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woman removing makeup with cotton pad

How to Transition Your Skin from Winter to Spring

With flowers poking their heads through the ground and the sun making more of a regular appearance, the signs that spring is on its way are everywhere.

While you may have your wardrobe all ready for the arrival of spring, make sure that you do not forget about your skin either, which will need some help preparing for the upcoming season.

Wondering how you can help your skin to transition from winter to spring without any problems?

By following these steps…

Start Switching to Lighter Products

In the winter, your skin needs multiple layers of product, finished off with a thick and greasy moisturizer, in order to stay soft and supple.

Why?

Because the air is so much drier in the colder months, and this means that the moisture from your skin ends up evaporating into the air at a much faster rate.

However, once the weather begins to warm up, humidity levels in the air start to rise…

This means that moisture remains in your skin for longer, and a heavy moisturizer will only end up clogging your pores, resulting in oily skin and acne.

Your skin still needs to be moisturized, but, on warmer spring days, you will find that a lighter lotion, rather than a rich cream, may be all that your skin requires.

Vine Vera How to Transition Your Skin from Winter to Spring lightweight lotion

The weather, and humidity levels, do fluctuate quite a bit in the spring, depending on where you live, so your skin care practices need to reflect this. During drier spells, reach for your winter moisturizer, but go with lighter weight products when you know that the air is more humid.

Be More Diligent About Sun Protection

The sun’s UV rays can cause damage to your skin throughout the year, but since people tend to spend more time outdoors in the spring and summer, now is the time to begin getting into the habit of regularly applying, and re-applying, a sunscreen.

Don’t have a go-to sunscreen?

You have two main options available to you…

The first is a physical sunscreen, which makes use of ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to physically block and reflect the sun’s rays away from your skin. Your next option is a chemical sunscreen, which makes use of various chemical formulas that absorb the sun’s UV rays and break them down.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both types, so it is well worth researching this further before deciding on a sunscreen. 

Cut Back on Exfoliation

With the air in the winter being so dry, dry skin is commonly experienced during the season. With this dryness comes flaky patches, and exfoliation can often seem like the only effective way to remove these, especially since natural cell turnover can often slow down in the winter months.

However, the arrival of spring will see your skin becoming less dry, and cell turnover speeding back up again, meaning that you will likely not need to exfoliate quite so often.

Are you planning on spending quite a bit of time outdoors this spring?

If so, you may want to exfoliate even less, because many experts believe that exfoliation can increase sun sensitivity by up to 45%

Surprised by this?

Well, if you think about it, exfoliation removes parts of the outer layer of your skin, so it only makes sense that this would then make your skin much more vulnerable to the elements.

Vine Vera How to Transition Your Skin from Winter to Spring exfoliation vector

A Skin Care Spring Clean

In the same way that you give your home, and even your life, a spring clean each year, the same should be done for your skin care products.

All you need to do is place all of your beauty and skin care products in front of you, and then ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the expiration date of this product? Just like with food, skin care products come with expiration dates, and it is important to follow these as you do not want to be smearing a handful of bacteria across your face each night
  • How long has this product been open? Even if a product has not technically expired yet, one that has been open for many months, and has come into contact with air and light on a frequent basis, will likely be useless. Its active ingredients will have degraded to the point of no return by now
  • Will I actually use this? There is something to be said for de-cluttering, and while you may enjoy having a spectacular array of products in front of you each morning, there is no doubt that simplifying these down to the products you actually use will make your skin care practices much more efficient
  • Is this a product for the winter months? There are many skin care products out there that you would only really need to use in the winter months. If you come across these in your cupboards, and you know that you will not be using them until the winter, you may as well throw them out, as they will have either expired or degraded by then

In addition to spring cleaning your skin care and beauty products, you should also take a look through your makeup brushes.

When was the last time these were washed?

Your makeup brushes need to be washed on a regular basis, as they otherwise end up becoming a breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria.

If you know that you have neglected washing your makeup brushes, now is the time to change this. Simply using some baby shampoo and a bowl of warm water will do the job and help to remove so much of the dirt and bacteria that was clinging to your brush.

cleaning makeup brush in a lather

Check Your Medications

Are you currently taking any medications?

Whether this may be an antibiotic, an antihistamine, a cardiac drug, or even just a painkiller, many common medications out there actually cause sun sensitivity.

