We love talking to Dr. Aleta Simmons about all things skin care. She is one of the only Black dermatologists in Nashville and the owner of Simmons Skin Center. She is back to share some of her tips on how to tend to your skin as seasons change to warm weather!
They say April showers bring May flowers, but what happens to our skin when the seasons change? In the winter we focus on protecting our skin from the cold, dry weather that often leads to itching, cracking of the skin, and even eczema flares. We place emphasis on choosing the best moisturizers and household changes to help us get through winter. In the spring and summer, there is more moisture in the air, and our skin isn’t as dry and irritated depending on where you live. For some of us, this means we may need to look at what we are using on our skin and consider if it is appropriate for the warmer temperatures.
For instance, if you tend to have oily skin during warmer months, a foaming wash may be better than the creamy, hydrating wash you may use in the winter. We also think differently about applying moisturizer on hot days. The thick creams that soothe us in the winter can be swapped out for lightweight lotions or hydrating gels.
What about acne or anti-aging serums and creams?
Retinoid/retinol medications or acid based products used for both make our skin more sensitive to the sun. Taking a break from these topicals during times you will be outside more frequently is an option to prevent sunburns (yes, even brown skin can burn). It is best to consult with your physician if on prescription retinoids.
Do I need sunscreen? This is a common question. My answer is it depends. Your background, family history, medical history, and goals for your skin play a role in your sunscreen choice and sun safety behaviors. I discuss this with my patients with questions regarding sunscreen use. If you decide to use a sunscreen daily or when outside, SPF of 30 at least is recommended with reapplication every 2 hours for it to be most effective. If you struggle with dry winter skin and are not sure which steps to take, please see your board-certified dermatologist for specific recommendations and a treatment plan.
Consult with a board certified dermatologist concerning your skin regimen if you have any questions.
*This is medical information not intended to be used as medical advice.
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