Seasonal Allergies & Your Skin

Seasonal Allergies & Your Skin

I’m just going to stop professing my love for spring. While I do love to see the greenery and blooms come to life, springtime is a double-edged sword as it just wreaks havoc on my skin. All year round, I’m a poster child for dermatological issues – eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, allergies, etc. – but especially in the springtime. If you’re an avid reader of my blog, you know that I espouse the virtues of quarterly changes to your self-care routines. This is because we are so affected by seasonal changes and this can be especially true during allergy season.

Water eyes, red patches, puffiness, itchiness and overall sensitivity and irritation are pretty common and if you think about it, it makes sense. The skin is the largest sensory organ of the body so it’s natural that the skin will be a leading indicator for seasonal allergies. It’s time for a winter-to-spring skincare mindset shift!

In the winter, we shifted to products that protect, nourish, hydrate and deeply moisturize. For spring, we still want to protect and nourish, but there’s a pivot towards calming and soothing the skin. Here are my TOP 3 tips for allergy season skincare –

Tip #1 - Preserving Your Skin Barrier Function

Like the ozone layer to planet earth, your skin barrier function plays a crucial role in protecting your overall health by -

  • Blocking harmful substances from entering the skin and, therefore the body,
  • Retaining water in order to keep your body and skin hydrated (stopping TEWL – trans-epidermal water loss), and
  • Transporting vital nutrients to your skin.

Esthederm's Calming Cleansing Milk is a pH-balanced creamy cleanser that thoroughly cleanses and prepares the skin. It's formulated with cucumber fruit extract and squalene to leave the skin feeling comfortable.

Yonka's Sensitive Creme is formulated with a proprietary Sensibiotic complex of pre and probiotics to help rebalance the delicate microflora in the skin's surface microbiome. This blend comprises two forms of lactobacillus and maritime matricaria to help strengthen the skin's barrier function and defends against sensitizing external aggressors.

In the winter, you may have noticed the accumulation of dry, dead and scaly skin on the surface. To combat this, perhaps you switched your routine to products that accelerate shedding (exfoliation) so that you could treat and hydrate the underlying skin. In the spring, you will want to tone down your exfoliation efforts – perhaps switching to a milder, gentler exfoliant or simply reducing the number of times you exfoliate. Instead of accelerating skin turnover, spring’s focus is to shield and protect.

Esthederm's Gentle Deep Pore Cleanser is a cream-based exfoliant that effectively draws our impurities, tightens pores and leaves the skin feeling fresh and radiant.

Tip #2 - Reducing Puffiness & Soothing the Skin

This is the PERFECT time to bring out all of those amazing facial tools you invested in – gua sha, rose quartz & jade rollers, cryotherapy globes, etc. The cool temperature that these tools maintain can help to soothe the skin, while the massage will help to de-puff.

Gua sha tool in hand and on face

Tip #3 - Auditing Skincare Product Ingredients & Fragrances

You probably have a great routine already in place, but please remember that skincare is never “one and done”; it can’t be. You have to be mindful of the changes in your skin, which may be a result of so many different factors. If you’re a springtime allergy sufferer, now is the time to do an ingredient and fragrance audit (I'm a former accountant, so auditing is in my blood).

Springtime is the perfect time to pivot your skincare towards products that have ingredients known for calming, soothing and anti-inflammatory properties such as squalene, shea butter, willow bark extract, centella asiatica, bisabolol, arnica, chamomile, yarrow & azulene.

Yonka's Sensitive Masque is formulated with plant-based arnica extract (to help constrict blood vessels and contract capillaries), horse chestnut extract (to strengthen capillaries and reduce inflammation), and is infused with azulene-rich German blue chamomile (to intensely soothe). This leave-on mask helps address both chronic and acute skin irritations.

Fragrances can be a major trigger for allergy sufferers and are connected to skin sensitivities. If you’re suffering from seasonal allergies, it may be the time to switch to fragrance-free skincare products so that you can try to minimize (even eliminate) fragrance sensitivity.

Esthederm's Calming Cream is a rich, fragrance-free cream formulated with shea butter and squalene that works to calm and sooth irritated skin.

Don't forget, sometimes (actually, many times) less is more. Don't overdo it in an attempt to "address" skin sensitivity during allergy season. Just keep it simple and this too shall pass.