Soon, you will put away those winter jackets, because spring is finally here! And with a new season, comes a slightly altered approach to our skincare routines. As the days steadily become longer and the warmth of the sun (thankfully) increases, so does the ambient ultraviolet light. While this may be great for our mental wellness and overall comfort—especially after such a long, chilly winter—it also means that it’s time to be more diligent about our approach to sun-centric skincare.
There are several factors that can impact melanin-rich skin during this seasonal transition, some of which are post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, melasma, and rosacea. Let’s explore these changes further for a seamless spring skincare transition, so that we can still keep the skin of our dreams!
How does the change in seasons affect melanin-rich skin?
As we know, melanin-rich skin is more prone to various forms of hyperpigmentation, courtesy of a higher melanocyte count compared to lighter skin tones. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can be triggered from a number of traumas, including acne blemishes, rashes, or even eczema. As we enter spring, it’s incredibly important to wear daily sunscreen to ensure that the increased UV light exposure doesn’t worsen any form of hyperpigmentation.
Impacting mostly women of colour, melasma is one condition that can truly rebound at the beginning of spring. As a central facial hyperpigmentation characterized by light and dark brown patches, it can appear on the cheeks, central forehead, and upper lip. Often initiated by hormonal influences, such as birth control or pregnancy, the exact trigger-association remains unclear. What we do know, however, is that strict daily sun protection is an absolute must for melasma management and treatment. Even a few minutes of unprotected sun exposure can lead to flare-ups! Usually these flares occur at the beginning of spring and early summer when we’re unaware of the UV light intensity, so it’s best to start using sunscreen as soon as possible.
Although not a condition typically associated with darker skin tones, rosacea flare-ups can also be quite common at this time of year. Seen as bumpy, acne-like lesions combined with increased sensitivity and diffused redness, rosacea can be challenging to diagnose for melanin-rich skin. When in doubt, it’s always best to visit a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis. There are a variety of ways to treat and prevent rosacea, including topical and oral anti-inflammatory prescription medication. Another extremely effective treatment and preventative is, you’ve guessed it—strict daily broad-spectrum sun protection.
How to prepare your skin for spring.
Throughout the winter months, we make it our mission to maintain moisture and hydration levels with heavier cream-based products. But as spring approaches, the transition from emollient-based skincare to lotions, along with gel-based cleansers and moisturizers, may be more appropriate for the balmier weather and increased humidity. You may also notice your skin gradually increasing in oil production, which these lightweight formulations can easily alleviate and rebalance. In addition to these formulation alterations, wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen 30++++ has never been more crucial to prevent and treat hyperpigmentation.