"woman with beautiful skin"By Dr. Julie Pena

It is important to understand that your skin can change over time—not just over the years but also over the course of the day. Your environment, diet, stress level, medications, hormones, even your own skincare regimen can affect your skin. However, the biggest changes to your skin are seasonal. In fact, you may see your skin type move from the middle of one spectrum to an entirely different category.

From the vibrant blooms of Spring and Summer to the golden leaves of Autumn to the pure white brilliance of Winter, just like nature, your skin evolves through the seasons. And each new season requires a unique approach to skincare.

As a dermatologist, I find the way the seasons affect the skin fascinating. Most of my patients are surprised to find that as the seasons change – so do the characteristics of their skin. For instance, someone who has normal skin may find that in the summer it becomes more oily or someone with dry skin may find it feels less tight and more moist. Or for most people, a part of their face may change – their t-zone may become more oily while their cheeks stay dry.

So what does this mean for our skincare? Well let’s review by skin type.

Dry Skin

Summer heat and humidity can actually be good for those with dry skin. They may find their forehead flakes less and their cheeks don’t feel so tight. I recommend that those with dry skin continue each morning to use a gentle cleanser and moisturize with a zinc based SPF 50 Broad-spectrum Moisturizer. If you find your t-zone is getting a little oily – you can use a Normal to Oily moisturizer on your t-zone and a Normal to Dry Moisturizer on your cheeks. At night, use a gentle cleanser, a Vitamin A Derivative (Retinol) Anti-Aging Treatment followed by a Moisturizer.

Normal Skin

For those with Normal Skin- the summer heat and humidity can bring on the Oil. They may find that they start to have a sheen on their forehead or cheeks and might need to blot a little throughout the day. Use a specialized Oily Treatment on the t-zone or oily areas and then Normal To Oily moisturizer on the rest of your face. Again – please make sure you wash with a gentle exfoliator each morning and that your Moisturizer is Broad Spectrum SPF 50, and Zinc based. At night, use a gentle cleanser and a Vitamin A Derivative (Retinol) Anti-Aging Treatment. You may not need a moisturizer with the Anti-Aging treatment – see how your skin feels and apply a light layer where it may feel dry

Oily Skin and Acne

Summer heat and humidity can make your skin more oily and prone to outbreaks of acne, especially around your T-zone. Using an Oily Skin Treatment on your face will help keep the acne at bay and control the excess oil production. Cleanse every morning with an Alpha and Beta Hydroxyl Acid Face Wash for gentle exfoliation and oil control. Make sure your Oily Skin treatment has Broad Spectrum SPF 50 protection. Again – I recommend a zinc based product because it helps calm acne and keeps the face from getting hot which can exacerbate outbreaks.

Summer Skin Care Warning: If you have rosacea, be careful. The sun worsens rosacea symptoms. The heat can exacerbate already irritated skin. To protect and calm rosacea in the summer, I recommend use of a Zinc based sunscreen moisturizer that contains Niacinamide and Azelaic Acid. The zinc will help keep your face from heating up because it reflects rather than absorbs the sun’s rays. In addition, niacinamde, zinc, and azelaic acid have a calming effect on the irritation of rosacea. All these ingredients can help keep your condition controlled.

Your face is your window to the world. Keep it healthy and beautiful by adapting your skincare routine for harsh heat and humidity. Smart skincare will keep Summer both safe and fun.

About Dr. Julie Pena: Dr. Pena, founder and president of Likewise Skincare, is a board certified Dermatologist, trained Pathologist and MOHS micrographic surgeon. She has owned and operated Skin Solutions Dermatology and Skin Cancer Surgery, P.C in Nashville, TN since 2001. Through her three dermatology offices and two cosmetic centers, she focuses on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of skin cancer as well as provides cosmetic and medical dermatology treatments. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Dr. Pena received her medical degree at Northwestern University Medical School and completed her dermatology residency at Southern Illinois University. Visit: www.LikewiseSkincare.com or www.ssdermandlaser.com.