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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Tinted moisturizers
- BB creams
- CC creams
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.
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.
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.