A change in the weather or just a change in location.
Last week I found myself in a situation that I was, to be honest, uncharacteristically unprepared for. My skin, suddenly, as dry and parched as the desert, which funnily enough is exactly where I was.
There was a time, for me, when packing to travel was something akin to a girl scout experience. As a frequent traveller, I was prepared for everything. The solution to making constant travel easier? Two of everything. One for home, one for away. When it came to skincare, toiletries and grooming products, I had a fully stocked beauty case permanently ready for action or any emergency.
But not this time. A trip to Central Australia left me as parched as the landscape around me.
Humidity? 19 percent. UV rating? Extremely High. Overnight chill factor 3 degrees. Skin? Dry, parched, itchy and red.
With my history as a constant traveller, you’d think I’d know better. Not so. In fact, I packed the absolute basics. Cleanser, Moisturiser and Sunscreen.
To the amusement of all those around me, I found myself strangely surprised when my skin started to dry up to a crisp, after all, I’d travelled to this arid location before, but this time? Not so resilient. My poor skin. An emergency mission to the nearest pharmacy was in order.
This can happen anywhere.
Of course, you don’t need to travel to the centre of Australia to find your skin becoming parched and dehydrated. Dry winter conditions with too much time in front of the fire are guaranteed to dry out your skin, likewise in summer, overexposure to the sun can bring about unyielding dehydration.
Should you change your skincare routine when the season changes?
If you’ve got a good skin care routine, then the answer is usually no. However, this does come with a little caveat. You may need to add something or increase the frequency of some aspects of your usual routine.
What to do when the seasons change or, like me, you get caught off guard in the desert.
If you find yourself in an environment where the humidity is at an all-time low? Adding more moisture to your skin is not the answer, rather opt for more oil. During times of low humidity such as when you are in a dry arid climate or just too much time in an artificially heated or cooled room, the dry atmosphere will draw moisture directly from your skin. So, adding additional emollients rather than simple hydration to your routine is the best solution. Look for a moisturiser with a low water content. If you are suffering from chronic dehydration in your skin you may like to read this article here.
Some may say, just apply more moisturiser. That’s a nice idea, but it’s doubtful it will help. In fact, you’ll end up wasting your moisturiser and still suffer the consequence of parch dehydrated skin. You see, if you add more water to your skin when the air is already lacking in moisture then the moisture or water in your moisturiser will be sucked back into the atmosphere. So while it may give you instant relief it’s not going to solve the problem. Even so, a good moisturiser is always important. If you’re looking for an amazing moisturiser you may like to go here or here.
Add an oil. There are so many great facial and body oils on the market these days, it won’t be hard to find one that’s right for you. Even an inexpensive oil can do the trick during intense and extremely dry conditions. I personally prefer oils that have minimal fragrance or essential oils like lavender or rosemary as, even though they may smell wonderful, they’re not as nourishing and can irritate. Look for plant-based oils rich in essential fatty acids, like avocado oil, starflower oil, olive oil or even coconut oil. The level of heaviness in these oils will depend on the amount of saturated fat and the percentage contained within the product. If you want to know more I’ve written about facial oils in more detail over here.
Check your cleanser. Some cleansers will strip valuable moisture out of your skin. If it lathers up then it ‘s probably going to dehydrate your skin. Combine this with a dry environment and you’ll have a big problem with dry/dehydrated skin. You can read more on the subject of cleansing here and here.
Even oily skins get dry. You may be thinking your natural oil flow protects you from dehydration. Sometimes it does, but the oil that was flowing freely in the warmer months begins to solidify in your follicles during winter leaving the surface of your skin much drier than usual. When the weather or environment is extremely dry, so too your skin.
Increase your exfoliation. It’s a good idea to increase home care exfoliation to make sure the dead cells on the surface of your skin are regularly cleared away and keeping your skin in good shape. It’s also a great time to invest in a professional Lactic or Mandelic Acid Chemical Peel, not just to improve cell turnover but to stimulate moisture loving hyaluronic acid in your skin. You can read more about HA over here.
What did I do?
My emergency dash to the local pharmacy for a nourishing oil sorted my problem out pretty quickly, but it’s important to note, even though my skin was losing valuable moisture, it was not moisture that needed to be replaced. A facial and body oil replicated my lipid barrier to retain the moisture in the deeper layers of my skin. Normally a well-formulated moisturiser for dry or dehydrated skin will do this beautifully, but when you are faced with extremes, well, facial and body oils really are your best option.
And now you?
Have you found a facial oil that you love? Or perhaps a boosting serum that is fantastic when the environment turns harsh and dry? Why not share what you’ve found or, if you have a specific question about facial and body oils why not shoot me an email here.
Did you like this article or know someone who would find it helpful? Why not share it now with your friends.
See you next time,