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Seasonal Skin Shifts: Understanding Your Skin’s Transformations

Skin, the body’s largest organ, is profoundly influenced by environmental shifts such as temperature and humidity variations. These changes impact skincare needs, as conditions like acne, psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea exhibit seasonal fluctuations. Fortunately, adapting skincare routines with products tailored to seasonal demands ensures optimal skin health and resilience. When considering clinical treatments, understanding these seasonal dynamics is crucial for effective care.

Exploring the Layers of Skin: Epidermis, Dermis, and Hypodermis

The skin is structured into three main layers: the epidermis, which acts as a protective barrier against external threats and contains cells like keratinocytes and melanocytes; the dermis, rich in connective tissue, nerves, blood vessels, glands, and essential proteins like collagen and elastin for strength and flexibility; and the hypodermis, a subcutaneous layer of fat cells that provides insulation and cushioning. Each layer plays a vital role in maintaining skin health and functionality.

Seasonal Variations in Skin Barrier Function: Understanding the Impact

Recent research highlighted in the British Journal of Dermatology reveals significant seasonal changes in skin barrier function, particularly on the cheeks and hands of 80 subjects studied across summer and winter. The study focused on natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) and observed increased breakdown of filaggrin, a key protein maintaining skin barrier integrity, during winter. Additionally, seasonal variations in corneocyte texture were noted.

During summer, heightened sebum production and increased pigmentation due to UV exposure were observed, while trans-epidermal water loss decreased, suggesting better skin hydration and enhanced lipid presence in the stratum corneum compared to winter. Understanding these seasonal dynamics is crucial for mitigating potential skin damage and optimizing skincare routines year-round.

Summer Skin Care Essentials 

Summer brings both benefits and challenges for skin health. Increased sun exposure aids in vitamin D production, essential for skin function, but requires careful sun protection due to UV risks. Pigmentation changes and risks of hyperpigmentation from treatments like lasers are heightened in summer. Sebum production rises, affecting acne, while conditions like eczema and psoriasis may improve. However, humidity can promote fungal infections, worsen rosacea, and increase photosensitivity reactions.

Key Points:

  • Vitamin D Production: Essential for skin health but requires balanced sun exposure with sunscreen protection.
  • Pigmentation Concerns: Increased risk of hyperpigmentation with laser and peel treatments; melasma may worsen.
  • Sebum Production: Leads to shiny skin and potential aggravation of acne, but less dry skin may reduce pore blockages.
  • Seasonal Skin Conditions: Eczema and psoriasis may improve, while rosacea worsens with UV exposure.
  • Summer Treatment Tips: Avoid aggressive treatments like retinol; use SPF daily; consider oil-controlling cleansers and light antioxidants; opt for gentle exfoliation like mandelic acid peels.

Navigating these factors ensures optimal skin care during warmer months, balancing sun benefits with protective measures and suitable treatments.

Winter Skin Care

Winter poses challenges for skin health due to fluctuating temperatures and exposure to dry, snowy conditions. Moving between indoor heating and cold outdoors can cause redness and telangiectasia. Dry, cold air increases trans-epidermal water loss, leading to dry, irritated skin, especially for those with already dry skin types.

Key Points:

  • Temperature Fluctuations: Capillaries expand and contract, causing redness and telangiectasia when moving between indoor and outdoor environments.
  • Barrier Function: Wet, snowy weather can compromise the skin’s barrier function, exacerbating dryness and irritation.
  • Hydration Needs: Focus on increasing hydration and supporting the skin’s natural moisture barrier with ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid.
  • Skin Preparation: Prepare skin for colder months with gentle exfoliation and barrier repair using ingredients like retinols and moisturizers rich in colloidal oatmeal.
  • UV Protection: Despite cooler temperatures, UV radiation exposure still exists, necessitating SPF protection to prevent long-term damage.

Addressing these winter-specific challenges ensures skin remains healthy, hydrated, and protected throughout the colder months, preparing it for optimal health and resilience when facing environmental stresses.


Temperature, humidity, and UV radiation all change with the seasons. It is no surprise our skin is affected by these changes! Understanding the physiology of our skin can help patients prepare for all the variations caused by the changing of the seasons, which in turn can help them minimize the chances of developing skin diseases. Importantly, patients should not wait for signs of disease before seeking or beginning treatment. Preparing the skin in the spring and fall will ensure that skin is ready for the more extreme conditions of summer and winter. Of great effect in improving skin condition, products like Xeomin are very popular.

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