Even if you like winter, you probably aren’t sad to see it go. Extended periods of freezing temperatures, short days and long nights are nobody’s idea of bliss. Not only is the air cold during winter, but it can also be very drying. Recycled heated, indoor air is also no picnic and moving back and forth between outdoor cold and indoor warmth makes for very unhappy skin that may flake or become red in addition to being dry and feeling tight.
During winter, thick, creamy moisturizers are needed to hydrate the skin and keep it supple and soft. It is also necessary to cover up as much skin as possible in order to protect it. With the arrival of spring and warming temperatures, more and more skin will be on display to the increasing levels of sunshine, humidity, and pollution. This means that while hydrating the skin is still required, thick, heavy creamy moisturizers are no longer required to combat dry skin. Spring is the time to reintroduce sun protection, exfoliation, and treatments to boost skin’s health and appearance.
If you’ve never changed your skin care routine with the seasons you are probably not allowing your skin to achieve its full potential. Think of it like this, in the same way, you pack away your heavy coats, snow boots, gloves, and toques, you should also pack away that thick, creamy moisturizer you should have been using and spring, (see what I did there?) for something more lightweight and liquid-y. Not only don’t you need it, but as it heats up and you start to sweat, then these heavy moisturizers may become uncomfortable on the skin and can even lead to problems for your pores. Here are some things you should be doing for your skin, now that spring is here.
Unclog your pores and get rid of dead skin build up by exfoliating your skin. Exfoliating removes the top layer of dead cells from the skin and may be achieved chemically or mechanically. Mechanical exfoliation involves the use of scrubs while chemicals such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid exfoliate the skin in what can be a gentler manner, depending on the concentration of the solution use. With scrubs, you should be careful not to be too vigorous in the application, which can cause micro-tears in the skin. Save money and make your own exfoliating scrub at home using a bit of sugar and olive oil to create a paste.
During winter we essentially withdraw into mounds of fabric and faux fur. We cover up so completely and thoroughly that only a small section of our skin has been exposed to the elements for weeks if not months. After keeping our skin so thoroughly covered, it may rightly feel like liberation to be able to shed our layers and let our skin feel the outside air. Using sun protection is very important when skin is exposed, whether it’s sunny out or not, so if you’ve been skimping out on using sunscreen, now is the time to stop. Choose a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays and follows the instructions carefully. Sunscreens should be applied about half an hour before you go out and should be reapplied every couple hours for extended periods of sun exposure.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Making sure you drink plenty of water is one of the best and easiest things you can do for your health and skin. Your skin offers a reflection of what’s on your inside, which is why staying hydrated and eating well is paramount for achieving healthy skin. In addition to drinking lots of water, use a lightweight moisturizer designed for your particular skin type. Even if you have oily skin you still need to use a moisturizer. Oil is not moisture. Moisture comes from water and products where the primary ingredient is water.
Antioxidants help repair and restore your skin’s barrier and many have photo-may minimize sun-induced damage to the skin and improve the effectiveness of your sunscreen. Vitamin C serums with natural, not synthetic forms of Vitamin C are great for protecting against UV damage. Weekly Vitamin C masks are also great ways of giving your skin it’s dose of this antioxidant. Rosehip oil is rich in Vitamin C and great for the skin. Additionally, any skin care product containing ingredients that are derived from berries will also have lots of antioxidant benefits.
Improve your diet
Eating a balanced diet rich in omega 3’s and other healthy fats is one of the best ways to take care of your skin. It is a surefire way to ensure that you have skin that glows from within. Include seasonal fruits, lots of water and get out in nature for walks, jogs or hikes for exercise and your skin will be looking its best and ready for the beach in no time.