How Seasonal Changes Affect Your Skin and Care Tips
As the body’s largest organ, your skin has a tough job; aside from the typical everyday irritation from clothing or perspiration, it adapts to a different set of threats each time the season changes.
In the winter, your skin’s threat is the harsh climate. There’s less humidity in the air, temperatures fluctuate greatly as you move from indoors to outdoors, and dry, blowing heat is everywhere. Flip the calendar forward about six months to summer, and your skin is facing powerful sunshine, more perspiration and prolonged exposure to pool, lake or sea water.
Why Do We Experience Seasonal Skin Changes?
Seasonal skin changes aren’t imagined. A study recently published in the British Journal of Dermatology confirmed that cellular changes do occur with the seasons, and contribute to seasonal skin changes, such as eczema, dry skin and rosacea.
In the study, changes were observed in the levels of breakdown products of filaggrin, a protein which supports the skin’s function as a barrier. Cells on the outermost part of the skin’s epidermis, called corneocytes, also exhibited seasonal changes.
Wouldn’t you like to wake up looking refreshed each morning, with skin that’s smoother, firmer and brighter than it was when you went to sleep the night before?
The truth is, something you’re probably doing night after night is impeding your skin’s nighttime rejuvenation process. So today, I’m going to tell you the secret to repairing your skin while you sleep, so you can safely and naturally be healthier and look younger.
Researchers say these findings are notable as they help to explain why seasonal skin changes — which are one of the leading reasons people visit a dermatologist — occur.
How to Protect Your Skin Every Season
The researchers recommend that people protect their skin year round, and adapt for each season.
In the winter, covering up can help shield exposed skin, particularly your face, against extremes such as the cold air, wind and reflecting sun. Running a cool mist humidifier (like this one) indoors can also help offset the dry, arid feel of home heating. And even though a steamy hot shower may be tempting when it’s cold out, lukewarm temperatures are gentler on the skin.
In the summer, try to rinse off in fresh water after a dip in salt or chlorinated water whenever possible. Wear a hat (like these sun hats) to protect your face and shoulders against the dangerous UV rays of the sun.
Whether you’ll be heading out into a bright summer’s day, or to a frigid snowy landscape, protect against UV radiation by wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 — higher than that doesn’t make a significant difference. Another year round habit: moisturize regularly with a natural product, such as coconut, castor or olive oil, perhaps lightly mixed with one of your favorite essential oils. Aloe vera gel or shea butter are also good skin quenchers.
As science continues to learn more about the skin’s reactions, it will become easier and easier to keep your skin soft and healthy, regardless of the season.
Debbie Swanson is a freelance writer, published in numerous national and local outlets. An avid vegetarian, animal lover and reader, she loves learning about healthy eating and finding natural cures for everyday ailments.