In many ways, the vernal equinox (aka the first day of spring) signals the return of outdoor activities, seasonal vacations, and the need to change up your skincare routine. As much as we’d all love to have a set of products and practices that work year-round, weather and activity play an ever-changing role in our lives. Winter skincare keeps chapped skin at bay, but using thick, rich products in transitional weather can trigger breakouts and other signs of skin distress. Here are some easy skincare tips that will ensure you look your best in spring break photos and feel your best wherever you go.
Rethink Your Hydration Products
Winter skincare often includes heavy, occlusive creams as well as facial oil. These seal in moisture and protect from wind and forced air heating, but they may be too much once spring temperatures start to rise. Now’s the time to switch to a pump-style moisturizer since it’s often lightweight and non-sticky. If you have dry skin, though, you may still want to keep your facial oil handy, especially for nighttime when skin does its reparative work.
Warmer weather also signals a time to change up your body lotion. Body butters and oils are similar to occlusive facial moisturizers and may feel sticky or heavy during transitional weather. Switch to a lightweight, fast-absorbing body lotion to keep skin healthy and hydrated as the mercury rises. Tip: Don’t put the body butter away completely. Your elbows, knees, and feet may still need extra love all year long.
Slough Off Dry Winter Skin
If your skin lacks the luster it usually has in summer, you can likely blame an accumulated layer of dead skin cells. One of the quickest ways to restore radiance is to use a gentle exfoliating product. Just remember NOT to use your body scrub on your face. The skin on your arms and legs is considerably thicker than the skin on your face. Choose a product with fruit enzymes, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or non-abrasive ingredients, such as rice bran or colloidal oatmeal, to polish fragile facial skin.
For the body, look for scrubs that also include AHAs (like glycolic or lactic acid) combined with ingredients such as granular charcoal or microfine pumice. Avoid formulas utilizing microbeads. These tiny plastic beads don’t break down in water and often end up in lakes, rivers, and oceans and can harm marine life. Bonus: You can also improve circulation while exfoliating by using a Biodegradable Bath Brush during a dry brushing routine. Learn more about the do’s and don’ts here.
Restock Your Sunscreen Then Use It
Did you know that sunscreen loses its effectiveness over time? It does, and we’re not just talking about it wearing off while swimming or sweating. Sunscreen has an expiration date, so pull out your tubes from last summer and make sure they’re still good. Anything that smells off or has changed color should be tossed. When in doubt, start fresh. According to the FDA, sunscreen should retain its potency for three years, but heat and sunlight can degrade it just the same way that fragrance breaks down when exposed to those elements.
Once you’re certain your products will protect you, use them! Sun exposure is the number one cause of early skin aging as well as skin cancer. Be diligent and protect yourself every single day.