How to adapt your beauty regime to the changing seasons
The idea of “eating seasonally” and its benefits is a concept that is widely celebrated; however, have you ever thought about applying a similar approach to your beauty regime? Just as your body’s nutritional needs change with the seasonal transition through the warmer and cooler months, so too do the needs of our skincare and make-up. So how can you sync up your topical skincare ingredients and creative make-up looks to align with Mother Nature’s natural rhythms? It all comes down to understanding how different phases of the year affect your skin and visual identity, and then embracing an adaptable beauty approach by selecting products to match the seasons.
Natural and kind is always in season.
No matter what time of year, selecting natural, organic, toxin-free and cruelty-free beauty products should be a priority. A large amount of the ingredients in the topical products we apply to our skin absorb into our bodies, so it makes sense to minimise chemicals in your skincare and make-up. Think of it like selecting natural wholefoods and organic produce for your meals! If ingredient lists are full of words and numbers you can’t understand, chances are your body won’t either. By opting for products that are chemical-free and against animal testing, you are making choices that are not only kind to your skin and body, but good for the planet too.
Emmily Banks, founder of Depths Of Beauty, is a pioneer of the natural beauty movement. As Australia’s leading natural beauty educator and professional make-up artist, she believes in embracing seasonal beauty that is both natural and ethical, saying, “I believe that as long as we are using truly natural and organic products, our skin will thank us for it, no matter the season.”
The ebb and flow
With a natural beauty approach as the foundation, you can take your routine to the next level by working with the ebb and flow of the seasons. According to Banks, everyone can generally benefit from applying specific plant compounds such as certain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to maximise nourishment according to the season. “For example, light and refreshing botanicals, such as rosewater and aloe vera, are very complimentary in warmer seasons, while richer fats such as shea butter or avocado oil are excellent during cool weather,” she says. “Make-up styles definitely change as the seasons shift too, allowing for experimentation with different colour palettes and products that energetically align with various times of the year. I always encourage people to have fun with their make-up looks throughout the changing seasons.” Essentially, having both an adaptable skincare and make-up repertoire is an excellent way to feed your skin what it is seasonally craving for optimal health, while allowing for visual creativity.
Skincare for different seasons
Our skin is our largest organ and needs nourishment all year round. Understanding what is going on at skin level throughout the different seasons will allow you to best nourish it tailored to the time of the year. “The key concept is to choose mainly lightweight, sheer and water-based formulas during the warmer months and transition to fuller-coverage creams, balms and oils for the cooler months,” says Banks.
The warmer months
So what is happening to your skin during spring and summer? Due to humidity, heat and sweat, pores will be more open which may contribute to an increase in breakouts. However, due to higher temperatures leading to great water loss from the body, skin can also be prone to dehydration.
“During the warm seasons, your skin needs deeper levels of hydration as the heat of the sun draws out moisture. You may also get slightly sun-kissed, so regularly applying lightweight water-based skincare with ingredients such as aloe vera based serums and rose or lavender mists will be best,” advises Banks. Try the following spring and summer skincare routine tips.
Protect your skin from the sun with SPF 50+
Use daily in the morning as the final step in your skincare routine. Reapply frequently, especially after swimming or perspiring. Look for a natural, zinc-based sunscreen formula.
Keep pores clear
To help prevent breakouts caused by oil and sweat, cleanse morning and evening with a creamy cleanser that clears away build-up without over-stripping the skin (harsh cleansers can lead to more oil production). Exfoliate two or three times a week to buff away dead skin cells.
Hydrate from within
Make sure you are replenishing water levels by consuming two to three litres of water daily. Add a sustainably sourced marine collagen supplement to further support skin hydration.
Topical vitamin C
Vitamin C is a holy grail for supporting a bright complexion during summer as it helps protect your skin from pigmentation.
Utilise hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that holds up to 1000 times its weight in water molecules, deeply hydrating the skin at a cellular level sans oil — ideal for the hot weather.
Lighten your load
Due to increased oil in the skin, you may benefit from lightening your skincare routine by using only a lightweight moisturiser and skipping the face oils. Overall you want to simplify and use fewer layers or steps in your skincare routine.
