Changes in temperature can wreak havoc on sensitive skin. Here's how to protect your skin through every season.
Some people have sensitive skin year-round. Others only struggle during seasonal changes or extreme weather.
Know When—and Why—Your Skin Reacts
Before you can craft a plan to combat this season's sensitive skin disaster, you first need to know why your skin is reactive. Does it tend to look dry and flaky? oily and inflamed? When do the reactions occur, and under what circumstances?
Consider keeping a skincare log for a few weeks when the weather changes. You might find some helpful correlations.
Perhaps it's not winter weather but indoor heating that triggers winter dryness. Or maybe your summer flare-up is caused by an oily skincare formula. Identifying the problem is the first step towards treating it.
Protect Your Skin From the Sun
Your skin needs sun protection year-round, even if a cloudy winter sky has you convinced that the sun has moved to another galaxy. UV rays damage and dry skin. Sunlight can also exacerbate the irritating effects of certain skincare ingredients, such as retinol and benzoyl peroxide.
Select a sun-protection product specifically designed for sensitive skin. And if you're also prone to breakouts, choose a formula that's oil-free and non-comedogenic, such as Dermalogica Oil Free Matte SPF 30.
Change Your Skincare Routine With the Seasons
As balmy summer evenings give way to breezy autumn nights, it's time to rethink your skincare routine. Don't wait until your skin begins to react to the seasonal change. Plan ahead, and slowly transition from one season's skincare routine to the next.
There's no single skincare routine that works for everyone with sensitive skin. However, some general seasonal guidelines can help you choose the right products.
Summer brings UV damage, sweat, oiliness, and spots.
- Switch to oil-free formulations.
- Try BB cream or light-coverage foundation, which is less likely to block your pores.
- Use a higher SPF.
- Don't skip moisturiser, but do consider using a product designed for oily or acne-prone skin. Alpha-H Clear Skin Daily Hydrator Gel is an excellent option.
Winter equals dryness.
- Switch to a thicker, more emollient moisturiser.
- If your skin is acne-prone, continue with daily acne treatments, but apply them only to affected areas—not to your entire face.
- If you have dry, red, or irritated patches on your skin, cleanse only when your skin is oily or when you need to remove your makeup.
Pamper Your Skin With Seasonal Treatments
When seasonal skin problems rear their ugly head, sometimes you have to haul out the big guns. Weekly skin treatments can supplement your skincare regimen, but these treatments should be used sparingly.
As with any skin product, do a patch test before using, and seek out hypoallergenic products. Some seasonal skin treatments that may help include:
Clarifying masks: If summer heat has left your pores clogged and face looking like an oil slick, try a gentle clarifying mask, such as Aesop Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque. Blemish-control masks can dry your skin, so apply moisturiser immediately after treating your face.
Moisturising masks: When dry heat and winter cold leave your skin flaky and miserable, a moisturising mask can feel like a miracle worker. Lonvitalite C2 Collagen Firming and Moisturising Sheet Masks supplement your daily moisturising routine. For optimal results, apply your regular moisturiser immediately after removing the mask.
Exfoliating treatments: If your skin is dry, exfoliators may be too harsh. But if your skin tends to be oily, exfoliators can remove excess oil and balance your complexion.
Professional skin treatments: Sometimes there's no substitute for a day at the spa. Professional moisturising treatments, microdermabrasion, and emollient baths can all save even the most irritated skin. Talk to your doctor about which professional treatments are right for you, and then ask for a referral to a reputable skincare spa.