The reasons why our skin care needs differ in the warmer weather can be attributed to the increased amount of moisture in the air and more frequent exposure to direct sun. “Our skin is responding to the environment,” says Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton, founder of Ingleton Dermatology in New York City and member of the Eucerin Skin First Council. “When the weather warms up, the humidity balance is switching, so you’re going to get higher temperatures and more moisture in the air. People with oily skin are really going to struggle with not looking so oily and people who have dry skin will probably become more normal.”
Cleansing the skin is the first step in managing moisture balance and you may find that your wintertime face wash is now much too heavy. “My recommendation would be to move from the heavy, creamy products that you use in the winter to something that is more of a soap-free cleanser,” says Dr. Ingleton.
For oilier skin types, it’s tempting to wash and re-wash your face if you feel it getting oily throughout the day. Contrary to popular belief, excessive cleansing of oily skin can overstimulate the oil glands, leading to skin that is actually more oily, says Dr. Ingleton.
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Oily skin types may begin producing even more oil as the temperatures rise, but Dr. Ingleton advises that an oil-free moisturizer still should stay a part of your routine. “There are moisturizers that don’t have oil, so that is the direction that people with oily skin need to take,” says Dr. Ingleton. “They should look for ingredients such as glycerin which are will attract moisture to the skin without the use of oil.”
While it’s important to wear SPF every day, as the months get warmer, now’s a good time to add extra even more SPF protection, particularly one that will protect from UVA and UVB rays. “When you buy a sun protection product, you want to get one that has broad spectrum coverage,” says Dr. Ingleton. “If you’re going to be in direct sun while on vacation, look for sunblock with titanium and zinc. The big deal about those two ingredients is that they are physical blocks. So when the sun hits the skin, it bounces off.”
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If you were able to get by without direct treatment of your acne in the winter, come spring, you had better get a new regimen–and fast. “Acne prone skin tends to be oily skin so they’re going to get oilier and probably struggle more with the acne as it gets warmer. If you weren’t treating your acne previously, it’s going to become much more in your face–no pun intended,” says Dr. Ingleton. “You’re going to have to use specific products for acne and acne prone skin.”
Now that you’ll be hitting the streets in short-sleeved tops and open-toe sandals, it’s time to show your elbows, knees and feet a little extra TLC. “If you see dry, cracked skin on these areas, use a heavier ointment or cream for those areas specifically,” says Dr. Ingleton. “Another great trick is to saturate your feet in foot cream before you go to sleep and put on socks.”
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If you switch out your products annually, double check the expiration date on your spring products from last year. Dr. Ingleton advises buying a new bottle of sunblock each summer to ensure you’re getting optimal protection from your products.
In the warmer months, it’s easy to get so busy filling up your social calendar that you forget basic needs, such as filling up with H2O. If you’re dehydrated on the inside, your skin will suffer, too.
Just as the seasons change, our skin goes through various cycles, too. Make sure you gauge what your skin needs in order to effectively maintain a proper regimen.
Dr. Ingleton says if you’re noticing drastic changes in your skin, speaking to a trained professional can help you steer toward the best course of action.