There’s no denying that spring is such a cheery season, allergies aside. The weather is warmer, our days are getting longer and brighter, and we’re finally recovering from those harsh winter winds. While this transition is taking place in the atmosphere, our skin is undergoing some changes and adjustments as well.
Here are our top tips for a seamless transition from winter to spring skincare:
Plan your transition
Everyone’s skin reacts differently to changes in climate, but our skin’s tune is generally the same: we require heavier moisture in cold weather than in warmer months. Your winter routine likely consisted of ultra-hydrating moisturizers and rich skin butters, but once spring rolls around, our needs change.
Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, it may be a good idea to taper off of your winter routine and slowly begin the switch to spring-friendly products to not shock your skin and maintain a healthy barrier. No matter the season, the goal of skincare is to keep your skin balanced and to maintain a healthy barrier to protect yourself from irritants and pollutants in the atmosphere. For more info on your skin barrier, click here.
A good rule of thumb is to provide your skin at least one month to get used to a new routine, though sometimes it can take your skin up to three months to fully adjust. It’s also important to remain consistent with a new routine, unless you see a harsh reaction then it’s best to back off and let your skin breathe before trying something else.
Lighten Up—Your Routine, That Is
As the temperatures heat up, our body produces more of its natural oils, and we can back off from slathering skin butter and rich oils on our skin so frequently. You’ll notice that if you use some of your heavier, ultra-hydrating winter favorites in the spring and summer, your skin will likely be greasy by lunchtime. This is because our body is producing enough of its natural oils now to sustain more moisture.
As a result, our cleansers and moisturizers alike can be swapped for lighter textures. Don’t forego moisturizing, though, because with hotter temperatures you want to make sure your skin barrier is protected and that you’re not allowing your skin to dry out from the warmer air.
Be Diligent About Sun Protection
Sunscreen is key in the winter where there are sneaky UV rays, but in the springtime, we rely even more on a good-quality sunscreen that can protect us from the harsher, more prominent rays. The thing about sunscreen in the warmer months is that depending on the climate where you live and how exposed the sun is, you’re more than likely reapplying throughout the day. For this reason, keep in mind how safe it is, and the composition of it so that your skin doesn’t become irritated.
The problem with most sunscreens is that they contain a lot of harsh, toxic ingredients and nanoparticles that aren’t safe for you, or the environment. Be sure to avoid ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, DMDM, and methylisothiazolinone. This is just to name a few of the common offenders that are in a dangerous sunscreen, but can be more ingredients lurking.
Furthermore, it’s not always enough to have SPF in your skincare or makeup, you’ll need something with stronger protection, and also make sure it is something you like. If there’s a texture or a smell you don’t like, you probably won’t commit to using it as often as you should.
Instead, opt for more natural protection from UVA and UVB rays. Red raspberry seed oil and carrot seed oil are great for filtering out harmful rays from the sun, yet still allow your skin to absorb beneficial vitamins and nutrients from the sun. These oils have gained unwarranted controversy, but they do work. Think of them as something that works the same way an air filter works in your home. They provide reasonable protection by absorbing the harmful rays before they penetrate your skin, but still allow the good stuff in.
It’s worth noting, these oils need to be applied often because if you perspire, they become ineffective. They are not recommended for protection if you’re going to be sweating from something like an intense workout or working outside. For this type of usage, you’ll need something that shields out the rays completely and is not impacted by the sodium in your sweat.
If you need protection for a beach day or a sweaty workout, try zinc oxide. Zinc oxide reflects everything; the catch is that the essential vitamins and nutrients won’t be absorbed through the shield that it casts. An SPF of 30 is the ideal amount of protection you’ll need from damaging rays.
Mind Your Bacteria
In the warmer months, our face retains moisture better than in the cooler, drier months. This is a relief for chapped skin and conditions like psoriasis or eczema, but it creates vulnerability to bacteria. Moisture is a hotspot for bacteria, so when our face retains more water, we are more susceptible to harboring bacteria. This can lead to breakouts and infections.
There are some things you can do to help cut down on unnecessary exposure to bacteria:
- Clean your makeup brushes: every time you use your makeup brushes, bacteria transfers from your face to the brush and sits there. Your makeup brushes and tools should be cleaned at least once per week. This will protect your skin and prolong the life of your brushes because the bacteria won’t eat away at the bristles over time. These tools are best cleaned with a mild soap or baby shampoo, or a product specifically formulated to clean makeup brushes.
- Make sure you are not using expired products: skincare or makeup products that are well past their shelf life begin to release harmful gases and begin the growth of mold and harmful bacterias, none of which you want to expose yourself to.
- Try not to touch your face: your hands carry bacterias and oils that irritate the skin on your face. If you can’t resist, make sure you at least have clean hands!
- Wash your face: do so at least once daily (twice daily is best) to help your skin wash away dirt and pollutants from your skin.
- Avoid popping or picking at pimples: this instantly transfers bacteria all over the face and causes inflammation. Not to mention, if you pop a pimple, you pose the risk of bacteria entering into your bloodstream, which is never a good thing.
When spring rolls around, you may notice patches of dry skin that formed at the tail end of winter. This is our skin’s way of adjusting to the change in temperature. Give your skin a hand and remove the leftover dead skin cells through a gentle exfoliant.
Gentleness is key because using a harsh scrub can create micro-tears in the skin. This can cause bacteria to build up and affect the skin’s ability to do its natural job of protecting itself. Instead, we recommend something that naturally exfoliates without tearing the skin in the process: enzymes.
The benefit of using an enzyme is that they can achieve the same thing as an abrasive exfoliant, which is to cause a reaction within the skin and get it to shed its dead cells; but they do so without the risk of inflaming or damaging the skin, which can happen with a scrub if used improperly. Another benefit of using an enzyme exfoliant is that enzymes will not impact the natural PH of your skin. The general recommendation for exfoliating is 1-2 times per week to reap the benefits but as with everything, we advise you to listen to your skin.
Let us know your favorite skincare products or tips for springtime!