The skin is a barrier between our bodies and the outside world, so any change in environmental conditions can have an impact on its function and appearance. The most significant shift as seasons change is the weather, and fluctuations in temperature and humidity in particular can affect the skin.
Similar to how our wardrobes require different clothing for summer and winter, the skin can have different needs as the seasons change. We asked Dr. DiAnne Davis of Dallas, Texas her best advice about how to adapt your seasonal skincare regimen for winter, summer, and the months in between.
What specific ingredients should I add to my skincare routine when transitioning from summer to winter?
The change from warmer to cooler weather can cause skin hydration levels to drop, and post-summer skin may already be dehydrated due to spending a lot of time outdoors. This is an ideal time of year to incorporate exfoliation with professional chemical peels. You can also reap the benefits of alpha-hydroxy acids at home with SkinCeuticals Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight, and the gentle exfoliation it provides can help moisturizing ingredients absorb better into the skin.
How often should you moisturize your skin in winter?
Most skincare professionals recommend moisturizing twice a day whether it’s winter, spring, summer, or fall. However, skincare in winter generally requires extra hydration as compared to other times of year. You can add a moisture-attracting serum like Hydrating B5 Gel into your regimen, or increase the weight of your daily moisturizer to help prevent the skin from getting dry and uncomfortable. Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 can be a winter seasonal skincare savior because of its ultra-rich formula that replenishes skin lipids to help keep moisture in the skin.
What type of sunscreen should you use in the autumn or winter months?
The best sunscreen is one that you actually use daily, and if you like your summer sun protection, go ahead and keep using year-round. However, if you experience increased dryness as the weather gets cooler, you may want to switch to a more hydrating formula until spring.
What type of cleanser should be used in the winter to remove impurities without drying out the skin?
If your skin needs more moisture come winter, a gentle cream-based cleanser can effectively remove dirt, debris, and impurities without stripping the skin. SkinCeuticals Replenishing Cleanser can be a beneficial addition to a skincare routine in the winter because it starts as a cream and transforms into a rich foam that rinses completely while locking in hydration. Just remember to avoid hot water when washing your face and showering, as this can strip the skin of its essential moisture.
What type of toner should I switch to during the colder months?
I don’t believe it’s necessary to include a toner in your seasonal skincare swaps. This is a great skincare step for addressing the needs of your skin type or other concerns you may have. You can use your cleansing, serum, and moisturizing steps to provide the skin with extra hydration if necessary. But if your skin is particularly sensitive, you may want to try Phyto Corrective Essence Mist. Its botanically-based formula instantly hydrates, soothes, and reduces visible redness—and it can be used throughout the day as needed, even over makeup.
What is the best way to exfoliate my skin during the winter?
The best way to exfoliate any time of year depends on your skin type and its tolerance. If you find your usual method of exfoliation is too harsh for your skincare routine in winter, a gentle option is Retexturing Activator. This dual-action serum simultaneously exfoliates and hydrates the skin, and it is safe for twice-daily use.
What type of moisturizers are best for summer?
First and foremost, all skin types need extra hydration 365 days a year. Heat and humidity can cause an increase in oil production, so may want to switch to a lighter-weight moisturizer for your summer skincare routine. For those with oily skin, SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel and Phyto Corrective Gel can actually be used on their own as moisturizers.
Summer skincare priorities should also include antioxidant protection. If C E Ferulic is too heavy for summertime, Phloretin CF or Serum 10 AOX+ are good seasonal skincare swaps. For those with oily skin, Silymarin CF is formulated to provide advanced protection against environmental free radicals as well as the oil oxidation that can contribute to breakouts.
Masks can help maintain skin moisture balance during the summer as well. Clarifying Clay Masque mixed with a few drops of Phyto Corrective Gel (which feels amazing on the skin when you keep it in the refrigerator) can help target both excess oil and visible redness. Phyto Corrective Masque (also great to keep in the refrigerator) helps calm sensitivity and skin that’s stressed from over-exposure to environmental aggressors.
And, of course, no summer skincare regimen is complete without a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Physical Matte UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 50 helps offer optimal protection and long-lasting shine control for oily skin. Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 50 features a universal tint that helps enhance skin tone, and it’s suitable for all skin types including sensitive.
Is there any particular challenge one should be aware of related to the seasonal transition of my skincare routine?
Everyone’s skin is different, so one person can experience specific challenges like increased dryness or sensitivity while another may not. The key is to listen to your skin and give it what it needs to look and feel its best. If you’re unsure, enlist the help of a skincare professional who can help you build a seasonal skincare routine the provides the ideal level of hydration and environmental protection while addressing your unique skin concerns.
When it comes to professional treatments and procedures, are some seasons better than others?
After most professional treatments, you’re going to want to avoid sun exposure (especially immediately afterwards while the skin is healing). This is why procedures such as deeper chemical peels, laser resurfacing, and any treatments for pigment-related issues may be best reserved for cold-weather months when you’re more likely to be spending most of your time indoors. Lighter, more superficial treatments that are performed every few months are generally safe year-round since they require little to no healing or downtime—but it’s still especially important to be diligent about daily sunscreen use, and avoiding sun exposure whenever possible.
To discover the ideal seasonal skincare regimen that meets your skin’s needs while addressing your primary concerns, use our online Regimen Finder, visit one of our SkinCeuticals SkinLab locations, or schedule an appointment with a SkinCeuticals Skincare Professional for a one-on-one consultation.