Beware The Gypsy Moth Caterpillar

The name may sound harmless enough, but make no mistake about it, the Gypsy moth caterpillar is one bad mother of a moth. Brought to America with the intent of interbreeding them with silkworms to develop a silk worn industry, the fuzzy monsters broke out of their shelters and began swarming the houses and sidewalks of Medford, Massachusetts, raining down on unsuspecting residents, bringing one of the largest impacts in the defoliation of deciduous trees in the Northern Hemisphere. And now, according to science, you may be their next target.

The Breakout
Every year when the weather warms up, we expect bugs to come out, but this year the gypsy moths are causing some serious trouble. According to recent reports in Massachusetts, these pests have been responsible for the appearance of white or red bumps on the skin, similar to poison ivy.

The Warning
As of the last week of April, gypsy moth eggs have begun to hatch. This means the larval “instars, ” or stages of the caterpillar are “ballooning” from trees and the wind is bringing then to multiple locations.

Be warned, though, this stage will not last long. in a few weeks, the older caterpillars will settle into trees to feed, making their way up and down the tree, eventually deforesting it.

There is a natural fungus with a long lasting spree at the bottom go the tree. However, the fungus needs rain to germinate, infect, and kill the caterpillars, and, because of the drought, there has not been enough rain for the fungus to germinate. But, not to worry, this is only temporary. Odds are that nature will eventually catch up and the issue will resolve itself.

stages of gypsy moth caterpillar

Exposure
Gypsy moth larvae don’t bits. However, they have two types of hair that they use to defend themselves and these can create a stinging sensation. Reactions to this range anywhere from a mild to severe itching along with a rash similar to dermatitis. The symptoms usually appear 8-12 hours after contact and become more noticeable 1-2 days later. Most cases last two weeks. Strong reactions may cause inflamed nasal passages, eye irritation, and shortness of breath.

What You Can Do
There are no state programs to provide for spraying of the moths, so it is recommended that people with sensitivities avoid exposure. With rain in the forecast, it is likely that resting spores of gypsy moth fungus will begin to germinate, providing natural control this year. If you do notice health problems or have general medical concerns related to contact with the gypsy moth, it is recommended that you check with your primary health provider. According to Boston dermatologist Abigail Walden, “You can take an antihistamine for the itching, or for severe cases, you can get a topical steroid from your doctor.”

Have you been in contact with the gypsy moth this year? What bugs are bugging you out? Let us know!

Marine Snail Venom Can Prevent Pain and Opioid Addiction

If you have gone to any of the summer music festivals, you may have noticed that people with altered perceptions seem to like looking at snails. It seems that snails shells, being spiral in nature, are actually symbolic of an expanding consciousness, looking inward to seek answers, while the antennae represent exploration, which may explain the river fascination. In short, the entire body of a snail is considered a sensory tool capable of experiencing reality through uncommon sensory perception. Perhaps then, it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch to consider that these creatures may actually be capable of sensory alteration, specifically, pain relief and there may be scientific proof to back it up. Read on to discover how snail venom may be an alternative to addictive opioid drugs.

Snail Venom As An Opioid Replacement
Snail venom may be the latest answer to pain. According to recent research, the venom of the small cone snail, commonly found in the Caribbean sea, may contain compounds which act on pain pathways in the body, thus providing an alternative to pain-relieving opioids.

According to psychologist Michael McIntosh, who is involved in the research, transmissions that sense pain normally travels up through the back part of the spinal chord. However, the types of sensations we feel, such as heat, cold, pain, and itch can come from other receptors. The pain pathways that opioids target are very specific. However, McIntosh and his team have discovered that snail venom can affect alternate pathways, providing for more long term relief.

McIntosh allows that opioids can be great for acute, short-term pain, but snail venom can provide long lasting relief for chronic pain, commonly caused by injury to a nerve. Says McIntosh, “What these compounds from the snail do is they not only provide relief in the short run, they seem to provide long lasting relief and they seem to do so b y actually preventing some of the pathophysiologies that occur after a nerve injury.”

boy examines snail on a leaf

Indications
McIntosh explains that each type of venom-bearing species has a unique component in their venom, designed to capture prey and work on the nervous system, and is therefore often used in the study of relieving nerve pain.

