Do You Need To Change Your Skincare Routine With The Seasons?

Who knows for how long you've followed the same skincare routine? Days blended into weeks and weeks into months, with a new product joining your repertoire only to replace a similar one. Until now, your routine worked, so why tamper with a good thing? But now you've noticed something new. When the weather got colder, your skin got drier. Or when it got warmer, your skin got greasier.

Like many people, it occurred to you this might be a sign to change your skincare routine. After all, most people notice that their skin needs change as they get older (and everybody gets older, every day). Combined with what could be your harsh climate, your skin might benefit from a routine that changes with the seasons (via Reviewed).

You're no snowflake, but it sounds like a hassle — far more complicated than pushing your lightweight summer jackets to the front of the closet and your heavier jackets to the back. Besides, your skin has adapted before. So, would it be worthwhile to make bigger seasonal changes to your skincare routine now?

Nurture fall and winter skin

Reviewed says that, yes, you should change your skincare routine if the weather where you live changes with the seasons. Cool, dry air in the fall and winter can drain moisture from exposed skin. Applying moisturizer regularly is a must-make move. By the time spring and summer arrive, heat and humidity can conspire to unleash the natural oil in your skin. You may also be exposed to more ultraviolet rays from the sun, in which case sunscreen should find its way to your back pocket. Sunscreen should play a starring role in your skincare routine 365 days a year.

Fall and winter are known as the moisturizer seasons in many parts of the country and for good reason. And don't overlook the obvious: protect your skin from the wind, bitter cold, and bright sun. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 if you plan to spend extended time outdoors (via NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital). Harvard Medical School suggests approaching skincare with a 360-degree lens. So, when you bathe or shower, limit your forays to about 10 minutes so you don't dry out your skin. Use lukewarm water and only a soft sponge or washcloth, not a bristle brush. Set a humidifier to pump moisture in the air overnight.

Similarly, pat your skin after a bath or shower. Then, apply a moisturizer to lock in moisture. If an area of your skin is particularly red or itchy, rub some petroleum jelly on the area and cover it.

Nurture spring and summer skin

You wouldn't be the first person to assume that you must break in your skin to the summer's rays. But don't make this mistake. No matter how much time you spend in the sun, and no matter how deep your tan, wear that SPF 15 sunscreen on your very first sunny outing. It can reduce your risk of developing carcinoma by 40% and melanoma by 50%, the Skin Cancer Foundation says. 

Wearing less makeup in the summer may give you an early advantage in keeping your skin clear. Plus, it will allow your skin to breathe. Whether or not your skin is naturally oily, you may be tempted to wash your face more frequently in the spring and summer. This is a good impulse, and washing with a gentle cleanser and tepid water twice a day should be ample. If you have to, use oil-absorbing sheets in between. Meanwhile, limit your exfoliating sessions to no more than two a week (via Healthline).

As for your winter moisturizer, don't toss it out. But you may have to tweak the type you reach for. Use a heavier moisturizer in the fall and winter and a thinner, water-based moisturizer in the spring and summer. You should ignore the calendar if you encounter a troubling skin issue you cannot remedy. Then, it's time to make an appointment with a dermatologist.