We all expect our allergies to act up in the early spring. We can usually bet on the fact that we are going to have dryer skin in the winter. Many of us struggle with more oil production in the summer time.
Most of us recognize that we need to address these seasonal issues, but freak out when we get breakouts during this time. I can’t tell you how many complaints I had last week, and well, the last month or so at the spa because many of my clients were dealing with seasonal breakouts.
Guess what? I am a skin freak, I know what’s happening, I knew it was coming, and yet I have had to deal with breakouts, too. I even get lucky and get cold sores during these seasonal changes, too! Sometimes its simply inevitable, most people get zits! I have yet to meet one client who doesn’t get the occasional breakout. I also have some clients who are acne prone, so when they go through the season funks, its a fairly large amount of breakouts. But do not fear, there are ways to minimize the pain- that often times is very real. The dirty little bastards can hurt!
A few times a year our whole body goes through a transition with the seasons, our hair even sheds like my lovely Stella’s (my dog lol) is doing right now. These transitions include hair shedding (or growing depending on the time of year), oil fluctuations, breakouts, sensitivities like eczema flaring up, puffy eyes from allergies- seriously the list goes on and on because these things are so different for every body. Some people go through this very easily and they don’t even notice that their hair is shedding more.
Its really easy to get frustrated when this happens to you, in a big way. One of my clients said she feels like she has a beard of acne.
I have all (ok, maybe not all .. but a lot!) the tricks up my sleeve and I still have issues! I have a ton of little bumps under my chin right now, I have a couple zits, and I know that there will probably be one or two more before I am done with the transition.
Honestly, I think the biggest difference between me and my clients isn’t the tools, its the self control. I could pick at these little bumps, a couple would probably even extract. But picking is only going to make it worse. It causes bacteria to spread, damages your pore and can scar. Just because it’s a bump does not mean it needs picking!!
When we are aware of the season influence on our skin, we can be preventative, you will possibly end up with little to no breakout, or at least be able to save yourself the stress of wondering WHYYYYYY ME?!!!
First of all, know that you are using a good product. I know it probably feels like I am beating this to death but it really does make all the difference. I use amazing products and I still get breakouts every once in a while, but I don’t have to worry about rather my skin care products are the issue. Most often its the seasons or my shitty diet. Let’s be real here, soda even once a day is going to show on your skin. Too much coffee, my beloved xxx Hot Cheetos…all have the possibility to show on my skin. Luckily, I dont drink coffee and I rarely drink soda 😂 The wine and cigarettes are definitely enemies as well. Also, the nights I fall asleep without washing my face are absolutely going to result in a zit this time of year. I can usually get away with being lazy one or two days in a week, I usually don’t miss at all but, LIFE…
So, what can we do?
When you feel the season changing, even just a little, you need to be on top of your game.
Drink lots of water
Be sure to wash your face morning and night
Exfoliate 2-3x a week
Mask 2x a week full face if you are more sensitive to these changes
Spot treat mask 2-3x a week
Be mindful of any changes in your-
Skin care routine
Skin care Products
It may be a good time to add a little something extra into your routine. I am a strict LimeLife user but when I feel fluctuations coming I have a Glymed exfoliating mask I like to use. Before this one I liked a certain one from Peter Thomas Roth. I like to have one product on hand that isn’t in my everyday routine so that my skin has new ingredients introduced to it when it needs to be brought back to balance. Just be sure you are using quality products.
I don’t like to use products with acids in them very often for two reasons-
Acids cause your skin to be more sensitive and that’s never good in the warmer months with so much being done outdoors; it is also not good for the winter when your skin tends to be more dry and sensitive.
Your skin can also become immune to acids. I love a good chemical peel and I really like feeling like I get the full benefit of it. I can’t do a chemical peel on my skin if I have been using acids on my face daily. I risk stripping my skin if I use them too often. I have found that they work best when they are saved for instances like this. They can be a risky ingredient, and I have found that they are just really not necessary in your everyday routine, regardless of your skin type and concern.
Your skin, hair and nails are all part of your integumentary system. I feel like I have studied this system over and over and over again. I obviously thoroughly studied it in esthetics school. I have really been refocusing on it in herbalism school, as well. The skin is our body’s largest organ and therefore can tell us quite a lot about what’s going on in the inside of our bodies.
First and foremost the skin is a protector. It protects us from EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT, from pathogens to abrasions. It is literally the skin’s job to protect us from the environment. So, when the environment is changing, it makes sense that our protector would go into overdrive to protect us from the changes- the sun, the cold, the wind, the dust.
Exocrine glands are also part of the integumentary system, they produce sweat, oil and wax to cool, protect and moisturize. Needless to say, these things will overact at times when the seasons change, because the body’s needs change as well.
A lot of people have milia issues throughout the year, ya know those little pesky bumps that never seem to come to a head? When the seasons change and we produce more oils, we tend to push these little bumps to the surface, causing us to purge. Purging is a good thing! I have had bumps that have taken years to get rid of. I get excited about certain breakouts. But even the ones that have taken up residency for eons DON’T NEED TO BE PICKED TO DEATH!
I have noticed that a lot of seasonal breakouts happen along the jawline, and like my client said, in a beard shape. Hormones also show up in this area, so if you happen to get your moon around the same time the temp really shifts, you may feel the transition a little more than someone who has had a hysterectomy, like me.
As we get older we get even more discouraged with minor or major breakouts. We get frustrated and scream at the top of our lungs- to ourselves of course, or maybe to our esty- WHY IS THIS STILL HAPPENING TO ME?!
Adult acne is probably one of the most obnoxious things you have to deal with after 30. Gray hair? Justified. Fine lines & wrinkles? Expected. Adding booster products? Smart. Pimples? WHY?! These should be a thing of the past, right?
We go through so many hormonal changes in our 30’s, it’s almost like a mini puberty that comes along before menopause. A lot of us are still having kids, which means that your hormones are going to continue to fluctuate even more. But, if you are a woman who hasn’t had any kids since you turned 30, your body is kind of simmering down, so to speak.
This is why the docs tell you to have kids before you hit your mid-late 30’s; your body is moving into the next cycle. In a way puberty is simply your body moving into the next cycle.
What can we do to help our hormonal fluctuations?
Being mindful of the foods we eat and taking herbal supplements that assist in hormonal balancing is a great idea. One of the wisest herbalists I have ever studied says that with Nettle in your diet you can’t go wrong. It has tons of benefits for women. Red Clover is another good one but you need to make sure you aren’t under any treatment regimens that it would interfere with, like breast cancer. It is always important to understand the risk of the herbs you decide to take in your diet.
If you feel that your hormonal acne is a consistent issue, you may want to schedule an appointment to have your levels checked.
Also, don’t forget about face mapping! I have found the breakout patterns to be very accurate. If you are breaking out in one area, you might be able to find the culprit on a face map.
To sum it all up-
The season changes are inevitable, breakouts are too, unfortunately.
Schedule a facial
Drink lots of water
Make healthier food choices
Drink lots of water
I am going to be more available for online consultations via messaging or video chat. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me to book one of these!