The onset of warmer weather can do wonders for your mood, but it can be a tough time for your skin. We look at how seasonal changes can affect your skin – and suggest some top tips for keeping yours in tip top condition.
It’s that time of year again when longer, hotter days (hopefully) become the norm, and it seems the whole of New Zealand is heading outside to enjoy the sunshine. But whether you’re off to the beach, bach or elsewhere this summer, do spare a thought for your skin.
The changes in season can be a real nightmare for your precious outer layer. You may think you’ve got your skincare routine sorted all year round, but the chances are you’ll need to adapt it accordingly as we cycle between colder and warmer weather.
So how do you prep your skin for the sunnier days ahead? Good question. Before we delve into that, let’s first consider some of the rigours your skin undergoes throughout the year.
From winter to summer and back again
You may not even notice it, but your skin changes with the weather. Spring, summer, autumn, winter - whatever the season and wherever you are in the world, each comes with its own temperature and humidity range which directly affects the state of your skin.
For example, the change from cold to warmer weather means higher °C and increased humidity. As a result, your skin may begin to feel heavier and oilier as dirt and dead skin cells remain trapped on the surface. This can lead to rashes or breakouts, increased sebum (natural body oils) and sweat can clog pores. Sun exposure can also affect your pigmentation and cause sunspots.
Conversely, changing from warm to colder weather may cause your skin to dry and crack from a general lack of moisture, especially as temperature changes are often more marked in winter as we regularly transition from the cold outdoors to a heated building.
Through all these changes, your skin is doing its level best to stay hydrated and help protect you against whatever life is attempting to throw at you – not to mention give you a healthy glow.
So if you’d like to give your skin a helping hand in the warmer weather, here are some of our top tips towards keeping yours at its healthiest this summer:
1) Take shorter, cooler showers
Baths are definitely not on trend in summer, especially long hot ones. Maybe think about limiting your showers too, no matter how warm it is outside - and definitely keep them under 10 minutes. That’s because showering too much can dry out your skin, which in turn can lead to inflammation and, if you’re prone, eczema breakouts.
2) Moisturise while you’re still damp
Everyone’s go-to after a shower or bath is to dry themselves off with a towel, but apparently this is where we’re doing it all wrong. Moisturising while your skin is still damp means it will absorb the moisture much more efficiently. Also, switch to a lighter moisturiser in summer to prevent heavy, greasy build-up clogging your pores and making you feel uncomfortable.
3) Protect your skin from the elements
It stands to reason that the sun’s UV rays are naturally stronger in summer, so be sure not to skimp on sunscreen – even on cloudier days. For safety, you really want to be looking at SPF50 or above, especially given New Zealand has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world.1
4) Exfoliate, exfoliate
Some believe that exfoliating or scrubbing your skin strips away its natural oils, and can make your skin drier. The truth is that dead cells can clog your skin and prevent the effectiveness of your moisturiser. That said, if you do exfoliate be sure to use natural scrubs with organic elements such as oats or sea salt. Or if you want to go all in for a youthful complexion, maybe try a chemical peel.
5) Keep well hydrated
Most importantly remember that, like the rest of your body, your skin needs hydration. And although you can moisturise as much as you want, the best way to get that hydration is by drinking plenty of water, especially in warmer weather. As a rough guide, adults should aim to drink around 1.5 to 2 litres of fluid throughout the day.2
One last pointer. If you have sensitive or irritated skin during the summer, or you’re at all concerned about an unusual skin condition, be sure to visit your GP or a fully qualified dermatologist. They can recommend suitable treatments or adjustments to your skincare routine. So that you can carry on enjoying summer – healthy in the skin you’re in.