Whether your skin is breaking out, dry and itchy, or red and irritated, seasonal shifts are often to blame. Hot Summer weather can make skin greasy, clog pores, and cause acne — a condition experienced by 85% of Australians.
Alternatively, the transition into Autumn can leave your skin unprepared, leading to a loss of hydration and inflammation. Changes in weather and humidity are a shock to the system and the skin needs time to adjust. But there are things you can do to help it on the way.
Here are several common skin concerns – most often experienced through summer and autumn – and how to treat them.
Skin concern #1 – Break outs
Acne happens in any kind of weather, but the higher summer temperatures + sweat and oil exacerbates the problem. If you’re experiencing acne, then switching to oil-free skincare such as oil-free moisturisers, sunscreen, and foundations will avoid clogging pores further.
Secondly, invest in a glycolic acid cleanser. Studies show glycolic acid can help fight breakouts. By thinning the outer layer of skin, glycolic acid promotes growth of the layers below it. This is perfect for exfoliating dead skin cells and reducing acne scars. It also keeps skin moisturised to reduce irritation and breakouts. If your acne is severe, a prescription for benzoyl peroxide may help.
Skin concern #2 – Eczema
20% of Australians develop eczema by age five, reports the Eczema Association of Australia. While some children outgrow the condition, most experience dry, itchy, and sensitive skin into adulthood.
Strong cleansers, perfumes, and detergents irritate symptoms, so gentle, fragrance-free formulas are ideal. While topical or oral cortisone is used to treat eczema, prolonged use can end up worsening symptoms so use with caution. Ask your doctor about an oral anti-itch prescription for a long-term solution.
Skin concern #3 – Cold sores
Cold weather and sun exposure are common triggers of cold sores, which initially appear as an itchy, tingling sensation around the mouth. It’s best to apply over-the-counter cream immediately and take ibuprofen to ease pain.
Irritation can be reduced by avoiding acidic foods (like tomatoes and citrus) and applying a cool, wet cloth to the area. Cold sores usually heal in a few days to two weeks. You may, however, want to take prescription antiviral medication like Acyclovir 5% which has been proven to reduce healing time by about 12 hours.
Skin concern #4 – Rosacea
Finally, rosacea is another common skin condition triggered by weather fluctuations resulting in facial redness and breakouts. Wearing sunscreen religiously can help manage this condition. Choose a formula containing zinc oxide which is gentle on the skin, while forming a protective barrier against the sun. Ultimately, a comprehensive skincare routine tailored to your specific concern will heal your skin and leave you with a healthy, glowing complexion.
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