Spring is going to be here before you know it, and while you may be looking forward to the warmer temperatures, don’t forget that your skin is going to need a bit of TLC as it transitions through the seasons.
What should you be doing to ensure that you enter spring with a bright and clear complexion?
All you need to do is follow these six tips:
Lighten Up Your Skincare Routine
This is probably one of the most important spring skin care tips…
In the winter, the air outside is extremely dry, meaning that it does not take long for your skin to lose its precious moisture. This is why heavier creams and moisturizers are essential in the winter months. They form a protective layer over the surface of your skin, preventing moisture from evaporating.
However, once spring rolls around, humidity rises, enabling your skin to retain its moisture so much more effectively.
This means that the heavier creams you used in the winter will only end up suffocating your skin in the spring, preventing your pores from properly breathing. This is why clogged pores are so common in the spring, because many people don’t realize the importance of switching over to lighter skin care products.
So, what should you be using instead?
This all depends on your skin type…
For normal or oily skin, a lighter lotion or a serum may be all you need in the spring and summer months. For those with dry skin, you may still need something thicker, but you will likely need to apply it in a much thinner layer.
Make Sunscreen a Priority
Many people are under the impression that sunscreen isn’t necessary in the winter months, but this isn’t true at all…
The sun emits two types of UV rays (there are actually three, but the third type doesn’t reach the Earth’s surface, meaning that you don’t need to worry about them):
- UVA Rays – these are the longest rays, meaning that they can travel deep into your skin where they then cause some serious damage, including accelerating the skin aging process
- UVB Rays – these are shorter rays, and are responsible for tanning and burning. They also play a major role in the development of skin cancer
In the winter months, UVB rays aren’t very strong. In fact, in certain areas, they don’t even reach the surface of the Earth, due to the way in which the planet tilts during the winter. This is why it is extremely difficult to tan under the winter sun, even if the sun may feel quite strong on your skin.
However, UVA rays are still present, which is why you still need protection from a sunscreen.
Of course, with winter now almost over, UVB rays will be back in full force. Those of you who were not regularly wearing a sunscreen in the winter will need to once again make wearing a sunscreen a priority.
Wondering what SPF strength you need?
SPF30 is usually enough, unless your skin is already quite damaged. In that case, you may be best off opting for something stronger, although the amount of extra protection offered by higher SPF sunscreens is quite small.
Don’t forget to also ensure that your sunscreen is a broad-spectrum one. This means that it will protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.
Skin Care Spring Cleaning
When was the last time you sorted through all of your skin care products to throw out the ones that have expired?
If this is something that you haven’t done for at least six months, then spring is the perfect time to get this job done.
Wondering why this is something you need to do?
Because all skin care products have a shelf life.
Even though a product may look absolutely fine, you should still throw it out if it has expired.
Well, many think that an expired product won’t work quite as well as an in-date product, and while this is true, it can often be more extreme than this…
Not only will an expired product not make any sort of positive difference to your skin, but it can actually cause quite a bit of damage.
When certain ingredients go out of date, their quality degrades. When you apply these degraded ingredients onto your skin, they end up creating free radicals.
What are free radicals?
They’re damaged molecules that go around attacking healthy cells and tissue. They are one of the biggest causes of skin aging, leading to everything from fine lines and wrinkles to dark spots and sagging skin.
Free radicals come from numerous sources, and while many of these are hard to avoid (such as pollution), using expired skin care products is something that is completely under your control.
Can’t find an expiry date on your skin care products?
This is more common than you would imagine, due to a lack of regulations.
However, as a general rule of thumb, the majority of your skin care products will have a shelf life of around one year.
- Skin creams and moisturizers
- Eye creams
- Acne products
- Anti-aging treatments
Don’t forget to give your makeup products a spring clean too…
Expired makeup products can have the same detrimental effect on your skin, and many of these last for even less than skin care products. Mascara and liquid eyeliner, for example, will often have a shelf life of just three to six months, while sponges should be replaced every six weeks or so.
Invest in a Quality Eye Cream
Springtime brings with it plenty of sunshine (hopefully), meaning that you are likely to end up squinting more.
Even if you use sunglasses and a sun hat, which you really should be doing, squinting is often inevitable at times on a very sunny day.
What’s wrong with squinting?
Any repeated movements in your facial muscles result in lines forming on your face. These are known as dynamic wrinkles, because they are caused by muscular motion.
When you stop squinting, these lines disappear…at first.
