Skincare is vital year-round—and adjusting your child’s skincare routine with the seasons is one way for you and your family to stay ahead of the specific challenges that the weather, temperature and environmental changes may pose. Here’s how to stay ahead of the changing seasons and keep adolescent and teenage skin happy, healthy, and prepared for anything.
Combating Seasonal Skin Changes
- Choose the right products: When it comes to establishing a skincare routine for your child in the winter months, the name of the game is proper moisturization. The winter brings with it colder temperatures, brisk wind, and drastic transitions from cold environments to dry, heated interiors. Therefore, the best strategy is to stay ahead of dryness with a thick, bland ointment that will lock-in moisture and protect the sensitive skin barrier while not clogging pores in older children and teenagers. Generally, move away from using moisturizers that come in pumps or have a lotion-like consistency as these are typically thinner, more watery, and less effective. Additionally, any moisturizers marketed towards adults should be checked for fragrances, alcohols, and other irritants that may be too harsh for younger, sensitive skin. Moisturizers are best applied to slightly damp skin right after a soaking tub bath.
- Bathe smarter not harder: Many are concerned about over-bathing, but consistent bathing is a vital part of locking in moisture and removing potential irritants that can build up on the skin throughout the day. Frequency of bathing is often debated, but it is generally safe and effective to bathe (or shower) daily or every other day – especially when a moisturizer is applied to the skin right afterward. This is known as the “soak and smear” method. After a bath or shower, pat the body partially dry while leaving the skin damp. Next, apply a thick ointment or cream moisturizer on top of the water left on the skin to seal in water and maintain a healthy skin barrier.
- When it comes to cleansers, avoid fragranced and highly foaming soaps in favor of hypoallergenic, non-detergent based cleansers. In addition, infants and those with sensitive skin can often skip the soap altogether and gently cleanse with water alone if not visibly dirty.
- Adjust the routine: While many understand how sensitive skin can be exacerbated by winter weather conditions, few understand the way to best combat the transition between spring and winter. Winter skincare typically involves heavier moisturization, warm (not hot) baths and showers, and avoiding harsh cleansers or toners that can irritate already wind-chapped or dry skin. Spring skincare is a different story—while moisturization is still vital, a lighter or cream based moisturizer may suffice. In teens especially, transition to products that are more compatible with warmer temperatures, sweating, and environmental allergens—i.e. products with labels that state “non-comedogenic” and “hypoallergenic” ingredients are preferred.
- The transitional period between the seasons, particularily fall to winter – is an important time to pay attention to other areas of delicate skin, such as chapped lips or dry hands. These areas are more frequently exposed and may need some TLC as the weather shifts. For chapped dry lips and hands regular application of a petroleum jelly moisturizer can help restore the skin barrier and prevent excessive water loss from the skin’s surface.
Skincare needs can naturally change throughout the seasons. Products should reflect the needs of your child’s particular skin and may change as your child grows. If seasonal changes bring consistent trouble to your child’s skin, make sure to contact your local pediatrician or pediatric dermatologist to combat any problems before they worsen and to find the best routine going forward.
Here is a list of recommended moisturizers for use during the chillier seasons:
Stryke Club Calm Down – A gentle moisturizer that is clinically proven to eliminate whiteheads and blackheads. Dermatologist formulated, tested and approved.
Cerave PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion – Ultra lightweight, ideal for normal to oily skin. Contain’s Hyaluronic acid to retain skin’s moisture.
Cetaphil Deep Hydration – Ideal for dry skin and dehydrated skin: With Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin B5 & Antioxidant Vitamin E to rehydrate and soothe.
Neutrogena Hydro-Boost – Helps instantly quench extra-dry skin and leaves it looking smooth, supple, and moisturized.
La Roche-Posay Double Repair Face Moisturizer – Helps restore skin’s barrier after one hour. Provides up to 48-hour hydration.