The Best Season for Your Skin
Although Reno is enjoyable year-round, spring is definitely my favorite season. The days are longer and warmer and, with the help of daylight savings, we have those extra couple of extra hours each day to hike or mountain bike or walk the dogs. While those of us who live in the Reno area are fortunate to have easy access to all of our favorite outdoor activities without having to bundle up, we must not forget to care for and protect our skin. Here are some tried and true skin care tips for you to follow.
Skin thrives in the higher humidity and warmer temperatures but after the cold, dry winter we must prepare for the warmer months. When the skin transitions from cold to warmer temperatures, the temperature increase can cause the sebum, or oil, in the pores to liquefy which gives the skin a shiny or greasy appearance. So, as part of your spring cleaning, when you sort through your skin products and toss out those that have expired, consider switching from a heavier winter hydrating cream to a slightly lighter cream. For spring and summer, I like to use lotions containing a tint or self-tanner. Using an oil-absorbing product such as oil-blotting papers can also help avoid this greasy look issue. It is recommended that you exfoliate your skin regularly, but extra exfoliating is probably needed after the long winter. In the slightly higher springtime humidity, the drying or irritating effects of exfoliants are less of a concern. I personally use AmLactin, a daily-use body moisturizer with an alpha hydroxyl exfoliant additive. Also, several times each week, I apply Skin Medica Retinol Complex to my face at bedtime.
Keep in mind that the severity of many common chronic skin conditions can change with the seasons. Thankfully, psoriasis and eczema flare ups, which are mostly associated with the dry cold months, tend to lessen in the spring. Rosacea and acne may also subside as spring arrives, though for some patients their disease actually worsens. It is good idea to take note of your skin’s particular trends and develop a plan with your dermatology provider to treat any worsening symptoms.
We recommend the use of sunscreen every day of the year, however, it is especially important to remember to re-apply sunscreen while outdoors during the warmer months. If you are not planning to spend time outdoors, the application of a SPF 15 once in the morning to the face, neck, ears, upper chest, forearms and hands should be sufficient. On the other hand, if you plan to be outside hiking, running, biking, or simply walking then you should use at least a SPF 30 and carry enough of the product with you to reapply every two hours. My favorite brand is Elta MD because all of their products contain zinc, a physical block, rather than a chemical block, and their application is aesthetically appealing with no white tinge left on the skin. Elta MD also makes a sport product which is water and sweat resistant and an aerosol product which I find more convenient when I am outside exercising.
Now that the snow and ice have melted, the numerous hiking trail networks in Reno and Tahoe are opening up and inviting you to visit. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the outdoor activities this area has to offer, but please protect your skin while doing so.