The study proved two things. First that the compound from cone snail venom can be turned into a compound that may be useful to humans, and secondly that it could be used as a specific called chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. McIntosh explains, “What we found, in this case, was that we could give the chemotherapy agent and our compound that we developed and prevent the nerve damage that normally occurs after chemotherapy.”

What’s Next?
Now the medical field must focus on bringing the snail venom into practical use. Says McIntosh, “The next step is to conduct additional preclinical trials with the aim of applying to the Food and Drug Administration for investigational new drug status so that human clinical trials can begin.” He adds that the venom may also prove to be useful for the relief of pain for diabetics and others suffering from chronic pain caused by injury to a nerve, surgery, lower back pain, or a car accident.
“We want to get at the root of the problem, not just mask the symptoms,” he says.

What do you think about snail venom as an alternative to opioid drugs? Let us know.

woman dehydrated

Do You Know The Signs of Dehydration?

Every once in a while we all need some detoxification. Whether it be a full on week-long cleanse, or just the occasional good sweat, many of us derive satisfaction out of releasing chemicals from our bodies, bringing us back to the elemental purity our bodies were made in, relaxing and rejuvenating us. Of course, this process also involves losing water, but that’s par for the course. You just drink a little more of it to compensate, right?

While most of the time, our bodies replace water pretty easily, sometimes we can lose a little too much, and that can set our bodies off, because, as we know, our bodies do love their water. Dehydration happens when your body is not getting enough of the water it needs. Here are some ways to recognize and prevent the signs of dehydration.

Causes
We sweat; we breathe; we poop, we cry; we spit; we lose water, and that’s ok. We usually can get it right back by eating foods with water and drinking fluids. But, if you lose too much or don’t eat or drink enough, dehydration can occur. Unusual water loss can be caused by fever, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sweating, and urinating a lot (diuretics can make you pee more often.)

You might not compensate for the loss because you don’t know you’re thirsty, you’re busy and forget to drink, or you don’t feel like drinking because you don’t feel good.

Symptoms
Dehydration symptoms usually include a dry mouth, thirst, muscle cramps, headaches, decreased urination, dark yellow urine, and cool, dry skin.

Symptoms of more severe dehydration include lack of urination or very dark yellow urine, dizziness, overly dry skin, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, sleepiness, confusion, irritability, sunken eyes and fainting.

Symptoms for young babies and children may be slightly different than those of adults. For example, dry diapers for three hours may be a sign, as might lack of tears when crying, sleepiness, irritability, and lack of energy, sunken cheeks and eyes, a soft spot on the top of the skull, and a dry tongue and mouth.

woman drinking water

High-Risk Groups
While anyone can be affected by dehydration, the odds are higher for some.

  • Babies and children
    Since this group is the most likely to have severe vomiting and diarrhea, they are most likely to lose water from a high fever.
  • Older Adults
    More mature adults have less water in their bodies and often are not as sensitive to thirst.
  • Sick People
    People with sore throats and colds may not feel like drinking or eating.
  • People With a Chronic Disease
    Individuals with uncontrolled diseases like type 2 diabetes can pee a lot. They may also take medicines such as water pills, which increase urination.
  • Active People
    Those who are active outdoors in humid and hot weather sometimes can’t cool down properly because their sweat fails to evaporate, leading to a higher body temperature and not enough water.

What are you doing to prevent dehydration this summer? Let us know how you’re keeping up and cooling off. We love to know!

Protecting Yourself Against Bone Loss

Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones and increases the risk of fractures. The unfortunate truth is that you may not know that you have it until your bones fracture in a fall or bump. However, bone loss can be prevented with a healthy diet and the right degree of physical activity.

