How the weather wreaks havoc on your skin (and what you can do about it!)
As a nation with one of the highest UV ratings in the world, most Aussies are aware of the damaging effects of the sun, but did you know fluctuating weather patterns can also trigger an onslaught of unwelcome skin conditions?
From the heat of the tropics up north to the unforgiving highs and lows of the south, it can be hard to shield delicate skin from extreme weather patterns. What does cold weather or high humidity and rain have to do with changes in the skin? And how do you protect yourself against weather related skin woes?
Anatomy of the skin
As the largest organ of the human body, the skin is made up of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis and subcutaneous tissue.
How the weather affects your skin
According to dermatologists, heat, wind, low humidity, and high altitudes are things that can cause the skin barrier to lose moisture. When moisture leaches out of the top layer of the skin dryness, discomfort, and tightness ensues.
The shift from summer to the cold months often signals a rapid drop in temperature and humidity. When unpredictable weather patterns emerge, the skin has to work harder to maintain adequate hydration. Faced with a constantly changing environment between air conditioning and varying levels of humidity, the skin can struggle to adapt. This sometimes results in cracked skin, loss of moisture and skin irritation.
On the other hand, as the weather gets warmer and humidity levels rise, your skin often feels heavy and greasy due to open pores collecting more oil and dirt. High humidity often breeds bacterial infections, problems with your sweat glands, acne, rashes, allergies and irritation. Those with combination, oily or acne-prone skin will find themselves facing an uphill battle with clogged pores and itchy skin.
Start by taking more notice of how your skin reacts to the changing seasons. By taking action as soon as you notice your skin is in need of help, you can mitigate some of the worst effects of crazy weather changes.
Tips to look after your skin during the cold season:
- Avoid taking long hot showers. Too much heat can exacerbate skin dryness and affect the skin’s barrier.
- Wash with gentle and nourishing products, avoid overly harsh chemicals and ingredients.
- It might be cold out there but don’t skimp on sun protection. Continue to wear sunscreen and a hat if appropriate.
- Use a thicker balm to lock in moisture.
During hot and humid summers you should:
- Exfoliate often to slough away dead skin cells, oils and impurities.
- Treat your skin with lightweight, non-comedogenic serums.
- Use a lightweight moisturiser and sunscreen to protect your skin.
- Wear lightweight fabrics that allow your skin to breathe.
- Use a cleansing mask to deep clean your skin and keep it free of excess oil and dirt.