The cooler months
Due to chilly air and drying winds, generally there is less moisture in the skin during the cooler weather than in the summer heat, as well as fewer lipids in the skin barrier. These differences can contribute to dryness and irritation.
“Winter and autumn certainly call for deeper levels of moisturising as your skin won’t be naturally producing as much oil as in the warmer months,” agrees Banks, who recommends you look for oils and balms with ingredients like shea or cocoa butter, coconut oil and jojoba oil, “which will be most beneficial for your skin when the cool snaps.” Try the following autumn and winter skincare routine tips.
Protect your skin barrier
Your skin barrier is essential for healthy skin yet is more likely to be compromised in the cool weather. Stop using foaming cleansers that strip the skin. Switch to a creamy cleanser which is gentle on the skin barrier and supports important lipids.
Feed your skin with plant oils and probiotics
Research shows that certain plant oils may help repair the skin barrier and also prevent your skin barrier from losing moisture. Many of these oils have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that further protect the skin too. Great options include avocado and grapeseed oils. Probiotics are also great to topically support the skin microbiome and protect your complexion.
Stay hydrated (and warm!)
Wintry weather can be very drying for the body, so keep up your two to three litres of water daily. Including herbal teas is with ingredients like burdock and calendula can further support skin health from the inside out. Include natural retinol alternative bakuchiol
Skin turnover may be more sluggish in wintertime. Bakuchiol is a true superstar when it comes to maintaining a youthful, even and radiant complexion year round. It has been shown to work in a similar way to traditional retinols, by increasing skin cell turnover, however without the irritating and drying effects.
Layering your skincare has never been more important than during the cold months of the year. By applying a serum, followed by a face oil, sealed in with a nourishing moisturiser, you can lock hydration in from the deeper layers of your skin upward, while protecting and shielding it from the elements.
Make-up for different seasons
Different seasons come with different energies and occasions, which are reflected in make-up styles, colour palettes and product selection. “Make-up styles definitely change as the seasons shift,” says Banks. “During summer, it’s all about the minimal golden bronzed look and nude lip.” Choosing water-based or powder-based products in the heat will be best to maximise staying power and minimise overly shiny, oily skin. “Autumn is the time to embrace a cooler change and embrace deeper hues, like plum on the lips and silver on the eyes, and winter is the perfect season to experiment with fuller-coverage foundations and cream-based formulas, including lip and cheek tints,” Banks recommends. Then once spring has sprung, it’s time to reflect this with your make-up too: “Play with vibrant bold colours on the lips, like cherry red and bright orange paired with pastel rosy hues on the cheeks and thick statement lashes and eyeliner. Beautiful!”
Emmily Banks’ seasonal make-up cheat sheet
It’s the perfect time of year to apply a hint of colour on the eyes, like blue, purple or gold to enhance natural vibrancy. A rosy flush of pink or peach on the apples of the cheeks will add warmth and radiance to beautifully match the energy of springtime! This is your time to trial beautiful pastel shades.
It’s best to keep make-up light and bronzed with warm golden undertones. Think natural beauty basics like a quality natural mascara, a brown eyeliner, a rice powder bronzer and festive lipstick. Also opt for sheer, lightweight products that don’t add additional sheen, as your skin is naturally producing excess oils and sweat from the heat. Choose powder or water-based foundations as opposed to oil-based formulas. If you can find ones with SPF, it’s a welcome bonus.
Autumn is a time to dive into the onset of the darker, cooler months and enjoy applying deeper tones to the eyes and lips. Have fun experimenting with plum and dark cherry palettes. Welcome illuminating products like highlighter, serums and oils into your make-up toolkit to keep your skin looking fresh and radiant.
During the colder months our skin can feel dry and lacklustre so it’s best to apply super nourishing and hydrating oils and balms with deeply restorative minerals, vitamins and antioxidants to prep your skin ahead of make-up. Then stick to the theme when it comes to choosing your foundations, blushes and highlighters. Think cream and oil-based formulas. In the cooler months, a cream highlighter is a secret weapon that adds glow factor, perfect for brightening a dull winter complexion. If you’re feeling lacklustre, brighten your day with a bright pop of colour on the lips!