Seasons change and, esthetically speaking, so do we. Skin, like the weather, is never consistent and is affected by the daily climate and seasonal changes.
By this I’m referring to the moisture and oil content in our skin that are affected by the level of moisture in the atmosphere and the intensity of heat from the sun’s rays.
As seasons change, so will the needs of your skin care. It’s not possible to give detailed advice for each individual skin type, and it’s varied needs in this brief article, so hopefully the following outline will be a helpful guide for making the right choices during these seasonal transitions.
The face, neck, décolleté (upper chest) and hands are of primary concern since these areas generally receive the most exposure to the elements, so special attention should be given to them. That’s to say, moisturizing and nourishing creams or any other specialized protective treatments should be applied to these areas, and any other parts of the body, that have had (hopefully protected) prolonged exposure to the sun.
The cleanser that you’ve used during the summer months may not be sufficiently nourishing for your skin during the cooler months, especially if you have naturally dry skin. Likewise, if you skin is oilier, choose one that is less astringent. Oil glands are always more active in the summer, although this may not be apparent as moderate exposure to the sun’s rays has a drying, and somewhat balancing medicinal effect. Breakouts that were less in summer often reoccur during the fall.
The natural shedding of skin cells is called Desquamation. Exfoliation is a mechanical method of removing unwanted dead cells that have accumulated either from too much cream or sunscreen, improper cleansing, or the slowing down of skin renewal due to aging.
Exfoliation is achieved through several methods, using mildly abrasive substances such as corium crystals, salt, or finely ground nut kernels. It is a non-invasive procedure that abrades, or lightly wounds the skin, and has the following benefits:
- Removing unwanted dead cells to encourage new cell growth and give the skin a healthy glow.
- Improves the blood circulation.
- Tricks the skin into its wound-healing mode to stimulate the production of new collagen.
- Firms and tightens the epidermis, giving a more youthful appearance.
- Unblocks pores.
- Refines the skin’s texture.
- Raises the moisture level.
Exfoliation can be done at home using a commercial product or professionally by an esthetician. Whatever route you choose, always start with the mildest process the first time so that you do not have any ill effects. Exfoliation is an excellent preparation before starting any new regime, but the newly exposed skin cells will be more vulnerable to environmental damage, such as hyper-pigmentation (brown patches) and must be protected with a sunscreen of at least SPF 25 to avoid photosensitivity. This treatment is not recommended on skin with broken capillaries, or that has a medical skin condition.
For skin that has post scarring as a result of severe acne, there are other more intense exfoliation methods available through a dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon or medical spa. These treatments include dermabrasion, chemical peels or laser resurfacing. These methods are also used to remove age spots and/or deep wrinkles.
The use of a skin tonic is an essential part of a thorough skin-care regime, but is often skipped with the thought that it’s unnecessary. Not so; a good toner helps to balance the skin’s acid mantel (PH), its natural defense against bacteria, and prepares the skin before the application of any cream. It also adds to the moisturizing of superficial skin cells. Some also contain mild exfoliating ingredients, such as lactic or glycolic acid.
MOISTURIZE & NOURISH
The creams that your skin needs to protect the moisture and replenish the nutrients should be chosen with your skin type and age in mind, plus how your skin is behaving at this time. As mentioned earlier, your skin needs will change as the fall and winter months progress and summer arrives. Additionally, if you’ve recently reached a new decade, hormonal changes also affect these needs. Seek the help of a professional who can analyze your problem and help you to make the right choices.
Monthly or bi-monthly visits to a spa or esthetician to receive professional facial treatments is highly recommended for the therapeutic benefits, as well as the long-term effects of the massage, which when performed regularly will help to keep the facial contours firm and the skin elastic. For faster results, the combination of manual massage plus mechanical isometric exercise will takes years off your appearance.
If your budget will not afford you this, then invest in an array of different masks and apply at least once a week. The more you practice these habits the more the results will pay off in future years.
NEVER GIVE UP
Remember, the skin has the ability to renew itself, so no matter how old you are there’s always something that you can do to improve it and make you feel and look better. It takes three to four weeks for this process of renewal to happen, so you’ll have to wait at least that long to see the results. So don’t give up on any regime until you’ve given it time to work. Consistency is the key to showing long-term results.