general sensitive skin
Our Guide to Knowing Your Skin Type, in Any Season!
New season, new skin. Every time the seasons change, our wardrobes change with it, so why should it be any different when it comes to our skin care routine? Whether you need to adapt to the hot, dry air in the summer or the cooler temperatures of fall, we’ve got some tips to help you make a seamless transition regardless of your skin type or the season.
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Our skin is a complicated mechanism! It functions to cool us down in the summer, needs extra protection in the winter and reflects back to us our levels of stress, hydration and diet. Our skin is our largest organ and the better we understand how it functions for us and how it reacts to various environmental triggers, the better we can become at taking care of it, and ourselves, properly!
No doubt the elements play a huge factor in how our skin looks and feels (summer skin feels different to winter skin!) but before we consider the elements we need to understand what type of skin we are dealing with. (normal, oily, dry, combination?)
Read on to better understand the type of skin you are dealing with and some tips and tricks to keeping your skin flawless every season!
Skin is so individual and everyone will fall into a different category based on their skin-type. We’re helping you narrow down your skin type to the three main ones – dry, oily or combination – so you can figure out what sort of skin care routine will work for you.
- Dry skin is typically characterized by a rough, dry feel and often “flaky” appearance. It tends to be itchy, and can easily become red and irritated.2 Dry skin is the result of skin that suffers from a lack of natural moisture. Most people with dry skin will feel tightness around their face and experience general irritation. People with dry skin tend to either be older, or have a history of eczema, and it can sometimes be a side effect of certain medications.3 If left untreated, severely dry skin may even crack and bleed.
Oily skin is on the opposite end of the spectrum, making an appearance when the sebaceous glands in the skin over produce sebum. Sebum is the waxy, oily substance that protects and hydrates skin, and is essential for keeping skin healthy.4 However, too much of it is what leads to oily skin, clogged pores, and acne. The symptoms and severity of oily skin varies from person to person and genetics can also play a role in it, but if your skin tends to consistently appear shiny or greasy and you’re prone to clogged pores and blackheads, your skin would likely be classified as ‘oily’.5
Combination skin essentially means you have two different skin types going on at the same time. Most people have combination skin to some degree (i.e. there are more sebaceous glands around your nose than other areas of your face), but those with true combination skin experience it to a larger, more obvious degree. Most notably, combination skin is known for a consistently oily T-zone – the “T” shaped area along your forehead, nose and chin, with dryness marking other areas of the face including your cheeks, temples and around the eyes.6
Ladies (and gents!) with dry skin: have no fear! Wherever your skin falls on the “dry” spectrum, we have some simple, easy to incorporate dry skin remedies to add to your skin care routine to minimize the effects of warm (or cold!) weather on it. Ensure your skin is always hydrated by moisturizing more than you think you need to (more in winter, less in summer). The best time to do this is after a shower when your skin is still fresh and damp to lock in maximum moisture! This will help alleviate discomfort associated with dry skin symptoms and help restore pliability to your skin.7
In the spring and summer, try moisturizing with a lightweight moisturizer to keep your skin both nourished and radiant. Make sure to cleanse with a moisturizing cleanser and always use SPF! (Tip: if you’re spending time in air-conditioned environments indoors, your skin will feel the effects of that and dry out more than usual, so be prepared to moisturize more as needed). Prepare your skin for the transition to cooler weather in the fall and winter by switching to a heavier, re-hydrating moisturizing concentrate and exfoliate once a week to get rid of those dead skin cells!8
The Fix: Our moisturizing concentrate is the ideal everyday moisturizer for dry/dehydrated skin. This intensive cream blends hyaluronic acid with antioxidants for instant deep re-hydration and helps reduce the look of dark spots, sun damage and uneven skin tone as a result of exposure to the elements.
