Hello Sunshine! How to Transition Your Skin Care For Spring
Winter doesn’t just stir up trouble in the skies: It wreaks serious havoc on our skin.
From chapped lips and cracked heels to a dull, ashy complexion, winter beauty woes are as bleak as a December in Maine.
But now that the sap is rising, it’s time to switch up your skincare routine for Spring. Ready to bloom? Here’s how:
Glacial temperatures, lashing winds, and indoor heating can ravage your skin, leaving it scaly, parched, and drab. “These conditions suck the moisture out of your skin, leaving it dull and dry, as well as itchy and irritated,” explains Dr. Jessica Wu, a clinical instructor in dermatology at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.
To shape up for the new season, start by exfoliating your way to baby-soft skin. “The skin cycle is ideal in infancy, when the outer layer of skin is replaced about every few days,” says beauty and health expert Julia Layton. While we can’t turn back time, we can scrub our way to a more radiant complexion by sloughing off dead skin cells “so fresher ones can take their place”—an especially important factor in getting glowing skin after a winter fraught with frigid temperatures.
What’s more, exfoliating primes your skin for optimal absorption of your favorite products. In short, “Exfoliation is the key to optimizing every skin care regimen,” says dermatologist Craig Kraffert.
Warmer weather is synonymous with sundresses and shorts—and few things pair better with the two than an all-over glow. But before you slot in a Saturday to catch some rays by the pool, think again: Sun damage is one of the biggest—and most lethal—culprits of saggy skin and unsightly pigmentation. “To protect itself from the damaging effects of the sun, your skin increases its production of the dark brown pigment called melanin,” causing “an uneven increase in melanin production, which produces irregular coloring,” explains The Mayo Clinic.
Moreover, “UV damage accounts for 80% of visible aging and greatly increases your rate for all types of skin cancer, including melanoma,” The Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Group reports. A better way to bronze from head to toe? A sunless self-tanner. Thanks to huge advances in this field, gone are the days of orange palms and reeking flesh, letting you look like a beach goddess without the long-term consequences. Which brings us to our next point…
Smarten Up with SPF
Even though you know you need SPF no matter the season, you may have let sun-protection slide in the gloom of winter. Now that it’s spring, there’s no better time to recommit to your sunscreen routine. “In the winter, we tend not to use sunscreen as often, since we’re indoors more,” says Jennifer Lee, M.D. “However, now that it’s spring and we’re spending more time outside and the days are longer and sunnier, it’s important to be consistent about using sunscreen.” If you’re still not convinced, consider this: A recent study published in The Guardian reveals that women who stay out of the sun look up to twenty years younger than their actual age.
Already booked that trip to the Caribbean? Plan ahead. “Before a beach vacation, I wear sunscreen on my body every night,” says assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Jeannette Graf. “I do it for two to three weeks ahead so the sunscreen builds up in my stratum corneum, and it makes my skin less likely to burn.” Staycationing this Spring Break? You still need to protect yourself from incidental UV damage every single day. Driving, sitting near a window, walking on a cloudy day—all put you at risk for photoaging. And don’t you want to look luminous in your vacay selfies?
Lighten Your Load
It isn’t just eggnog that’s heavy over the holidays—the skin-drying effects of winter weather often call for heavier moisturizers and denser creams. Spring for lighter layers when the season changes—and not just in terms of your wardrobe. “Swapping your moisturizer for something a little lighter is key,” says New York City dermatologist Patricia Wexler, M.D. “Our skin tends to hold more water in the spring and summer, so you won’t need as much protection.” A surefire salve: Eavara’s Organic Age Defying Moisturizer, a lightweight formula with heavyweight benefits, from suppler skin to fewer fine lines and wrinkles.
Just Say Ohm
Hectic holiday rushes, commutes compromised by foul weather, leaky roofs, even the winter blues—all of these seasonal stressors can adversely impact the health and appearance of our skin, leaving our complexions lackluster by Spring. “High levels of tension can spike hormone production that leads to breakouts or aggravates conditions like psoriasis,” Prevention reports.
Alleviating stress through contemplative practices like yoga is deeply beneficial not just for your brain and body but also for your skin. “Yoga moves like Child’s Pose, Downward Facing Dog, and Sun Salutations improve circulation—the boost of oxygen is what gives skin that lovely yoga glow,” says Washington D.C. dermatologist Dr. Hema Sundaram. Need more motivation to roll out that mat? According to Sundaram, new studies show that “regular yoga practice may reduce the inflammation and stress that speed skin aging.”
Bathe your way to more beautiful skin? You bet. “The water molecules help to polarize your skin, allowing for a deeper product penetration,” says Dr. Hadley King, a dermatologist at SKINNEY Medspa in NYC. Just be sure to adjust the temperature, as exceedingly hot baths are as harmful for your skin as those wintry whipping winds
Go Crazy for Coconuts
…and not just in that piña colada by the pool! Topical application of coconut oil traps in moisture you may have lost over winter, giving you smoother, more lustrous skin. In addition to its antimicrobial activity, coconut oil is considered a miraculous antioxidant, thanks to its “stability and resistance to oxidation and free radical formation,” says physiologist and biochemist Ray Peat, Ph.D.
*This blog offers health, wellness, fitness and nutritional information and is designated for education purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your healthcare professional because of something you may have read in this blog. The use of this information is solely at your own risk.
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