Exercise Your Bones
Your bones, like your muscles, can be strengthened through working out. Weight bearing exercises are especially good for keeping bones strong. Forcing the body to work against gravity prompts it to make new bone. Examples of such exercises include stair climbing, aerobics, jogging, tennis, racket sports, and running.

Strength training exercise is also a good way to prevent bone loss. The pull of muscle on the bones strengthens them as you work them, improving flexibility and reducing the chances of falling: a.k.a., the main reason for broken hips. Bone and muscle building exercises and activities include: lifting free weights, bags of groceries, young children, using ankle and wrist weights, resistance bands, weight machines, or by doing push ups, squats or other movements which involve countering your own body weight.

resveralife Protecting Yourself Against BoneLoss

Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium deprived bodies lead to weakened bones. When your body lacks calcium, it will start to look for your bones to get what it needs, and that means loss of bone mass. Getting enough of this nutrient means eating plenty of low-fat dairy, calcium-fortified juices, and food, like soy milk, cereal and tofu, salmons and sardines with bones, and leafy green veggies.

Vitamin D is sort of like the calcium roadie. Your body needs it to help absorb the calcium. Although not many foods have vitamin D, it can be found in fatty fish, cheese, beef liver, and eggs yolks and fortified foods such as cereal, milk, and orange juice. Most of our intake of vitamin D comes from the sun. Skin produces the vitamin naturally when the sun hits it, so you should try and spend a little time outdoors to make sure your calcium has its proper amount of assistance.

Other Prevention Tips

  • Keep alcohol to a minimum. Consuming more than two drinks a day can raise the risk of bone loss.
  • Quite smoking. Smoking can actually double your chances of fractures and bone loss by interfering with estrogen function.
  • Don’t over exercise. The “female athlete triad” refers to the three issues that can result from too much exercise: thin bones, cessation of menstruation, and eating disorders. Irregular periods are often associated with low bone mass and decreased estrogen levels.
  • Cut down on Soda According to some studies, the extra phosphorus in soda may keep your body from absorbing calcium. Others speculate that women replace calcium-rich drinks, like milk, with soda.
  • While some drugs can help to maintain and build bones, they often have dangerous side effects. Always question a physician before taking any medicines.

What are you doing to keep your bones healthy? Let us know! We love to hear it.

Woman smiling

Jojoba Oil Is Biocompatible To The Skin

Some things were meant for each other. Peanut butter and jelly, Oreos and milk, Sunny and Cher, hamburgers and French fries, and jojoba oil and your skin. The last one take you by surprise? Jojoba oil and skin have been making beautiful music together since time immemorial. Native to Mexico, the jojoba plant has been used for centuries by Native Americans to counteract the harsh effects of the desert sun. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, non-comedogenic, emollient, and anti- bacterial, but perhaps most outstandingly, it has the ability to work harmony with living cells.

The Secret of Jojoba Oil
Although its name suggests otherwise, jojoba oil is not an oil at all; rather it is a waxy substance that is very similar to the skin’s natural oil, or sebum. The two are so similar in fact, scientists believe jojoba oil can actually trick the skin into “thinking” it is producing adequate amounts of oil which is how it helps to balance oil production. According to Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Medical Center, “Jojoba oil is rich in natural fats that mimic those in the outer layer of skin. This means it can help skin retain moisture and heal itself.”

Uses
When topically applied, jojoba oil can be an effective treatment for psoriasis, acne, chapped skin, and sunburn. It is frequently found in cleansing products, shampoos, and face and body lotions and can also be used as a lip balm or to condition skin prior to shaving. Jojoba oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, antioxidants, and sterols, which are compounds that can reduce inflammation and boost skin metabolism. It may be the answer to your dry skin woes.

Jojoba oil

Scars and Stretch Marks
Jojoba oil can help to rid skin of unsightly scars, scabs, and stretch marks when applied in problem areas. It may also help to heal wounds.

Anti-Aging Serum
The antioxidants in jojoba oil can reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Apply to eyes, mouth and neck and watch it work its magic.

Makeup Remover
Wipe away even the toughest waterproof mascara and liquid liners when you use the vitamin E rich oil to remove makeup.