Also known as photosensitivity, this condition manifests as inflammation of the skin, and is caused by the reaction that occurs when certain medications are combined with sunlight. The actual symptoms look and feel similar to a sunburn, and, as you can imagine, this is something best avoided. 

How do you know whether or not your medications are going to cause photosensitivity?

Take a look at the health advice and warnings leaflet that came with it. If you cannot find this, a quick search on the company’s website should tell you all you need to know.

Give Double Cleansing a Try

As you may have guessed from its name, double cleansing is a cleansing technique that makes use of two different cleansers. While it has definitely become quite the trend lately, this is something that has long since been practised in parts of Asia, as it does have its benefits.

The first cleanser you use needs to be an oil-based cleanser, as these are best for breaking down sebum, make up and sunscreen. Once you have rinsed this off, you then follow it up with a water-based cleanser, as this will then break down any sweat, bacteria and dead skin cells. 

Since you will have already removed the outer layer of dirt from your skin with the oil-based cleanser, the second cleanser will also be able to travel deeper down into your pores, clearing it of bacteria.

Double cleansing is especially important for those who commonly experience breakouts in the spring and summer.

Why?

Well, your skin produces more oil in the warmer months, meaning that there is a much higher chance that your pores will end up clogged. The double cleansing technique really gives your pores a deep clean, preventing any blockages from forming.

Another reason to try double cleansing at this time of the year is because your skin is much more sensitive and fragile in the winter months, and needs to retain its natural oils. Double cleansing can often be too much for it in the winter, which is why the months of spring are the perfect time to give it a try.

Build Up Your Skin’s Protective Barrier

It is so easy for your skin’s natural protective barrier to end up damaged in the winter months, and you will likely find yourself fighting to maintain it.

However, now that the harsh weather is retreating, you can put yourself in the offensive, rather than the defensive, and take the necessary steps to build and strengthen this barrier back up.

How?

Here are a few tips:

  • Opt for chemical or enzymatic exfoliation, rather than physical exfoliation
  • Use a toner after cleansing, as this will help to re-balance your skin’s natural pH level, optimizing its processes
  • Avoid coming into contact with excess heat or hot water
  • Keep stress to a minimum, as cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, has been linked to poor skin barrier recovery 
  • Add more essential fatty acids to your diet, such as oily fish, flax seed and walnuts

There are also specific ingredients that you can look for in skin care products to help build up your skin’s natural barrier, such as:

Sort Through Your Makeup

In the same way that your skin care products need to change in the spring, so does your makeup. Certain formulas are more suited to the warmer months, and using these will be far better for your skin.

Do you wear a heavy foundation?

If so, you may find that this ends up clogging your pores and causing breakouts as the weather gets warmer.

Fortunately, there are many alternatives that you can opt for, including:

Not only will these give your skin some coverage, but they will also moisturize your skin, with many formulas also providing some sun protection. 

Don’t Forget About the Rest of Your Body

When it comes to skin care, many tend to focus on their face and upper body, with the skin on the rest of the body being neglected.

However, from your elbows to your knees to your feet, these areas can really end up suffering in the winter months. Since you are likely to have them on show more now that the weather is turning warmer, it is time to give the skin on these parts of your body some extra attention.

Vine Vera How to Transition Your Skin from Winter to Spring elbow moisturizer

How?

Try applying a cream to these areas each night, as this will help to restore moisture. If your skin is especially dry in certain areas, add a layer of petroleum jelly over your cream, before covering the area up with some plastic wrap or a thick pair of socks or gloves. Do this each night for a week or so, and you will soon notice that your skin has become so much softer, and ready for spring.

Plan Ahead

Once spring is upon us, it will not be long before summer is here, and this is a season that brings with it its own set of skin care problems.

Rather than waiting for these to suddenly hit you, spend the months of spring planning and preparing for all that summer will bring. For example, if you know that acne is always a problem in the warmer weather, start looking at natural ways and ingredients to prevent acne breakouts and reduce the oiliness on your skin. 

On the other hand, if you are trying to minimize wrinkles and fine lines, then purchase a few hats and other items of clothing that will help to keep your face away from direct sunlight, since the sun is responsible for up to 90% of facial wrinkles.

You likely already have plenty to think about when it comes to the arrival of spring, but it is so important to make sure that you do not neglect your skin. By following these steps and helping your skin to have a successful seasonal transition, you will be setting your skin up for health and success for the rest of the year.

