Pharmaceutical scientist and skincare expert Hannah English explores all the things that can impact your skin in spring. Read on for Hannah’s helpful tips.
By Hannah English
We’re all excited for the warm, gorgeous weather heading our way, but for some of us the changing of seasons brings about changes to our skin. There are several environmental factors which can play a role in shaping our skin – heat, humidity, sun exposure and for those of us who experience hay fever - pollen. So when they change, naturally our skin does too.
As spring approaches, here are some changes you might notice in your skin and sensible suggestions for handling them.
You can be more prone to breakouts
As the weather improves, we tend to spend more time outdoors. This increases our exposure to UV radiation, air pollution and sweat. These factors affect the natural oils on your skin, making them more prone to clogging your pores until, joy, you get a pimple right before a party.
Helpful tip: adopting a cleanser with AHAs and/or BHAs a couple times per week can help prevent this. These exfoliating cleansers are a relatively gentle way to help clear out pore-clogging oil plugs and dead skin before they turn into active breakouts. Use these after a hot day, exercise, or extended mask-wearing.
Freckles and dark spots may reappear
We have a wonderfully sunny lifestyle in Australia which unfortunately, can start to show on our skin. According to the Cancer Council, UV radiation from the sun is responsible for up to 80% of visible premature aging including dark spots and wrinkles.
UV radiation warps your skin’s DNA, so when your skin detects it, extra melanin is created as it tries to shield itself. Sometimes this melanin is overproduced and collects in an uneven way – that’s where dark spots come from. A tan or dark freckles are signs your skin is in danger. Dark spots cannot be prevented or faded without dedication to sun protection.
Helpful tip: Find a sunscreen you’re comfortable wearing on your face and body. Think about the texture and look you prefer for your skin day-to-day, and take it from there. Do you like a glow or a matte look? Does your skin need lots of moisture, or do you prefer something lightweight? Consider these elements to help you choose the best sunscreen for your skin.
Irritated skin is more common
Flowers are pretty, but those of us prone to hay fever know that the effects of pollen aren’t. You’ll be all too familiar with sensitive, itchy, puffy, or red skin thanks to constant sneezing. These things happen because your hay fever-stricken skin’s reaction to pollen dilates blood vessels and creates swelling and itchiness.
Helpful tip: In this situation, it’s important to keep your skin’s barrier in great shape so things don’t get worse. A big part of our skin barrier’s job is to keep those itch-causing particles out. Aside from visiting your friendly GP or pharmacist for advice on hay fever, you can incorporate extra-soothing, barrier-supporting skincare to help calm things down. And try not to scratch – it releases signals for even more itch.
Now that you’re equipped with a game plan for your spring skin situation, all that’s left to do is go out and enjoy the glorious weather.