Body Lotion
After bathing or showering massage a few drops of jojoba oil into damp skin. Follow with a natural cream, like cocoa or shea butter to lock in the hydrating benefits. You’ll find a significant reduction in chapped skin, irritation, and dryness.

Facial Cleanser
Apply a few drops of the oils onto dry skin and rinse away with water to clear impurities and debris from the skin’s surface.

Anti-Acne Gel
The microbial properties in jojoba oil can clear skin and the iodine in the oil can fight growth of acne causing bacteria.

How do you use jojoba oil to keep your skin in great shape? Keep us informed! We love to know!

Weekend traveler

Skincare Tips For Weekend Travel

The weekend traveler. She’s savvy. Mysterious? Maybe. She’s confident, totally hip, and upwardly mobile. Where is she going? A top secret business trip? A romantic rendezvous? A trip to see Mom? Only she knows. But one things for sure. She’s prepared. And you can bet that applies to her skincare as well.

Travel can be taxing on the skin. Stress, lack of sleep, and, changes in weather, and poor hydration can all take their toll, and you’ve got to arrive looking like a million no matter what. Here are some tips for keeping your skin in shape when you’re OTW.

Moisturize
If you’re getting set to fly, prepare by applying an intense moisturizing formula the night before. It will get your skin ready for the dehydrating effects of cabin pressure.

No Foundation
Experts advise forgoing the foundation on the day of your trip; opt instead for a tinted moisturizer. If you feel incomplete without foundation, makeup artist A.J. Crimson advises applying a primer first to create a barrier between the makeup and your skin. A silicone- based cream or liquid will help prevent dehydration and will also help your blush and foundation last longer.

Mineral Water Mister
If you need a quick skin refresher, try to avoid globbing on more heavy foundation and blush. Instead, use a mister filled with mineral water with a dab of moisturizer instead for a light, quick touch up.

Blot Oily Skin
Pack some rice papers or blotting papers to keep oily skin to a minimum while in travel. Crimson says,”You’ll dab up shine and excess oil without stripping out the moisture.”

Bring on the Shimmer
Who couldn’t use a little extra shimmer from time to time? A soft shimmer cream or powder can be a traveler’s best friend, especially if travel tends to sallow your complexion. Stroke to on the bridge of your nose, the tops of your cheeks, and your lips and you’ll be radiant and no time, no matter how worn out the rest of you feels.

Makeup kit

Avoid the Long Lasting Lipstick
Even the longest lasting lipstick is bound to look a bit less vibrant after a long journey, and, on top of that, the longer wear lipstick formulas are known to parch and dehydrate lips. If your want to arrive with fresh looking lips, Crimson advises that you coat your lips with a few coats of lip stain, let them dry, and finish by applying a clear gloss, reapplying the gloss as needed.

Apply Lip Treatment
Flight attendant Danielle Easton says her flying must have is; “A medicated lip balm, because it won’t rub your lipstick off and keeps lips hydrated while flying.” She also recommends packing lip treatment for long train and bus rides, that tend to rely drying air conditioning and high heat to regulate temperature.

Puffy Eyes
Got puffiness? Pam Inman, vice president of the American Hotel and Lodging Association recommends crushed ice in a washcloth to reduce swelling and puffiness around the eyes. “It’s an automatic wake-up call that makes you look and feel immediately fresher.”

Skip the Mascara
Take a nap and its all over (literally). Same for creamy eye shadows which tend to migrate while you snooze.

Leave Off the Bright Nail Polish
Although you may want to arrive with an impressively detailed manicure, it may backfire on you. Dark and bright colors tend to chip while traveling. Instead, opt for a vigorous buff and natural polish, for a clean look that will not call attention to chips and dings.

If you are the weekend traveler, or are about to be, let us know any skin tips you might have for us. How do you prepare your skin for transit?