6 different women as they age

How Your Skin Changes Through the Decades

It is common knowledge that your skin changes as you age, but do you know why this is?

From your 20s to your 70s, this guide will take you through the many changes that your skin will experience as you progress through life, while explaining exactly how you need to care for it.

In Your 20s

young woman smiling

As you leave your teens and move on into your 20s, your face will start to take on more of a mature, womanly look.

Why?

Because this is when you begin to lose your “baby fat”, and while this happens quite gradually, you will start to notice your face taking on more of a defined shape as you continue through your 20s. However, this loss of fat does also mean that your skin will start to be more susceptible to wrinkles and fine lines, and you may even notice a couple of fine lines in certain areas of your face, especially as you progress through your 20s.

If you used to suffer from teenage acne, you may notice this start to decline, with some people experiencing dry skin as they reach their 20s.

Sound like a blessing?

It may be for some, but this does mean that you need to quickly become acquainted with how to care for dry skin, as this is completely different than caring for teenage, acne-prone skin.

Your 20s is also when your body’s natural antioxidant production begins to decline, meaning that you need to begin supplementing these topically, as well as ensuring that you are consuming plenty through your diet.

Although you still have plenty of growing up to do when you are in your 20s, and will make many mistakes, which you will learn from, along the way, you need to keep your lifestyle choices in check if you want to prolong the youthfulness of your skin.

Did you know that heavy smoking, as well as worshipping the sun, can add around 20 years to the natural age of your skin?

This means that you need to be limiting everything from sun exposure to smoking to stress to excessive alcohol intake, all while maintaining a healthy diet and a regular exercise regime.

When it comes to anti-aging skin care routines, many people decide to adopt one in their mid to late 20s, as this is the ideal time to begin including anti-aging ingredients, such as retinol, into your skin care routine. You do not need to use this every day, and just once or twice a week should be sufficient.

In Your 30s

woman smiling outdoors

Your 30s are likely to be when you really begin to notice a few differences in your skin…

To begin with, this is when your production of collagen and elastin begin to decline.

Wondering why this is important?

Because collagen and elastin are the main structural proteins that give your skin its firmness, smoothness and elasticity, meaning that all of this will begin to decline from your 30s onwards.

If you have not yet started to use a retinol product, then now is the time to do so. Retinol and retinoids are forms of vitamin A, and have been proven to be the most effective anti-aging ingredient out there. In addition to doing several other wondrous things for your skin, retinol is able to increase your natural production of collagen and elastin.

This is also the time in life when sun damage has really started to accumulate, meaning that you may notice some dark sun spots appearing on your face, as well as your body.

dark spots on woman's cheeks

Dark spots, caused by sun overexposure, begin to show up in your 30s.

What can you do about this?

Well, to begin with, you need to increase the frequency at which you apply sunscreen, because sun exposure is only going to make these dark spots even worse, especially over time.

Did you know that up to 90% of premature facial aging is actually caused by the sun? This means that protecting your face from UV rays could really have a huge impact when it comes to the visible signs of aging that you experience. Studies have shown that those who use sunscreen are 24% less likely to show increased signs of aging, compared to those who do not wear sunscreen. 

Back to sun spots, here are a few other steps that you can take to clear them:

  • Use skin care products that contain plenty of antioxidants, such as vitamin C and green tea, both of which have been proven to help heal sun damaged skin 
  • Use a chemical or enzymatic exfoliant to help slough off the dead skin cells that contain the extra pigment
  • Use a brightening product, such as one containing hydroquinone or kojic acid, the latter of which is a natural brightening ingredient

The 30s are often a decade when people try to make healthier changes in their life, and this could really benefit your skin in later stages. Try to stick to a healthy diet, while making other positive lifestyle choices.

In Your 40s

woman smiling on sofa

If you have not made the best lifestyle choices throughout your life, then your 40s is when this will really begin to be reflected in your skin. For those who smoke, you will start to notice the fine lines around your mouth deepening quite a bit, whereas those who have experienced quite a bit of stress will notice visible furrows in their forehead.

There is still time to change this, whether this means actually quitting smoking or learning a few stress management skills.

One of the reasons why your skin is no longer able to really hold up to all of this is because your cell turnover rate will really start to slow down in your 40s.

Wondering what cell turnover is?

This is the process at which your body naturally sheds its dead skin cells, replacing them with fresh, new ones. Since your body will now not be able to shed these dead skin cells at the rate it used to, these will end up settling on the surface of your skin, contributing to a dull, lacklustre complexion.