The summer heat does no favours for those with oily skin. Warm weather combined with sweat is bound to create noticeable differences in your complexion, which is why we recommend being extra mindful of how you care for your skin during this season. One of the best tips we suggest is limiting the amount of make-up you use in the summer and also making sure to cleanse at the end of each day. Studies show that implementing a gentle cleansing routine is key to protecting your skin barrier and effective for deep-pore cleansing which can help prevent other problems oily skin is prone to, like acne and redness.9 So don’t skip the cleanser because clogged pores will become even more clogged, and the grime and excess oil will just build up on your face leading to more oil secretion.
The Fix: Regardless of the season, we suggest finding a moisturizer that will ensure your skin always has adequate hydration (yes, even in the summer!). Our lightweight moisturizer is specially formulated for every day use, and incorporates natural mattifying agents that help control oily-looking skin while providing deep hydration at the same time. Before moisturizing, try cleansing with our refreshing gel cleanser to remove impurities and excess oil. It leaves your face at its natural pH, and instantly calms any skin redness!
Calling everybody with combination skin – we’ve got tips for you, too! When it comes to combo skin, it’s all about balance. The goal is to choose skin care products that balance out oil secretions while making sure your face is still properly hydrated.10 Cream cleansers tend to help add just the right amount of moisture, while exfoliating every couple of weeks with an exfoliating glycolic peel will promote cellular turnover, helping to create an overall even, long-lasting glow to your skin.
Find a skin care routine that works for you and don’t be afraid to switch it up once in a while, as long as you’re practicing the basics of gentle skin care. Avoid scrubbing your face no matter what products you use, and rinse with warm water before patting dry.11 If your skin dries out in the winter or gets oilier in the summer, exfoliate less and moisturize more as needed!
The Fix: Our daily moisturizing cream is a great place to start for those with combination skin. It offers instant deep re-hydration while helping to replenish your skin’s moisture barrier and relieving any itching due to dry skin from the drier spots on your face. Remember to keep a moisturizing SPF in the rotation – especially in summer – for UVA + UVB protection that’s deeply hydrating and will help minimize the look of wrinkles and dark spots.
While each skin type will thrive under different conditions, there are some good key practices that every skin type can benefit from. So, no matter what type of skin you have or what season it is, here are some general rules of thumb to keep in mind to keep your skin glowing at its best:
- Cleansing is non-optional: It’s not just a mindless suggestion. Research shows that certain physiological changes occur in your skin overnight – including its need to restore oxygen in order to repair itself.12 “When you sleep with make up on, it blocks your skin’s natural exfoliating and repair process.” says Dr. Rivers, “Over time, this makes your skin appear dull and leads to inflammation.”
- Cool it down: As relaxing as a hot shower at the end of a long day might be, consider swapping the hot water out for some cooler showers instead. Hot water tends to dry out skin, while cold water will help tighten your cuticles and pores, which prevent them from getting clogged.13
- Protection is key: All year round, but especially in summer, don’t skip the SPF! Common skin problems such as pre-mature aging, wrinkling, sagging, and even skin cancer are all products of long-term overexposure to the sun.14 Take steps to protect your skin by using a minimum SPF 30 sunscreen – like our lightweight moisturizer with broad-spectrum sunscreen – daily. Trust us: in 20 years (or even less!), your skin will thank you.
- Always be travel ready: Summer vacations are calling, but don’t leave without packing all your skin care essentials. Our travel ready bundles are designed to make your jet-setting lifestyle easier, combining all your favourite skin care products so your routine doesn’t miss a beat even when you’re on the go.
Now that we’ve taken a look into various skin types and possible options for dealing with different conditions let’s take a look at how weather plays a role in the equation and how we can be better prepared to meet the elements.
It’s common knowledge: summer = hot, winter = cold, but let’s take a look at each season in more depth and how it impacts your skin on a general level before we get to how it affects your skin type:
- Summer: First up, summer! We’re in the midst of it, after all. Who doesn’t love the feeling of the warm sun hitting your skin in the summertime? In fact, most of us are probably guilty of spending too much time in the sun. The hot and humid weather tends to be problematic however, especially for oily skin, as it can cause more breakouts than usual.
