One of the incredible qualities of our skin is its ability to change and heal itself. But sometimes hormonal and seasonal shifts can change our skin for the worse. Assessment of your skin and skincare routine during shifts in the look, feel, and texture of your skin is crucial to bring the skin back into balance.
While it would be comforting to think that skincare routines that worked in the past will work in the present and even the future, it is not realistic. The truth is, just as we grow and change as human beings, so too does our skin, and adjustments to our skincare routine are necessary. When hormonal changes occur in the body, like pregnancy or menopause, those changes typically necessitate a skincare assessment and potential skincare routine change. The first step is to pay close attention to what your skin is telling you! If your skin is dry, perhaps you need to try a heavier moisturizer. If it is breaking out, you may need a topical acne ointment, or if your skin is sensitive (and looks red or irritated), you may need to try products with gentle ingredients like rose-hip seed oil, aloe vera, or sunflower seed oil. If you pay attention to your skin and label how your skin is reacting to the current situation, you will be able identify the best products to counteract those conditions. Reference my advice on dry skin, acne-prone skin, and sensitive skin to help direct you.
Just as shifts in the body necessitate routine adjustments, changes in the season, especially the winter and summer, often call for adjustments. Again, the first step is to acknowledge how your skin is reacting to the change by noticing how your skin feels and looks, and if the texture has changed. When winter rears its ugly head, for example, the skin typically feels dry and in need of moisture. Start by swapping your light moisturizer (best for spring and summer) for something heavier. A heavier moisturizer will literally feel more weighted in your hand and be thicker in consistency than something light. If your skin still feels dry, a change in cleanser may be necessary. Your summer and/or fall cleanser may be over-stripping your skin of the natural oils needed to withstand the winter months. Try a gentle cleanser with rose-hip seed oil, aloe vera, or sunflower seed oil. And to maintain skin moisture yet still rid your face of dead skin, cut down your exfoliation routine to once a week. Finally, the winter months are the perfect time to try a hydrating mask to bring extra moisture to your skin.
In the summer (and sometimes even in the spring), the increased moisture in the air translates to more hydrated skin, thus lessening the need for heavy moisturizers. Instead use a light moisturizer, one that feels light in your hands, contains aloe vera, and has no added oils. Stick with a cleanser that is labeled mild/gentle and increase your exfoliation routine. A nice addition to your routine in the summer months is a clay mask to help rid the skin of excess oil.
Product adjustments are necessary when skin changes. If products do not help your skin condition, see an aesthetician or dermatologist for further guidance.
- Change one product at a time. Choose the product that benefits your most-pressing skin concern. When you add a new product or make a change, give your skin four to six weeks to see if it’s effective in helping the condition of your skin. And, of course, if you have a reaction, discontinue use immediately!
- Schedule change. Adjusting your routine right before a big event in your life is not advisable. The possibility that a change in your routine can cause irritation is too big of a risk. Choose to adjust your routine when you have time to test new products.
- Make a commitment. When you buy new products, use the products. Picture yourself incorporating that step and adding that product to your existing routine. If you discontinue use prior to finishing the product due to its lack of effectiveness, discard the product. There is no need to keep a product in your medicine cabinet that does not work.