Over a longer period of time, these lines become permanent, turning into deeper wrinkles.
The fact that the sun would also be hitting the skin around your eyes, causing you to squint, means that your skin is also under attack from the sun’s UV rays. With both the sun, as well as the squinting, your skin doesn’t have much of a chance when it comes to defending itself from these wrinkles.
So, how does an eye cream help?
In a couple of ways:
- Provides another layer of protection against environment damage, and will also protect the skin from UV rays if you go for an eye cream with added SPF
- Keeps the skin hydrated and moisturized, which helps to keep wrinkles at bay
- Usually contains antioxidants to repair damaged cells and to fight free radicals
You might be thinking…
Can’t I just use my moisturizer instead?
The skin around your eyes can be up to ten times thinner than the skin on the rest of your face, making this area quite delicate.
If your moisturizer has been formulated with mild and gentle ingredients, then yes, you can likely use it around your eyes with no problems.
However, that’s not to say that an eye cream is pointless…
Many people claim that eye creams contain the exact same ingredients as their face cream counterparts.
And yes, that may be true, but what the ingredient list doesn’t tell you is the amount of each ingredient used for each product.
While eye creams do make use of potent ingredients, they do this at a low enough concentration for those ingredients to not irritate the sensitive skin around the eyes. This is so important, because using products that are too strong will only end up doing more harm than good.
A few ingredients to look out for include:
- Caffeine – gives the skin a tighter and perkier appearance
- Vitamin K – soothes the skin while preventing dark circles from forming underneath the eyes
- Peptides – promotes the production of collagen, which keeps the skin looking smoother, while also restoring the skin
- Sodium Hyaluronate – hydrates skin cells, immediately giving the skin a plumper appearance
- Retinol – significantly reduces fine lines and wrinkles, while promoting the production of collagen and elastin
- Green Tea Extract – helps to repair damaged skin while also providing a small amount of extra protection from the sun’s UVB rays
Up Your Exfoliation Game
Have you noticed that your skin can sometimes look quite dull in the winter months?
This is quite common, which is why you want to up your exfoliation game come spring. This will enable you to properly clear away all of those old winter skin cells, enabling your younger and fresher skin cells to shine through for spring.
What’s the best way to exfoliate?
That all depends on your skin type and personal preferences.
There are two main methods when it comes to exfoliation:
- Physical Exfoliation – this refers to using something abrasive to scrub at your skin. The scrubbing action dislodges dead skin cells from your skin, as well as from the surface of your pores
- Chemical Exfoliation – this refers to using certain chemicals to dissolve the glue-like substance that hold your dead skin cells together. This then enables your dead skin cells to fall off and be washed away
Many people think that chemical exfoliation would be quite harsh, but physical exfoliation can actually be rougher on your skin. The pulling and tugging that your scrubbing action has doesn’t do your skin any good, and many of the ingredients used in face scrubs can actually end up causing micro-tears in the skin.
So, your best bet would be to give both methods a try, before settling on whichever one works best for you and your skin.
If you want to take things even further, a chemical peel is worth considering.
This is a type of chemical exfoliation, but more intense. Peels come in varying strengths, and you would be best off seeking advice from your dermatologist when it comes to choosing one.
If you are someone who tends to experience more breakouts in the summer than in the winter, then this is a tip that you really do need to follow…
Ever wondered why you breakout more in the warmer months?
It’s due to the fact that your skin’s sebaceous glands produce more oil when the temperatures are higher.
Not only that, but the texture and consistency of the oil produced changes too…
It becomes much runnier, and, due to the higher humidity around you, it ends up sitting on your skin rather than being absorbed into the environment.
This is why many people find that their skin becomes much oilier in the spring, with this being even worse in the summer. All of this extra oil quickly leads to clogged pores, resulting in breakouts.
What can you do about this?
Start by switching to a stronger cleanser. While you really need your natural oils in the winter months to stay moisturized, you don’t need the extra oils in the spring and summer.
Certain ingredients, such as salicylic acid, are great for cleansing the skin of excess oil. It clears out the pores too, which goes a long way when it comes to preventing breakouts. Retinol is also useful, as it helps to prevent excess oil production, while also providing you with a multitude of anti-aging benefits.
You may also need to exfoliate slightly more often in the spring and summer, as this will also help to prevent clogged pores.
Most people tend to breathe a sigh of relief once spring rolls around, and your skin is likely doing the same thing. The winter months can definitely be tough on your skin, but so can the summer, which is why these six tips are so important in the spring.