After the excitement of the end-of-year holidays, the first few months of the New Year can feel like a letdown. Spring break is a great opportunity to get away from work or school responsibilities for some much-needed rest and relaxation.
But just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean your skin care routine should fall by the wayside. Here are some spring break skincare survival guide tips on how to keep a healthy glow in your complexion, whether you’re headed for the beach or the slopes.
Warm Weather Locations
If you have acne or a tendency toward breakouts, intense heat and high humidity causes more perspiration that can potentially lead to an increase in acne breakouts. As if that wasn’t enough, prolonged exposure to the sun is one of the main factors leading to skin damage. Your skin care routine should focus on removing the dirt, bacteria and oil that become trapped in pores.
1. Schedule skin care treatments ahead of time.
If you’re considering skin care procedures such as facials, microdermabrasion or waxing, you should consider completing the treatments several days prior to your trip, giving your skin a chance to heal and reduces the chances of irritation that would be further aggravated by heat and sun.
2. Apply sunscreen LIBERALLY.
In general, most of us tend to skimp on the use of sunscreen. The sun’s UV rays are responsible for up to 80 percent of facial wrinkles and other visible signs of skin damage, causing a chemical reaction that breaks down collagen, the protein that keeps skin firm and supple. Use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 and look for a brand containing zinc oxide for your most exposed facial areas (nose, ears). Reapply generously every few hours throughout the day.
3. Don’t skip the moisturizer.
Using a good quality moisturizer on a daily basis is absolutely essential in warm weather climates. While it’s important to clear your skin of perspiration and excess oil, your complexion needs moisture to stay soft and supple. Save the heavier, oil-based moisturizers (if your skin requires it) for wintertime. Stick with a lighter water-based moisturizing solution in warmer climates.
4. Dial back the acne treatment solution(s).
Many of the more common ingredients in acne treatments, such as salicylic acid, make skin more sensitive to the sun. If you can’t do without them while you’re in the warmer weather, apply them sparingly. At the very least, be sure to use extra sun protection when using acne treatments in sunny weather, as your skin will be far more photosensitive with exposure to these ingredients.
Cold Weather Locations
The cold, dry air and winds, in particular at higher altitudes, can strip valuable moisture from your skin, leaving it chapped and flaky. In colder climates, your skin care routine should be centered on replenishing moisture in these dryer, harsher skin environments.
1. Amp up your moisturizer.
It takes heavy ammunition to fight off the effects of cold weather. Find a heavier moisturizer that’s oil-based, rather than water-based (for warmer climates), as the oil will create a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than a water-based cream or lotion.
2. Yes, you still need sunscreen.
Snow is just a different form of water, so it reflects and magnifies the sun’s rays the same way that pools and oceans do. Be sure to take along some sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 and apply liberally every few hours. Utilize a sunscreen with zinc oxide for your most exposed facial areas (nose, ears).
3. Avoid long, hot showers.
A leisurely, steaming hot shower sounds like just the ticket after a day on the slopes. While it seems like water would be a good thing for dry skin, the heat softens oils in the skin, bringing them to the surface where they are washed away. Use lukewarm water and apply moisturizer immediately after your shower, when pores are open for quick absorption.
4. Ditch the soap.
Most bar soaps are too harsh for dry, chapped skin in harsher winter climates. Foam, gel or liquid cleansers are effective and gentle. Additionally, make sure to choose a fragrance-free brand, as the chemicals used to create the scent can also be irritating.
Outdoor fun and clear skin don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Talk to your dermatologist about other spring break skin care tips, including the use of any prescriptions or medications while you’re exposed to these warmer or colder climates on your spring break or any vacation for that matter.