Seasonal changes and the skin

Seasonal changes and the skin

As the seasons shift, so does our environment, from the warm embrace of summer to the crisp chill of winter. But did you know these changes can also cause havoc for our skin? Each season comes with its own unique challenges for our skin’s health and appearance.

In this blog, we’ll explore how seasonal transitions impact skin conditions. You’ll also discover some great tips for managing your skin through the seasons.

What happens with seasonal changes and the skin?

Seasonal shifts don’t just affect the world around us; they also have a direct impact on our skin.

During summer, increased humidity and the sun’s intensity often lead to more oil production, enlarged pores, and a higher risk of sun damage. As we move into autumn, cooler and drier air can start to rob our skin of its natural moisture, sometimes leading to inflammation. Winter amplifies this effect, and dry skin conditions like hand dermatitis, cheilitis and asteatotic eczema become more common. For chilblain sufferers the cold weather is a particular trial.

Spring brings with it the tree pollen which can trigger eczema in people who are sensitised to it and the UV levels start to rise which can bring on skin conditions that are caused by the sun like polymorphic light eruption or juvenile spring eruption especially in children.

Taking care of your skin during seasonal transitions

With each season presenting its own set of unique challenges, it is helpful to adjust your skin care routine. For example, during the warmer months, lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturisers and more frequent sunscreen application can help protect and hydrate the skin.

As the weather cools, introducing a richer moisturiser and possibly a hydrating serum can help combat dryness.

Do you need sunscreen in the winter months?

It depends why you are using it. In the UK, the UV levels in winter are such that for most people wearing sunscreen every day probably does not significantly lower their risk of getting skin cancer. However, if your aim is to protect your skin from ageing or to prevent hyperpigmentation then it is definitely beneficial to wear sunscreen all year round.

Addressing seasonal skin complaints

Each season can lead to a range of skin complaints. Summer can trigger an increase in breakouts due to excess sweating, increased oil production, as well as sunscreen or makeup that block pores, while winter often worsens eczema or dry skin flare-ups. Preparing in advance for these seasonal variations is crucial.

For summer, having a gentle cleanser and using products that contain salicylic acid can help manage breakouts. As sunscreen is essential, get one that is formulated for the face that is lighter and less likely to clog pores. In winter, using thicker creams and ointments that provide a barrier, locking in moisture can be beneficial. If, despite increased moisturiser, your eczema flares you may need to see a dermatologist who can prescribe a suitable topical steroid treatment. Even if you don’t apply sunscreen in Winter, make sure that you start to do so by the beginning of March so that the Spring sun does not catch you out. If you suspect that the Springtime tree pollens are triggering eczema, Dr Williams will be happy to discuss this and suggest ways to manage the problem.