Is your skin suddenly more dry or oily? Try a holistic approach to transitional season skincare

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Skincare transitioning does not only focus on products but lifestyle as well
Skincare transitioning does not only focus on products but lifestyle as well
Galina Zhigalova / EyeEm

It’s that time of the year when your skin is not quite sure whether it should be producing less or more sebum.

It’s autumn but the summer doesn't seem ready to bid us adieu. We are in limbo as we wonder whether to layer more clothes every time we head out or whether we should be bare-shouldered.

Your skin is going through the same uncertainty. 

You may have noticed some dryness and itchiness around your mouth and forehead. These symptoms are not caused by the products you are currently using but by the weather transition from summer to autumn.

You should absolutely switch up your skincare routine as the Southern Hemisphere winter season rolls around, experts say. What worked for you during the hotter seasons might not work the same when it is colder.

Experts explain how transitional season skincare works.

"Switch up your skincare routine throughout the year. The weather is an external factor that can wreak havoc on your skin, so it’s essential to combat the opposing temperatures with different products throughout the year," says Su-Marie Annandale, Clere skincare brand manager.

Because it is not just about what you apply on your face but also how you live, here are 7 tips to help you change up your skincare regimen holistically.

Justine's Mpho Rakgotho and Clere's Su-Marie Annandale.

1. Break a sweat

Exercise improves blood circulation and toning. Remember to flex those facial muscles as well; your smile adds beauty to the world.

Also do yoga regularly. Yoga lends serenity, has numerous health benefits, aids detoxification of the body and skin, and gives you an inner – and outer glow.

2. Mind what you eat

Your diet can play an important part in counteracting the adverse effects of pollution on your skin, says Dr Bradley Wagemaker, founder and medical director of Lamelle Research Laboratorie.

Read more | Experience dramatic matte lips and extreme hydration

He advises that you try limiting fried foods, processed foods, sugar, refined flour and alcohol, while including foods with antioxidants such as cherries, blueberries, tomatoes, nuts and leafy green vegetables.  

3. Drink enough water

"Drink at least two litres of water a day to keep your body and skin healthy. We need water for our body to function normally, so keeping hydrated is key," says Su-Marie.

"If you struggle to drink plain water, try infusing some of your favourite fruits or even try a hot or cold herbal tea. It’ll help you feel more alert and stave off dehydration headaches."

4. Keep your skin hydrated

"When it comes to your skin, hydration is everything," Su-Marie adds.

"Even if you have oily skin, you need to keep your skin hydrated; otherwise, it’ll produce more oil to compensate. Make sure you’re moisturising twice a day."

"Applying lotion right after stepping out of the shower seals in the moisture that your skin has just absorbed. Plus, since hands are often the first indicators of ageing, keep a thicker moisturising crème in your bag, car, and at your office."

5. Don’t neglect that beauty sleep

Sleep deficits can cause inflammation, reduced immunity, puffy eyes, fine lines, impact skin ageing, warns Mpho Rakgotho, Justine Brand Manager: Omnichannel.

"Sleep is an absolute essential for the wellness of skin.

"During rest, the skin repairs and rejuvenates itself with several important changes: skin cells are actively growing and repairing while both cortisol – the hormone that regulates inflammation amongst other functions – and pH levels dip during the night.” 

The role of beauty sleep in maintaining beautiful skin, according to Mpho, includes:

  • Regenerating skin cells

While you’re catching up on sleep, your skin cells are actively growing & repairing. This is when cells need nutrients the most.

  • Recovery

Inadequate sleep raises your cortisol levels, triggering inflammation that can lead to skin looking dull and sullen. Therefore, skin needs adequate sleep to go into recovery mode.

  • Temperature changes

During the sleeping process, your skin temperature increases and your skin becomes more acidic – this results in drier skin.

  • Moisture loss

Sebum production decreases during the night, resulting in moisture loss. Therefore, skin needs to be supplemented with added moisture.

  • Product absorption

During skin’s renewal mode, you experience maximum impact from skincare ingredients, making night- time skincare crucial for healthy, youthful skin

Read more | Melanin-rich skin myths busted

6. Find out your skin type

The Ayurvedic approach to winter has worked wonders for many people for centuries, says Dr Ashiyanah Singh of The Himalaya Drug Company SA.

The Ayurvedic approach to skincare comes from a holistic definition of beauty that includes inner, outer and lasting beauty.

Ayurvedic protocols address common causes of skincare issues, such as stress, underlying health conditions, hormonal imbalances, environmental toxins, and improper diet, digestion, and lifestyle, says Dr Singh.

Three Ayurvedic concepts – Pitta, Kapha and Vata – each represent unique energies that, according to the Ayurvedic philosophy, make up a universal life force that can affect our physical and mental constitutions. Many believe that understanding and achieving the perfect harmony between these energies can also bring peace to our moods and bodies.

So, what does that mean for our skin?

If you have Vata skin, it's likely dry, thin, cool, easily dehydrated. Imbalances include dark circles, chapped skin, premature wrinkles, and greyish pallor.

Pitta skin is photosensitive and looks ruddy. It is warm to the touch, and prone to freckles and moles. Can have rashes, acne, discolorations, and inflammation as imbalances.

Kapha skin is moist, radiant, thick, oily and more tolerant of the sun. It can sometimes be be clammy or excessively oily with edema, blackheads, and pimples.

  • Vata-Pitta                                       

Dry and sensitive

  • Pitta-Kapha                                    

Oily and sensitive

  • Vata-Kapha                                   

Dry with oily zones

Personalise your transitional season skincare regimen

Vata skin benefits from a regular, nourishing, rehydrating routine. Use a gentle cleanser and moisturize daily.

Pitta skin needs a calming, cooling, and nurturing regimen with gentle cleansing and moisturizing. Avoid tanning, harsh cosmetics, and exposure to the sun or excess heat and, rather use soothing anti-inflammatory porducts.

Kapha skin types often battle over oil production, chronic dullness, cystic acne, and enlarged pores.

7) Never skip the sunscreen

"No matter the weather, apply sunscreen first thing in the morning," advises Su-Marie. "In summer you’ll need to re-apply more frequently."

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