally or artificially), the skin has to work harder to maintain adequate hydration. As dermatologist Joshua Zeichner explains, the skin likes consistency, so when factors, like weather, change so quickly, it's like a shock to the system, and takes its toll on our skin. This can lead to cracks in the outer skin layer, loss of hydration, and inflammation — all of which can seriously impact the overall state of your skin health.
It’s not the temperature alone which causes these skin troubles. Just like we change our clothes in the winter months, we also change our daily habits. Taking long hot showers and turning the central heating on in your home also contribute to dry and inflamed skin.
So how can we take care of our skin to avoid these issues when our environment gets cooler? As we’ve said before, it’s best to avoid showers with very hot water as this removes the lipid layer and irritates the skin - causing dehydration. Try limiting your showers to no more than five minutes and keeping the temperature lower. Dr. Shari Marchbein recommends using a gentle, nourishing body wash like Dove's Deep Moisture. As your skin may be dryer and more flakey, exfoliation is a must to slog away those dead skin cells and promote your collagen production. Remember not to over scrub as this will actually aggravate the problem - two to three times a week is enough.
As soon as you’re out of the shower, apply a thicker moisturizer than you would during the summer months to replace any lost hydration. Look for ingredients like glycerin, ceramides and hyaluronic acid in your moisturizer and skin care products, as these work to retain water and keep your skin from drying out.
Tailor Your Skincare Routine To The Season
Your skin is the most sensitive organ in your body and also one of the first indicators of our overall health. If we're tired, we'll have signs of fatigue such as dark circles under our eyes, while if we've rested well, our skin will look glowy.
Maintaining a balanced diet rich in nutrients, exercising, drinking enough water to keep our bodies hydrated and switching up our skincare routine as the seasons change, will allow us to maintain an even and radiant skin throughout the year.