How To Take The Best Care Of Your Skin As The Seasons Change
In the steamy summer months, your skincare needs are pretty obvious, right? Stay hydrated, exfoliate occasionally to get all that dirt, sweat and grime out of your pores and use all the sunscreen. But what happens when fall arrives and temperatures drop? It’s important to know what it takes to keep your skin healthy and glowing not just during times of peak vulnerability but all year long.
We spoke with skin health expert Dr. Karin Hermoni, the head of science and nutrition at Lycored, to learn more about how we can take the best care of our skin as the seasons change. Her initial answer: It all comes down to living holistically. And that’s a simple way of saying that nutrition is just as important sun protection, which is just as important as hydration, which is just as important as stress reduction, which is just as important as getting enough quality sleep each night. All of these pieces are deeply intertwined when it comes to skin health.
Let’s hone in on the nutrition component for a moment. According to Dr. Hermoni, maintaining a healthy and diverse diet is one of the best ways to help your skin remain resilient against all the challenges it faces on a daily basis. Eating all colors of the rainbow via fruits, vegetables and spices fills your body with phytonutrients that work synergistically with one another to do things like fight free radicals and reduce inflammation.
Carotenoids, the pigments in yellow, orange and red plants, are especially helpful to the skin. And since they’re fat-soluble (meaning they can only be absorbed alongside a fat source), these produce options are best consumed cooked alongside a healthy fat like extra-virgin olive oil. Tomatoes, watermelon, papaya, red grapefruit, sweet potatoes and carrots are all great nutritional sources of carotenoids. And even though they don’t fit the color description, dark leafy greens and algae have a lot of carotenoids to offer as well.
As we’ve mentioned, doing one thing right doesn’t cancel out your need for the other healthy behaviors, like leading a sun-conscious lifestyle. The sun’s rays may be at their most powerful during the summer months, but any time you go outside, you are exposed and need proper protection. No matter the season, sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 is a must, and using shade mindfully will always benefit your skin when it comes to avoiding early signs of aging, says Dr. Hermoni.
Stress is another component of life that doesn’t care what month it is — it’s present all year long and can wreak havoc on your skin if you don’t manage it correctly. Exercise is one of the best ways to promote skin health because it not only helps to clear unwanted toxins from the skin via sweat, but it also reduces the amount of cortisol floating around in your body. Physical activity also promotes a healthy sleep cycle, which is critical to skin health. Basically, the less of the stress hormone you have sitting in your system, the better your skin (and general health) fares.
At the end of the day, just remember that maintaining skin wellness over time, be it summer or winter, is a holistic process that takes into account a lot of parts of your general lifestyle. Your skincare routine is perpetually important, and as long as you remain mindful of how you treat your body, you’ll have the healthy complexion you want.