- Fall: As the weather cools down in the fall, the lack of moisture in the air will be evident on your skin’s appearance. Cooler temperatures will undoubtedly dry out your skin, causing it to look and feel dull and dry. The key to surviving the cold? Exfoliate and moisturize – but we’ll get into more detail on that later on…
- Winter: When the winter months roll around, the air only gets cooler, and we tend to combat that by turning up the heat indoors. This causes stress and dehydration on your skin, which leads to cracking, chapping, and irritation.1 Again, we recommend lots and lots of moisturizing to prevent your skin from drying out any further than it has to!
- Spring: When spring is in the air, you’ll definitely feel it on your skin, too! As the weather starts to warm up again after a long, cold winter, now is the time to start re-incorporating SPF into your routine. In addition, lighten up on the heavy moisturizers and make way for a refreshing new skin care routine that compliments the new season.
Whether your skin is dry, oily, or a combination of both, one thing is for certain: it pays off to have a dependable skin care regimen that will keep your skin healthy and glowing every season. Make the necessary changes to your skin care routine based on your skin type and adapt it accordingly to each season so you can reap the benefits of youthful, healthy skin that lasts. After all, how you take care of your skin now will make a difference to how your skin looks and feels years from now!
And, don’t forget – our team of medical doctors and skin care specialists are always available to help you pick the best product for your skin type. Get in touch so we can help you out today!
- Nath, Chandra. 2013. Changing Your Skincare Routine With the Seasons. Neutral Sensitive Skin. Retrieved from: https://neutralsensitiveskin.com/blogs/news/changing-your-skincare-routine-with-the-seasons
- Loden, M; Maibach, H.I. 1999. Dry skin and moisturizers: chemistry and function, second edition. Retrieved from: https://www.visibleyouth.com/pdf/Hyaluronan_DrySkinMoisture.pdf
- Cole, G., M.D. Dry Skin. MedicineNet.com. Retrieved from https://www.medicinenet.com/dry_skin/article.htm
- Sakuma, T.H.; Maibach, H.I. August 2012. Oily Skin: An Overview. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology. Retrieved from: https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/338978#
- Johnson, J. 2018 March 1. Top six treatments for oily skin. Medical News Today. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321090.php
- SkinVision. 2016 November 2. Combination or oily skin: what’s the difference? Retrieved from: https://www.skinvision.com/articles/combination-or-oily-skin-what-s-the-difference
- Spencer, T.S., PhD. 1988 July. Dry skin and skin moisturizers. Clinics in Dermatology. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0738081X88900284?showall%3Dtrue%26via%3Dihub
- Skincare.com. 2017 June 12. Summer Skin Care Tips for Dry Skin. Retrieved from: https://www.skincare.com/article/5-summer-skin-care-tips-for-dry-skin
- Draelos, X.D. 2006 July 1. The effect of a daily facial cleanser for normal to oily skin on the skin barrier of subjects with acne. Europe PMC. Retrieved from: http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/16910029
- Surbhi, D., MD. 2016 December 14. Combination Skin Care: Dermatocare’s Beauty Tips. Dermatocare. Retrieved from: https://www.dermatocare.com/blog/dermatologist-guide-for-combination-skincare
- WebMD. 2018 February 01. Building Your Perfect Skin Care Routine. Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/beauty/glowing-skin-18/slideshow-skincare-routine
- Benvenuti, N.Z. 2012 April 16. 5 Important Reasons You Must Cleanse Your Skin Morning and Night. FutureDerm. Retrieved from: https://www.futurederm.com/5-important-reasons-you-must-cleanse-your-face-morning-and-night/
- Borreli, L. 2014 June 24. Benefits of Cold Showers: 7 Reasons Why Taking Cool Showers is Good for Your Health. Medical Daily. Retrieved from: https://www.medicaldaily.com/benefits-cold-showers-7-reasons-why-taking-cool-showers-good-your-health-289524
- Skin Cancer Foundation. 2012. The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Guide to Sunscreens. Retrieved from: https://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/sunscreen/the-skin-cancer-foundations-guide-to-sunscreens