As the seasons change so too should our skin care products, beauty experts often say. But it’s not a hard and fast rule.
“Some people might need to change their skincare routine seasonally, some may not. Going from summer to fall weather can cause a dramatic change in skin or no change at all,” said Bryan Barron, co-author of The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here and research director behind BeautyMythBusters.com.
“It completely depends on how your skin responds as the seasons transition.”
Signs to look for
So how do you know if your summer routine needs a shakeup now that it’s officially fall?
Barron said to look for the following changes in your skin: it’s becoming more dry, flaky, dull or feeling uncomfortable (too tight after cleansing, for example). Another clue could be if the skin around your eyes is drier than the previous season.
The one product you may need to swap out as we enter a new season (especially in Canada) is your moisturizer.
“For daytime, you may need to switch to a more emollient, creamy SPF formula,” said Barron.
“For night, you may also need a richer cream rather than a lotion or gel. Or you can try one of the new facial oils as a ‘boost’ to the moisturizer you’ve used all spring and summer.”
The sunscreen stays
As the mercury drops and we start to get less sunlight, it doesn’t mean you can ditch the SPF. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer and its prevalence is growing, stressed Toronto dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett.
“The sun also causes brown spots, wrinkles, sagging and spider veins. I instruct my patients to avoid the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and to apply an SPF 30 sunscreen daily.”
You should apply it to your neck and hands, as well, according to Barron. Just think of this as another daily habit (like hopefully putting on a fresh pair of underwear).
“If you can see daylight, skin is being damaged.”
Another part in your routine that can stay consistent is how you wash your skin — something you should do morning and night (like brushing your teeth). Skipping this step is one of the worst things you can do to your skin according to Dermalogica skin therapist, Amanda Lindsay.
If you have normal to oily skin, go for a cleansing wash with a lighter, foamy texture; if you have sensitive or dry skin, opt for a cream-based or milk cleanser.
Men are not exempt from this. Wetting your face in the shower isn’t going to cut it. Lindsay encourages her male clients to use a soap-free cleansing product, which won’t dry out the skin.
What to avoid
When picking a product, experts say to watch out for artificial fragrances and dyes, which can be damaging to your skin. The latter can be found on the ingredients list with codes like “C6-Red.”
“What’s scary is that even if you think the fragranced products you’re using aren’t bothering your skin because you don’t see or feel any irritation, it can still be happening beneath skin’s surface. The damage shows up years later, much the same way as sun damage doesn’t become so apparent until we’re older,” Barron explained.
Isopropyl alcohol (aka rubbing alcohol) is another common ingredient that will change the pH level of your skin and strip it of natural oils, Lindsay added.
Another thing that can sometimes dehydrate your skin (and cause it to produce more oil, and pimples) are certain cleansing wipes that are, ironically, usually intended to fight acne.