Skincare Through Transitional Seasons
Embracing an indulgent, meticulous and, above all, consistent skincare ritual, which imbues the skin with precious treatments, is the key to a radiant and a complexion. As the seasons change, our skin undertakes an annual journey from the colder seasons to the warm. As it does so, our skincare rituals must likewise acclimatise and evolve alongside the adaptation of our skin, to ensure their effectiveness.
Our skin is attuned to balance, and relies upon consistent climatic and atmospheric conditions in order to function at its best and maintain its radiant glow. The welcome arrival of the year’s warmer seasons initiate several important bodily changes, foremost among which is the fact that hotter and more humid climates bring about an increase in transepidermal water loss, a process which sees moisture move from the dermis to the epidermis, before evaporating via more profoundly dilated pores. This process of water loss causes dermal dehydration, which prompts the sebaceous glands to produce more oils in an attempt to redress the balance.
This essence of balance and consistency within the skin is further challenged by coming and going from air-conditioned spaces throughout the day. This causes the skin’s moisture barrier to lose its equilibrium, and upsets the normal levels of oil production as pores dilate and retract in response to their immediate environment. Furthermore, when pores are dilated, they are more at risk of becoming affected by pollutants in our atmosphere, and exposure to this saturation of impurities will hamper the absorption of nutrients, thus reducing the skin’s natural luminosity and finesse. As such, cleansing must always be the first approach in making one’s skincare ritual more potent at this time of year, and lighter, less emollient moisturisers take preference.
Naturally, SPF plays a vital role too. Harmful UVA and UVB rays from natural sunlight are a leading cause of premature aging, skin damage, and hyperpigmentation, especially as spring gradually segues into summertime, and more exposure to sunlight becomes a greater likelihood. Application of a reliable and meticulously crafted SPF product will ensure the skin can acclimatise naturally, and remain protected daily.
Adequate skincare rituals become even more significant in wintertime, when environmental changes become harsher, more dramatic, and more prone to extreme temperature fluctuation on the colder side of the scale. Indeed, the often sudden drop in temperature and humidity that typifies the arrival of the wintry seasons profoundly impacts the skin, bringing about cellular changes, variations in skin moisture levels, and alterations in skin elasticity.
The onset of colder climatic conditions leads to a shrinking of the skin cells, which can result in flaking of the skin and additional dryness, both of which are issues which are deepened by lifestyle changes undertaken during this season. While undoubtedly enticing, spending time in heated interiors, and taking long, hot baths can further interrupt that all-important essence of consistency, something which is made all the more dramatic once one steps outside into the cold, dry air. Such rapid transitions, made more potentially harmful by the fact that cold climates are considerably drier and lacking in humidity, present a significant challenge for the skin’s natural hydration balance. Such imbalances must, therefore, be counteracted with a careful choice of moisturisers and serums.
Recent studies have examined how the skin responds to the onset of winter during the transitional season. When exposed to cold, dry air after having acclimated to warmth, a protein called filaggrin, which plays a key architectural role in the skin’s protective barrier, starts to degrade. This reduction in filaggrin is primarily responsible for the drier, rougher texture on the face and hands, and increases the risk of inflammation and irritation. While allowing time for the skin to adjust to the cold, regular exfoliation and continued use of SPF is highly recommended, protecting and stimulating cellular growth and strength. Such adjustments to beauty rituals are crucial for bringing about enduring and rejuvenating effects, and assist in maintaining the balance the skin requires throughout the seasonal transitions.