Woman showering

Shower Habits That Damage Your Skin

Spoiler alert! If you enjoy taking steamy hot showers, do not read this article. To many of us, a hot steamy shower is the high point of our day. The little cubicle, your own private haven, the steam, unknotting the stress in your muscles and opening the pores of your skin. The acoustics of the tile, providing just the right amount of echo to make the renditions of your favorite pop songs almost listenable. How can this be wrong?

Unfortunately, pleasurable as they may be, long hot showers can be damaging to your skin. While there are ways to mitigate the damage, it may involve making small sacrifices. Read on to find out which shower habits may be harming your skin, if you dare.

Water Temp is Too High
While the water temperature may offer short-term pleasure, the long term effects may be less enjoyable. Hot water can strip skin of its natural oils, drying it out, and causing possible discomfort. Those with eczema should be especially wary of very hot showers, as the skin barrier of eczema sufferers is already weak. If you really can’t live without the steam, try blasting the hot water, allowing steam to build and them decreasing the temperature of the water before it comes into contact with your skin.

Dirty towels

Dirty Towels
Even though it may seem that we emerge from the shower clean and bacteria free, this is not the case. Dead skin cells transfer to towels and can result in growth of bacteria, and even mold. Wash towels regularly and try and leave them in a dry, well-lit environment to cut down on bacterial growth.

Harsh Soap
Although antibacterial soaps are great for stripping pores of dirt and bacteria, it may also strip skin of natural oils and good bacteria that helps skin to maintain a balanced pH level. While antibacterial soaps may work well on your hands, they are not recommended for all over cleansing. Also, you may want to swap the bar soap for a moisturizing, natural body wash. Bar soaps can accumulate bacteria from sitting in a wet, dimly lit shower.

Showering Without Moisturizer
Showers provide the best opportunity for moisturizing, and one that you should definitely take advantage of. Warm water opens the pores, allowing water to hydrate skin and allowing the moisturizer to lock the hydration in. For optimal results, use a soap that contains moisturizing ingredients in addition to your regular lotion.

Woman scrubbing

Overscrubbing
Scrubbing should not be confused with exfoliation. Roughly textured bathing accessories, such as shower brushes and loofahs, can break healthy skin cells, leaving behind raw patches on your skin. These tools also collect bacteria, which, when combined with vulnerable skin, is a recipe for damage. Use mild loofahs and try to keep exfoliation down to once or twice a week.

Hard Water
Unfortunately, the water most of us shower with is “hard.” This means it has chemicals and mineral to purify it. While this makes it safe for showering, it may not be the best thing for our skin, and may clog pores and strip skin of natural oil. However, you can avoid this by purchasing a shower head with a water filter to keep the hard stuff out.

What do you think? Is good skin worth the sacrifice? What price is too much for a great shower? Let us know!

Girl in hat

Sun Protection: Shade Vs. Sunblock

Sunblock talks a pretty good game. You may have heard of SPFs as high as 75, melt- in sunscreens, continuous sun comfort sprays and even melanin-inducing sunblocks and screens. But how can you be sure that all your sunscreen is really working? Did you apply enough? Did you miss any spots? It’s enough to make you think you’re better off just using your own methods of avoiding sun exposure, like just staying in the shade. Of course, the shade is a good option, it definitely cuts down on direct sunlight, but is it a better alternative than sunblock? Here are some things you should know before you give up on sun lotions altogether.

Shade
According to the National Skin Cancer foundation, the guideline is, if you can see the sunlight, seek the shade; but know that not all shade is created equally. You can spend hours in the shade and still receive quite a good amount of sun exposure. Indirect UV light is radiation that has been scattered in the atmosphere and bounced back by UV reflective surfaces, like sand and concrete. As a result, most of the UV light we get sitting under an umbrella or tree is indirect. Only when we are in deep shade, meaning we are unable to see the sky, can we be assured of complete protection.

Hats
Even if you wear a hat, you may only be getting minimal sun protection, especially on your neck, nose, and ears. Hats with all around broad brims angled downward provide the most comprehensive sun protection. Research shows that wearing a broad brimmed hat will provide sunblock protection comparable to a sunblock with and SPF of 5 for the nose, ears and neck, while baseball caps may offer the same for the nose, but little for the other parts of the face, like the cheeks and chin.

