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Here are 7 Switches to Make For a Springtime-Ready Skincare Routine

It might feel like we’re stuck in a deep winter hibernation (looking at you, quarantine) but spring is officially here.

It’s an exciting season of renewal, new life, and growth - and it should feel that way for your skin, too. 

Here’s how to shake off that winter skin and reveal a fresh springtime glow.

First Thing’s First: What’s Going On?

Winter skin requires a certain level of care, including heavy moisturizer, gentle exfoliation, and lots of TLC to restore your skin’s natural barrier (which is usually stripped away by things like hot water, central heating, and that cold winter air).

But when things suddenly switch from cold and dry to humid and warm, your skin’s needs definitely shift, too. And if you want that dewy, springtime glow, you need to reconsider your products (and how you use them) accordingly.

Let’s dive in.

1. Pay Attention

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No matter what, you have to constantly look at your skin and pay attention to what it needs and what it’s telling you. Consider:

  • How your skin feels after you shower or wash your face: Is it tight, itchy, or irritated after you shower or wash your face? It’s likely being over-stripped by hot water or overly harsh products, meaning you would benefit from a gentler approach.
  • Breakouts:Do you have acne, breakouts, dullness, or skin congestion? Then you should incorporate more exfoliating and acne-fighting products to help decongest and clarify.
  • Flaking:Are you experiencing any flaking or dryness? Then you probably need gentle, consistent exfoliation - and to repair your skin’s natural barrier so it can produce the moisture it needs.
  • Oil and shine:Is your skin oily and shiny (or, conversely, dry and dull)? If so, you have to figure out why and respond accordingly.

The point? Your skin is a living, breathing, changing thing and its needs are going to change each day (sometimes throughout the day). The more aware you are of its current needs, the better it’ll be.

To that end, here are a few things you’ll probably need to do:

2. Adjust Your Moisturizer

In spring, your natural oil production starts to come back again to balance your dry winter skin concerns. Plus, spring weather usually means more humidity and rain, which can further encourage slickness and shine.

We recommend that you switch to a lighter moisturizer than the one you were probably using in the winter. Ideally, look for one that's oil-free and includes some SPF.

Bonus points if it has both emollient and occlusive ingredients (to both add moisture and lock it in).

3. Add an Exfoliator

Let's face it: Winter weather does not exactly make for the glowiest-looking skin, and frequent or intense wintertime exfoliation can actually irritate overly dry, stripped winter skin.

Luckily, this is a quick fix once spring rolls around. Start to incorporate a gentle, vitamin C and antioxidant-infused exfoliator at least 2-3 times a week. It’ll gently uncover fresh layers of skin and protect your delicate winter skin from free radical damage - win, win!

4. Do Some Spring Cleaning

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Chances are that, over the winter, you accumulated some products, makeup brushes, and even towels that have gotten a little grimey. Use this change in the season as an opportunity to “spring clean” all your makeup brushes - they can definitely house lots of gross germs and viruses - and throw out any products that are more than six months old.

Don’t want to let it go? Well, If you’ve had it for six months and you still have some left, the reality is that you’re probably not using it like you’re supposed to (if at all). Either get on a consistent schedule with it or say sayonara.

5. Incorporate Antioxidants

Antioxidants are super important year-round at helping neutralize free radicals and protect against environmental damage. Specifically, they help:

  • Guard against sun damage
  • Prevent skin cancer
  • Brighten skin
  • Soothe and moisturize the skin

This is particularly important in the spring and summer when we’re outdoors more and UV rays are stronger.

The great news is that you can incorporate antioxidants into pretty much every step of your skincare routine, including your cleanser, exfoliator, moisturizer, and face masks.

6. Cut Back on Retinol

If you use retinol products, this is definitely the time to cut back or stop. While retinol is commonly used to combat wrinkles and signs of aging, it’s also known to make your skin more sun-sensitive - and this hypersensitivity can actually cause spots, wrinkles, and even skin cancers to develop if you don’t take care.

That’s why, at the very least, you should switch to strictly PM use if you use retinols and retinoids as part of your routine.

7. Don’t Forget Your SPF

The sun is shining, birds are singing - and SPF is super important (even if you’re not really getting out of the house). Some things to keep in mind here:

  • Find a broad-spectrum sunscreen
  • Use at least SPF 30
  • Avoid toxic ingredients like oxybenzone

Plus, sunscreen can ultimately work as a primer under your makeup, helping you get one step closer to shine-free, all-day wear.

Happy spring!