Spring is a great season, the warmer weather, layers come off and everyone comes out after hibernating all winter. But after the recent chillier months of winter, I can’t help noticing that a lot of people are having more issues than usual with their skin, myself included.
The climate in Melbourne is particularly dry, which makes ingredients that are usually quite hydrating in northern states less effective. It can make you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle until a trip to humid Sydney fixes everything within a few short days – hello glowing dewy skin! These cold conditions can leave your skin feeling sapped of hydration, both oil and water, and can compromise the delicate protective layer of your skin, your acid mantle, which then becomes sensitised. This can leave your skin looking more flushed than usual, feeling rough, dry and quite reactive. This is when creams seem to have stopped working and irritations become common. This is not the time to do high-intensity treatments on your skin. The key now is to soothe and rebuild your skin back to full strength so it can function properly to avoid further skin conditions.
Now is the time to go back to basics. Because of the dehydration and sensitivity issues, it is important to use more nourishing, calming and skin-strengthening products. Cleansers that are completely natural and free from sulphates, hydrating spritzers, natural calming and strengthening moisturisers and a great serum are all key. Some of my favourite ingredients to look for include coconut, sea buckthorn, rosehip, jojoba, hyaluronic acid and calendula. Using natural products is also essential because products that contain petrochemicals derived from petroleum can irritate skin and further strip it, compromising already delicate skin.
When the skin is dehydrated (lacking in water), water-based products that attract and bind water in the skin, like hyaluronic acid, are needed. When the skin is lipid (oil) dry, more nourishing oils are best to use, like coconut oil-based creams. Drinking more water can help, but often eating enough healthy saturated fats gets over looked. Additional to drinking plenty of water to keep you hydrated and flushing out toxins in your body, eating enough oily fish, coconut oil, avocado and butter can keep the body well oiled and less likely to dry out. It’s no secret that the low fat era is over and healthy fats don’t make us fat. The body needs enough essential fatty acids to function correctly, from regulating hormones to keeping our skin looking healthy. Including these fats in your diet will help your skin glow and function correctly.
And there’s more good news just around the corner. With the warmer weather now upon us, your skin will be able to relax and readjust, letting in those nourishing and healing ingredients. Healing a skin condition can be achieved in as little as three months; sensitised skin needn’t be a life sentence. Once you recover and heal your skin, you can happily change your skincare routine to suit the summer season and address a whole new range of conditions that can pop up in hot weather.
If in doubt, see a good beauty therapist who specialises in natural skincare to get professional advice and products. A little care goes a long way to keeping your skin healthy and glowing throughout all the seasons.