Umbrella

Umbrellas
Unless your umbrella is very large, their UV protection is relatively low. Although the SPF of an umbrella can range for 3-106, the amount of UV light under the umbrella can be as high as 84% of that in direct sun. In other words, because so much UV light is reflected under the umbrella from the water, sand, and sky, an umbrella on the beach offers very little protection against the sun.

Trees
If you are looking to a tree to defend you from the sun, look for ones with large, rather than sparse spreads of foliage, and, if possible, choose a tree located near other trees or buildings and note factors that may decrease the amount of protection, such as reflective surfaces. Also note that the same tree will give less protection in the early and late parts of the day, when the diffuse UV rates are higher, than it will at midday, when the sun is directly overhead. Similarly, trees offer better protection on a sunny day than on a cloudy one, when indirect sunlight is greater.

Other Elements
Because you are never guaranteed full UV protection from shade alone, it is important to employ a comprehensive program for sun protection, including wearing clothing made of dark or bright colored tightly woven threads, hats, and sunglasses, and regularly using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more. Be aware of sunscreens claiming higher than an SPF over 30. According to dermatologist James Spencer, an SPF 15 product will block approximately 94% of UV rays, while an SPF 30 blocks about 97%: and SPF 45 blocks about 98% and, “after that, it just gets silly.”

What do you think? Do you swear by your parasols or can you trust your sunblock? Let us know!

woman with healthy skin in the fall

Tips For "Fall Proof" Skin

“To everything there is a season” and to every season there is a new skin regimen. In the summer, we sun proof, in the winter, we moisturize, and in the fall? What do we do in the fall? If you got questions, we got answers.

Fall is rough on the skin because it is a time of transition. Not only is the drying weather a problem, but new routines and busier schedules put our complexions under stress. Our skin is subject to imbalances such as, flakiness, and eczema breakouts and dryness. Here are some ways to prepare and keep your skin beautiful in this season of change.

1. Buy A Humidifier
One of the the reasons autumn is so dehydrating is drop in the humidity level. Dryness leads to inflammation, which is why rosacea and eczema are so prevalent in the fall months. The solution? Bring the humidity back with a humidifier. Use humidifiers to boost the moisture level in the home or office and increase hydration. It may also reduce redness and increase comfort levels.

2. Slather On The Oil
Nourish dry skin with some natural oil. Not only does oil help to maintain the skin’s elasticity, it decreases trans-epidermal water-loss. Worried about worsening acne? Don’t be. Lubricating skin loosens dry, pore- clogging sebum and helps to bring balance to acne prone skin. It is important that when choosing an oil, you aim for one with natural ingredients; mineral oil will not absorb as well. Your best options are olive, jojoba, and coconut oil.

3. Hydrate
Moisturize from the inside as well as the outside. Hydration includes the increased consumption of foods like moisture-rich fruits, leafy greens, and healthy fats. Soups and stews are great for you and great for the season. Avoid dehydrating dry meats, alcohol, starches, and caffeine.

4. Feel The Peel
Exfoliate! It gets rid of dead skin and clears pores allowing the skin to absorb oils and moisturizing elements to replenish skin and prevent dry skin patches form appearing. Peeling is also crucial for circulation and keeps skin looking young. While you may choose to use an intense scrub on your body, you may want to use a gentler product on the face.

5. Stimulate Circulation
Cold weather constricts the blood vessels making for dull looking skin. Strong blood flow transports waste from our skin cells while delivering oxygen, keeping skin healthy and bright. Use skincare with ingredients such as lemon, oil, Vitamin C, ginseng, and ginger. These will help to restore color, improve circulation and increase collagen for anti aging.

6. Nurture Your Skin
Pamper yourself with a facial. The pore extracting elements will help to purify skin and the massage portion with boost blood flow and brightness. Masking treatments can be tailored to your beauty needs and aid in stress relief.

If you have any fall skin tips, please share. We welcome your insight!

Woman cleansing skin.

