We don’t merely adjust our wardrobes to the season because we want to match the foliage. We put on different clothes in summer and winter because our body is attuned to the fluctuations in its environment. We can’t generate a winter coat like a snowshoe hare or emerge from a molt with some bright summer plumage like a goldfinch. We’ve got to get creative when it comes to making sure we’ve got the appropriate seasonal coverage.
Our skin is the first to complain when the climate is putting more stress on our body than it can regulate on its own. There’s more to that process than just sighing and putting pants back on after trying to will warmer weather into existence by wearing shorts in March. Here’s a seasonal guide to the extra help your skin needs throughout the year.
Even if you wear those hats with earflaps and your scarf technique is impeccable, your face is still exposed to the elements when you are outside. And when you retreat back indoors, you are blasted by hot air that dries up any moisture that wasn’t scoured off by the wind. Dogs are man’s best friend. But in the wintertime, a moisturizer for dry skin definitely makes its way into the circle of trust.
Bears might be hibernating in winter, but disease is still on the move. If you are mowing through boxes of Kleenex, the area around your nose is probably pretty raw, so be sure to treat that part of your face with care. And be especially vigilant about washing your hands to avoid spreading that sickness or even getting ill in the first place.
If you are doing a bit of spring cleaning, make sure you freshen up the stuff that touches your face. Anything that’s been sitting around collecting bacteria should be thoroughly cleaned or replaced. While you’re at it, slough off some of that dead skin that has been building up on your face all winter with a bamboo facial exfoliant. And since you are starting to spend more time outside than you have in a while, don’t forget to start applying sunscreen. If the bugs are out and about as well, make sure you have invested in some bug repellent that doesn’t bother your skin. Otherwise, you might end up scratching those bug bites into a higher state of skin inflammation.
Flowers are in bloom. So are your allergies. You don’t have to put that meadow picnic on hold, but just know that pollen might be the cause of your itchy skin and you might need to address that with some over the counter allergy medication.
You’re sweating a lot more. As those additional rivulets of sweat roll down your face, they gather up dirt and bacteria and deposit them in your pores. So be especially diligent about washing your face. If you feel like your face has a slick sheen to it even before you start sweating, grab a gel moisturizer for oily skin. Hopefully, you’ve been wearing sunscreen this whole time, but if you aren’t, definitely start now. Remember to rinse off after you get out of the pool. It may seem silly to douse yourself with more water after spending an hour submerging yourself, but you want to make sure the chlorine and other chemicals from the pool don’t stay with you for the rest of the day.
Temps are dropping and leaves are falling. You are noticing an increase in dry patches on your skin as you seem to be flaking in solidarity with the season. Up the moisturizing tempo. Those dry patches remind you that you felt uncomfortably dry all of the last winter, so go invest in a humidifier. If you are getting started on some fall scruff that you hope can grow into a winter beard, make sure you are adjusting your face-washing routine accordingly.
The basics of your skincare routine should remain constant all year long. You don’t need to throw away your moisturizer in the winter or assume that you never need to use sunscreen in the winter, especially because every season has those days that feel like they got lost trying to find a different page on the calendar. If your skin tells you to get something out of winter storage, there’s no point in arguing. But it’s wise to be prepared for the change that seasons bring and adapt your skincare approach accordingly.