Everyone knows that winter weather can lead to dry skin, but with temperatures warming up, it’s important to remember that taking care of your skin is a year-round job. Your skin care routine should be modified each season, but several steps are essential for maintaining healthy skin all year.
Spring typically brings relief for dry skin, and moderate sun exposure can even be beneficial for skin, but Erin Kratsas, MSPAS, PA-C, UPMC Department of Dermatology, says it’s important to keep these guidelines in mind for overall healthy skin this season.
1. Cleanse and moisturize daily.
Erin suggests using a face wash for sensitive skin both morning and night before applying any medicated creams that you may use. Using a facial moisturizer with an SPF in it is an important second step to add to your daily routine before applying any cosmetics in the morning.
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“Daily cleansing followed by a moisturizer is the most important part of your skin care regimen,” she says.
2. Use an SPF every day.
“The most important thing to avoid when spring arrives is sunburn because it can lead to the development of skin cancers in the future,” Erin says.
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If you are in direct sunlight, she suggests using a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Make sure that you use an SPF of at least 30 and reapply frequently. Remember: your skin is exposed to sunlight through the windows while indoors or in the car, so be sure to wear your sunscreen even if you don’t plan to be outside on a sunny day.
3. Drink plenty of water.
“Staying well hydrated is important for healthy skin,” Erin says. “Avoid soft drinks, coffee, or anything caffeinated, as it will dehydrate your skin.”
4. Choose a lotion with ceramides.
It’s not uncommon for certain lotions to leave your skin feeling sticky, especially in warmer weather. Ceramides are naturally found in the outermost layer of your skin, and they create a barrier against water that prevents a loss of moisture. Erin suggests applying after you shower while your skin is still moist to avoid the sticky feeling that other lotions may leave behind.
5. Discuss your medications with your doctor.
Many people use prescription medications that may cause photosensitivity or make skin more prone to sunburns, Erin says. It is important to discuss these side effects with your medical provider and follow his or her guidelines for use and sun considerations as spring time approaches.
Erin says that hydration and sun protection are the best methods for obtaining healthy skin this season.
“Using a moisturizer with sun-blocking ingredients daily can offset the effects of the weather all year,” she says. “Making sure that skin is hydrated and protected is the best way to maintain healthy skin year round.”
If you are having problems or are unhappy with your skin, see your health care provider or dermatologist.
The UPMC Department of Dermatology diagnoses, treats, and manages numerous hair, skin, and nail conditions and diseases. We care for common and uncommon conditions, and our treatments include both surgical and non-surgical options. We operate several specialty centers for various conditions. The UPMC Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Health Center is the most comprehensive dermatologic laser facility in the region. With UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, we offer a Skin Cancer Program that provides complete care from screenings, diagnosis, treatment, and beyond.