Seasonal Skincare

To get the healthiest, most radiant skin, you’ll have to do some year-round maintenance work. One thing that remains constant during every season of the year is that you want to be sure you are protecting your skin against damaging UV rays. However, some other areas of your skincare routine may require tweaks here and there as the seasons, and your skincare needs, change. Discover what the main seasonal concerns are and how you can best address these to keep your skin healthy and happy.

Woman applying a facial mask

Winter
Dry, flaky, irritated and itchy skin are all common complaints during the winter months. In addition to protecting your skin from the sun, you also need to protect your skin from other environmental elements. Harsh winds, freezing temperatures and incredibly dry air can all wreak havoc on your skin in winter and one way to fight back is to keep your skin covered when possible. Items like gloves and scarves can help to easily protect your skin.

You may need to switch out some of your fall products for more heavy duty formulations in the winter. Consider the following ideas when remedying winter skin:

  • Switch from a gel cleanser to a creamy or oil-based cleanser
  • Swap your toner for a more moisturizing one to soothe dry skin after cleansing
  • Look for moisturizers containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin and ceramides for maximum hydration
  • Use gentle exfoliants on your face and lips to keep dry, flaky skin at bay

Woman touching her skin

Spring
Say goodbye to the dry, flaky skin of winter by starting spring with some much-needed exfoliation. Using chemical exfoliants such as alpha and beta-hydroxy acids is a great way to gently remove dead skin cells and other debris. A homemade scrub of olive oil and sugar is perfect to get your arms and legs glowing again and to keep them looking great, consider investing in a dry brush. You may also want to:

  • Change from heavy moisturizer to a lighter, oil-free moisturizer
  • Keep lips well protected with balms and treatments that contain SPF
  • Store your moisturizing toner for a lightweight toner or essence to treat skin and combat oil
  • Remember that you still need to be protecting your skin with an SPF every day during spring.

Woman in a beach

Summer
Perhaps the biggest complaint regarding summer skincare is the presence of excessive oil. Part of why this happens is that the warm temperature can liquefy the sebum (oil) in your pores, which causes the oil to leak out onto the surface of your skin resulting in unwanted shine. When you mix sweat with the oil, your skin looks not only greasy, but it feels uncomfortable as well. Combat excess oil in the summer by:

  • Use a gel or foaming cleanser to thoroughly remove dirt, oil and sweat from your face
  • Decrease the intensity of your moisturizer to a lightweight lotion or a serum
  • Use beta-hydroxy acid to deep clean pores and help stop excess oil
  • Look for a sunscreen that contains mattifying properties

Summer fashion exposes far more skin, so be sure that you are applying sunscreen to any area of your body that is exposed. A general guideline is to use the equivalent of a shot glass (1 oz) to cover your entire body. If you are using a chemical sunscreen, apply 20 to 30 minutes before sun exposure so your skin has a chance to fully absorb the product. Mineral sunscreens can be applied immediately before stepping into the sun. One application of sunscreen a day isn’t enough if you’re going to be outdoors; reapply sunscreen every two hours or after every time you immerse yourself in water. Protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses are also a good idea to protect yourself.

Woman dressed for fall

Fall
Drier skin isn’t the only fall skin concern that you need to be worried about. Your skin may go into a bit of shock after summer and this manifests as visible sunspots and signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. With all of the excess oil that your glands produced during summer, you may have enlarged pores heading into the fall. To keep your skin looking healthy in the fall you should:

  • Store your lightweight moisturizers and serums and begin to use a more heavy duty product
  • Use a gentle cleanser, toner and exfoliant because skin is sensitive from UV damage
  • Begin using retinol to erase signs of sun damage from the summer
  • It should go without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) that you need to continue using an SPF daily to protect from further sun damage.

If you are using quality skin care products with great ingredients and formulations, there is a good chance that you won’t need to change your entire collection of products with each season. A few key items here and there can help you keep your skin healthy during every season of the year. Sunscreen is always in season, so don’t forget to stock up on it when you create your seasonal skincare routine.