Did you know that our skin takes at least 15 days to adapt to climate changes? Seasonal changes not only mean changes in temperature, tree foliage or how much light (and radiation) we receive. Each transition between seasons entails other side effects that have an impact on our skin. Does dehydration and the appearance of acne ring a bell, for example? Right now I'll explain what all the factors that affect our skin are, what their impact is on reactive skin, and how we can manage to survive each season without damaging our little skin and without attacking our pockets with so many new products.
Important: what is reactive skin?
A reactive skin is a skin that reacts easily to any stimulus from the environment, be it heat, light, friction, even the application of cosmetics. It is also called irritable, and is different from sensitive skin. Irritable skin is prone to intolerance, reactions of redness, burning, itching or pain because the skin barrier is broken and fails to fulfill its immune function adequately.
The weather: ally and enemy
With the arrival of each season our skin suffers and has to go through an adaptation period (which takes 2 to 3 weeks) where may appear hormonal imbalance, intolerance on certain ingredients and allergies, dehydration and excessive production of sebum, dull skin complexion ,appearance of acne, tight, scaly and dry skin, itching, redness, inflammation, pain and an increase or worsening the symptoms of dermatitis or psoriasis.
Summer: this season provides higher temperatures as well as an increase in UV radiation. This has two effects on the skin: first, sweating dehydrates the skin, and second, a barrier is destroyed, allowing trans-epidermal water loss (a chain reaction...) to occur. Skin changes including redness, flaking, tightness, itching, and the appearance of small crimson welts, papules, or pustules are warning signs because one of the primary impacts of heat is an increase in sebaceous gland secretion (This is why the skin can deceptively look a little oilier than usual). The proliferation of the skin's microbiota, which ordinarily coexists in harmony, causes the ostium (the exit hole of the sebaceous glands) to get clogged and acne lesions to develop.
Despite being an intermediate season, autumn and winter serve as the lead-up to the colder months. Low temperatures cause our skin's glands to produce less sebum, which causes it to dry up more quickly, create less oil, and be more sensitive to irritation. Another thing that occurs as a result of the reduction in sebum production is that the ostiums (pores), which are connected to the skin, vary in size as well, somewhat contracting from their regular size. The usage of heating as a result of cold and humidity affects our skin's hydration and sebum levels, ultimately attacking it and exacerbating the signs of conditions including atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and rosacea.
Spring: As we move into the season of transition to heat, there is also an increase in allergic reactions because of the amount of pollen that causes hives, allergic reactions, and skin irritation that can result in lesions like vesicles, blisters, and scabs. Due to the imbalance of temperatures that go from being frigid to being extremely hot, the blood capillaries continually dilate and constrict until they eventually reach the limit of their elastic ability, which results in vascular issues that cause couperosis (dry form of rosacea).
In general, any skin that experiences a period of inflammation, irritation, or impaired skin barrier can be more sensitive than usual.The alteration of the normal pH and lower immunity of the skin due to weakening of the barrier lead to the appearance of acne. Skin concerns like atopic dermatitis and rosacea are worsened at this time.
How can we keep the skin under control during these times?
The basic idea is to follow a daily routine that includes cleansing, antioxidant serums of our choice or that our skin tolerates, a strong moisturiser (and a facial oil if your skin is extremely dry), and sunscreen.
Because the skin can become very reactive during these transition periods, the cleanser should be free of fragrance or essential oils as much as possible. Minimalism in the routine and in the selection of products is best. Less is more, especially when your skin can react and burn to any product.
In the winter and autumn, I recommend using a mask twice a week after cleansing to soften the keratin of the skin and thus promote deeper penetration of the ingredients in the serum or cream. The serum, ideally containing glycerin, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, or panthenol, which should be present in your moisturizer.
In the summer, it will depend on whether you live in a dry or humid climate. The most important thing in dry heat is to hydrate, drink water due to the accelerated loss of sweat caused by body regulation, and use sunscreen. Furthermore, antioxidants like Vitamin C and Niacinamide help to neutralise the effects of UV radiation and the increase in sebaceous secretion caused by heat. When you live in a hot and humid climate, it is not always a good idea to forego hydration and slightly more nutritious (oily) ingredients for fear of having heavy or greasy skin.
On the one hand, we help the skin retain hydration; on the other hand, because our skin has a difficult time regulating body temperature, we reduce the possibility that with heat and excess humidity, we will develop a sunburn.
If you live in a polluted area (either because you live or work in an area with a lot of vehicle transportation, emissions from industries, agricultural burning, or you use firewood or paraffin for heating), it is necessary to double clean every night to purify the skin and remove the pollutants that the skin received during the day, include antioxidants to neutralise the oxidative damage that the skin received, and finish with a moisturiser that contains antioxidants.
- To reduce the risk of skin irritation, choose cleaners that do not contain fragrances or essential oils. A humidifier is the best option to avoid dehydration if your home, office, or wherever you are is heated or has dry heat.
- Top ingredients include calamine (which soothes and cools the skin), ceramides (which repair and moisturise lipids), hyaluronic acid (which moisturises), and peptides (humectants that are also responsible for giving firmness and elasticity).