The way we treat our skin should change with the seasons. Even in a relatively temperate climate, our skin can be ravaged in different ways by seasonal changes. Here’s why. With fluctuations in humidity, temperature, and ultraviolet radiation (UV), each season places different demands on our skin. It does its best to respond to warmer or colder weather but without a little help, skin could lose moisture or become oily, and become sensitive or prone to irritation.
Light, natural skincare products that work well for your skin during the summer won’t be as effective during colder weather winter. If you love your skin and want it radiant all year long, switch-up your skincare to give it the support it needs. Here are some simple tips for healthy-looking skin from season to season.
What to do when it’s cold
When autumn and winter arrive, humidity plummets along with the temperature. As these fall so does your skin’s moisture levels, leaving it feeling dry and tight.
Choose a mild cleanser
During winter, opt for a milder, more hydrating oil or cream-based cleanser. Choose one that contains mineral oils, glycerine and sorbitol, and avoid those containing alcohol and fragrances. Cleansers with a low pH of 6 or less are best for your skin. Hint: Those with a high pH tend to lather much more than cream-based cleansers with a low pH.
If your skin feels dry and tight, change to a heavier, oil-based moisturiser rather than a water-based one. Avoid products that contain retinoids or an alpha hydroxy acid. To lock-in moisture after a warm (not too-hot) bath, gently pat your skin dry and apply your moisturiser immediately. If you have eczema, you may have to give your skin a lot more support when it is cold.
Drink plenty of water during winter to keep your body, and your skin, hydrated from the inside out. Too cold to drink cold water? A few cups of ginger or lemon tea throughout the day will help to keep you hydrated. Also, choose foods with high water content, such as oranges, broccoli, celery, cucumber and bell peppers.
Use a humidifier
The overuse of heaters and air-conditioners can have a drying effect on your skin. Offset this by using a humidifier, especially when you have artificial heat in your home. Avoid putting your heater or air-con on high. Aim for a temperature of 20 degrees to 22 degrees.
Hints for happy skin in the heat
When the weather heats up, humidity rises and we sweat more. This combination makes your skin’s sebaceous glands produce more natural oils. Depending on your skin type, it could go to the extreme and become oily and pimple-prone.
Switch to a lightweight cleanser
Drop the cream-based cleanser you used in winter and choose a lightweight, sulphate-free cleansing solution instead. If you have dry skin, choose a gel-based product. If your skin is oily, a water-based cleanser is your best bet. It’s a good idea to use a face scrub about twice a week to remove excess oil and dirt. Buy one that is suitable for your skin type.
Get a non-greasy moisturiser
Look for a light, non-greasy moisturiser suitable for your skin type. Regardless of whether your skin is oily or dry, you want a moisturiser with antioxidants like vitamin A and C. You could consider a combination sunscreen and moisturiser as these tend to have a lighter consistency.
Use non-clogging makeup
While your skin is producing more natural oils in hotter weather, you should avoid makeup that will clog your pores further. A powder-based sunscreen, a non-oily primer, and a lightweight foundation or tinted moisturiser are great summer alternatives.
Wear sun protection
The harshness of the African sun calls for sunscreen every single day. A sun protection factor of between 20 and 30 is recommended on all exposed skin, even if you aren’t in the sun much. If you are outdoors most of the day, use a sunscreen with a factor of 50 and reapply often if you are going to be swimming. Wearing a hat and sunglasses, as well as sitting in the shade will also help to protect your skin and eyes from ultraviolet radiation damage.