Dynamic skincare: Adapting skincare needs to suit different weather conditions.
I don’t know if you are like me and notice how your skin tone, texture and even condition changes with the weather.
Here in Nigeria we have 2 predominant seasons: Rainy and Dry.
However, in reality, it’s really not as black and white as it looks. For instance, during the dry season, you actually have two distinct weather patterns. You have the first part which is just really dry, less humid (dry air) and really hot during the day but a bit cooler as night approaches. This weather pattern usually happens around early December to late February /early March. Sometimes also called the Harmattan.
Then you have the other half of the dry season which is very also hot as well as very humid (very moist air) and really sticky. Usually from about March to sometime in May.
Along comes the rainy season usually from late May till about late November. Then again there are two different weather patterns within this season. You have the period where the sky is mostly overcast by dark clouds and the ground is soaked wet and saturated with water, constant HEAVY rainfall and relatively high atmospheric humidity as a result, usually from late May till about late July.
Finally, the loveliest weather of all which we look forward to and enjoy so much, especially in the Southern part of the country where I live. The latter part of the rainy reason, also known as the August Break. Here the sun is beautifully hid behind clear blue skies almost all day (as opposed to being overhead), therefore, the air is cooler as you also have a lot of cool air from the Atlantic Ocean gently blowing across the South, cooling the air. The humidity in the air at this time is just prefect … neither too much or too little, accompanied by the occasional , light drizzle of rain , this weather is really worth waiting for from around Early August to early December.
What has this got to do with skin care?
Well… quite a bit, and this is how…
Our skin is usually affected by changes in humidity (the amount of moisture in the air) temperature (how hot or cold the weather is) and wind (the velocity of the air )
Changes In Humidity
The more humid (filled with atmospheric moisture) the air is, the more likely your skin is to retain sweat and moisture on its surface as there is not sufficient gradient in the moisture content to encourage evaporation from the skin surface to the atmosphere, so the skin is more likely to become sticky and hotter, since evaporation of sweat from the skin’s surface has a cooling effect on the skin. The result is that you are more likely to have clogged pores and acne break out since the humidity in the air can also encourage the growth of bacteria on an already sticky and moist skin.
However, when there is low atmospheric humidity, moisture is lost much more quickly from the skin as a result of the large moisture gradient between the skin and the air. This might cause skin dryness and irritation of the skin.
What to do????
Oily skins Types:
- Problem time for people with this skin type is during times of very high humidity. At such times, oily skin people can actually avoid the use of facial moisturizers at this period due to the high amount of moisture already in the air. Trans-epidermal water loss is almost insignificant and your skin does not need the application of thick emollients and occlusive at this time of year to avoid break outs of acne.
- A non-oily face moisturizer or oil free serum can be used if any need at all.
- A good nondrying foamy cleanser with good antibacterial or anti acne actives will also help with the stickiness and getting rid of all the surface grime, sweat and bacteria on the skin surface. Washing your face twice daily or whenever it feels sticky is also highly recommended.
Dry skin Types:
- People with dry skin types tend to actually enjoy a more humid weather as the effect of dryness on their skin is reduced. Skin care for this skin type during this weather will be to take advantage of the moisture to increase the moisture content of their skin.
- Moisturizers rich in humectants (these are ingredients like honey, glycerin that help to attract water to the skin form the air around) will be a good idea, and emollients to help moisturize the skin will help.
- Problem time for this skin type is during periods of low humidity. This period calls for a desperate need to prevent water escaping from an already water deprived skin to make it look even drier and cause those unsightly cracks on our skin.
- To avoid this use very thick emollients and occlusive to prevent any further trans-epidermal water loss. There is an argument about whether humectants are as effective in times /areas of low humidity… you can find that post here….http://bareskinnaturals.com/blog/can-glycerine-pull-water-from-skin-in-low-humidity/
- For cleansing for dry skin in periods of very low humidity, you might want to consider a non foamy cleanser, milk cleanser and if your skin is extremely dry perhaps an oil cleansing method (OCM) would be a good choice BUT NEVER a foamy cleanser.