By Madeline Calfas
It is super important to understand and realise that, just as the environment around us changes with the seasons, so too does our skin. The cooler weather in winter means a tendency for our skin to become much drier. Less moisture in the air, as well as to the dramatic increase in indoor temperatures as we crank up the air con and heaters can also lead to increased redness as all the extra heat allows the facial capillaries to dilate more.
An increase in hot drinks, particularly caffeine, also contributes to this vasodilation of the facial capillaries, and to the dehydration of the skin.
As the cooler months then begin to make way to the warmer weather, it is then we may start to notice our skin becoming less dry – it may even begin to lean toward the oily side. Your daily exposure to UV increases, and with it so to the amount of oxidative damage, sweat and possibly even pimples.
The key to year-long skin protection is to adjust your skincare routine according to what is going on outside your window. It really is a matter of common sense to appreciate that when your skin is thirstier, you need to give it more hydration. A richer formulation that has hydrating ingredients is a much better way to provide your skin with the moisture that it needs rather than trying to slather you summer moisturiser on in the hopes that more is just the same. It isn’t. Your skin can only absorb so much at any given time, and just caking it on simply means whatever can’t be will just end up sitting on the surface. Switch out your moisturiser and use something that will give your skin the moisture it needs. Look for ingredients such as Vitamin E (tocopherols) and Hydrolized wheat protein – great ingredients to improve the moisture content of skin by creating a thin semi-permeable membrane that keeps moisture in but still allows the skin to breathe.
These are some of the key ingredients in lotions that make them an excellent option to give your skin the big drink it needs. Also look for cleansers that are cream or oil based rather than foaming cleansers in winter as they won’t have the same saponins to strip oil from the skin.
If you find that winter really tends to flare up your rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis (SD) – use an anti-dandruff shampoo (Neutriderm Anti-dandruff shampoo is awesome for this) instead of your cleanser. Why? One of the main causes of rosacea and SD is over activity of the sebaceous gland. Using an Anti-dandruff shampoo can actually help to calm and regulate this sebum production.
As summer comes and the days begin to get longer and warmer, it is again time to shake up your skincare routine.
The warmer, more humid days mean that our skin is no longer quite so thirsty, and don’t require as heavy a moisture formulation. Switch back to a lighter moisturiser, and you can return to your foaming cleanser if you prefer (although you can still use your winter cleanser here if you like!). One super important thing to remember when it comes to summer is that this increase in daylight hours and temperature brings with it an increase in the amount of sun and UV exposure that we have. This means we really need to step up our SPF protection, but we also need to increase the level of oxidative damage (also known as free radical damage) protection for our skin.
We all know we need a great SPF (50+ for the middle of the day and the beach, people), but to help clear oxidative stress, we need to look for those ingredients that are known as free radical scavengers. Vitamin C is awesome at this, but when you mix it with ingredients such as a copper peptide, think of it like free radical scavengers on steroids! Both Vitamin C and Copper peptides on their own are great at their scavenging jobs, but when you combine the two they work smarter and harder. The more we reduce the oxidative damage, the better quality our collagen will be, keeping it at the much-desired Type 3 collagen which is soft, supple and elastic i.e. softer, smoother and healthier! Neutiderm’s Copper Activator has been formulated to do exactly this – enhance the benefits of their C Scrub by combining these two powerhouse ingredients.
The key takeaway for seasonal skin is to keep the routine individualised for your skin and your skin’s response to the seasonal changes. In summer you don’t want to be putting multiple layers of products each morning, so look for the products that will work smarter for you.
In winter, you want to make sure your skin is kept hydrated and protected from dry air, so choose products that will hydrate without making your skin greasy. Most importantly, listen to what your skin is telling you!
Madeline Calfas is an expert in anti-ageing and regenerative medicine. Madeline is also an expert for Neutriderm.