Changes in the weather invite potential trauma to your skin. After the grueling heat of the summer comes the rainy months, and that means an increase in humidity levels. High humidity attracts dust and other pollutants to your skin, increasing its exposure to bacteria. Here are a few ways to combat these dangers.
First, pay attention to your skin. If you’re lucky, it may not be that prone to changes in the weather and you can stick to your current skincare routine. However, if you notice an increase in breakouts, oiliness, or flakiness, then try these small changes in your regimen as they may save your skin from unnecessary trauma and massive breakouts.
Get clean. This seems like an obvious step, but the high humidity increases the risk of sebum or oil build-up. Be extra diligent in cleansing your face, at least twice daily. Remember to wash your face at the end of the day to get rid of all the dirt. Try a gel or foaming cleanser since they cleanse thoroughly without adding more oil.
Tone up. After cleansing, follow up with a light toner. This balances the skin’s chemicals and eventually evens out and brightens the skin tone.
Let moisture in. Just because you sweat and oil up a lot in humid weather doesn’t mean that you can skip out on the moisturizer. Consider a light gel or water-based moisturizer, or even a serum. Moisturizer provides essential moisture and nutrients to your skin. Well-moisturized skin also decreases the body’s production of sebum since the skin is already properly hydrated.
Don’t forget the sunscreen. Many seem to think that cloudy days mean you can skip on the SPF. Sun exposure speeds up aging and UV rays can still penetrate your skin even through a veil of clouds. Try a mattifying sunscreen or a light foundation or powder with broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher.
Exfoliate. Exfoliating at least twice a week gets rid of dead skin cells and promotes new cell generation. Use mild exfoliants and avoid harsh scrubs that contain apricot pits or walnut shells, as these may cause breakouts and irritation.
Nourish your skin from the inside. Drink lots of water and eat a lot of vegetables for healthy skin. Load up on vitamin E and Omega 3, too. Remember that your skin is always thirstier than you are.
This story was originally published in Northern Living, June 2014.
Writer: CARINA SANTOS