Fortunately, stimulating your natural cell turnover process to speed back up is not too difficult…

Want to know the secret?

Exfoliation! Not only does this clear away the dead skin cells sitting on your skin, but it also helps to speed up the rate at which new skin cells travel up to the top layer of your skin.

exfoliation

Something else that will help is the use of a night cream. While your body is asleep, your cells work to heal and regenerate, and this is the time when many new skin cells are created. A quality night cream will contain the necessary ingredients to boost this process.

Retinol is another ingredient that can help with cell turnover, and if you have not already started using a retinol product, now is the time to do so. Take it slow to begin with, and then gradually build this up so that you are using it two to three times a week. 

In your 40s, you will also begin to go through some hormonal changes, and, in terms of your skin, this will cause dryness, and will also make your skin thinner. However, for some women, this can bring about acne flare-ups, which may require the use of benzoyl peroxide treatments to clear.

In Your 50s

woman taking a selfie

Due to a dramatic decrease in estrogen levels, your 50s is when you are likely to go through menopause, and this will have quite the impact on your skin.

Here are a few of the changes that you can expect to experience:

  • Oily skin and adult acne, due to the decreased levels of estrogen no longer able to mask the testosterone in the body
  • Facial hair, caused by the same as above
  • Sagging skin, because one of the roles that estrogen played was to evenly distribute fat cells around the body. Without estrogen, the face, neck, hands and arms end up lacking in supportive fat, resulting in sagging skin with a loss of mobility
  • Thinner skin, as the lack of estrogen means that blood flow slows down, resulting in less nutrients and oxygen delivered to the epidermis, which is the outer layer of your skin
  • More prone to sun damage, due to a decrease in the amount of protective melanin that your skin produces 

Since your skin will be thinner, using rich and thick moisturizers is absolutely essential. Moisturizers are designed to form a thin film over the surface of the skin, meaning that they will help to make up for your thinning epidermis.

You should also pay attention to the ingredients in the other skin care products that you use, especially items such as your cleanser. Make sure that these do not contain any drying ingredients, as these will only end up thinning out your skin even more. You need to be using products that hydrate the skin, as this will help to give it a plumper and brighter appearance.

You will hopefully already be using a retinol product, and, if you are only using this three or four times a week, it is time to increase this to five or six times a week.

In Your 60s

woman smiling in her home

Your skin in your 60s will really reflect the amount of care that you have given it in its earlier years.

For those who have not been treating their sun spots, these will significantly worsen now, and new ones will appear extremely quickly. As always, exfoliation can really help with this, so make sure you keep this up.

Your skin will be lacking in quite a bit of structure by now, due to the decline in collagen and elastin, but there is one way that you can add some definition back to your face.

The secret here is…

Face yoga! While this may sound slightly wacky, many have experienced natural face lifts thanks to face yoga. There are a number of exercises out there to try, as well as video tutorials for those who would like some step-by-step guidance. 

You could also try using skin care products that contain stem cells and growth factors, as this will help your body in producing new skin cells, since your natural skin cell production rate will have declined quite a bit.

While it may sound all doom and gloom, there is a positive side to entering your 60s when it comes to your skin…

Your hormones will have been fluctuating quite a bit over the past 20 years or so, but they will now have finally calmed down. This means that your skin will become much more stable, making it easier to identify and deal with any issues. However, this could also mean that you end up becoming sensitive to skin care products that you have been fine with all your life, so do keep this in mind if you experience any skin irritation.  

In Your 70s

woman smiling on sofa

If you haven’t already, you will likely begin to notice some of your wrinkles developing into even deeper folds as you progress through your 70s. This is due to a further loss of elasticity and plumpness in your skin, since no more estrogen is being produced.

It is important to continue on with an anti-aging skin care routine, as this will contain ingredients to help make these folds less severe.

Keep your skin hydrated as much as possible. If you seem to be applying layer after layer of moisturizer to no avail, try giving your face a spritz with some rose water first, and then applying the moisturizer to your damp skin. This will mean that the extra moisture gets trapped into your skin, helping to plump it up.

Reading about all of these skin care changes can be quite frightening, but, while a part of your aging process is down to genetics, the majority of it is actually related to your lifestyle. From your diet to your commitment to sun protection, by taking care of your skin from an early age, you will be able to maintain a healthy, youthful complexion for far longer.