A change in season should mean a change in your skincare routine. Don’t worry though, you don’t need a dramatic overhaul, just a few tweaks. Here are our top spring skincare tips…
If you haven’t been wearing sunscreen in winter (naughty naughty), now’s definitely the time to start. A good rule of thumb is: if it’s daytime, wear sunscreen. Look for a waterproof sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and bump up the spectrum to at least a SPF 30 but ideally a SPF 50. If you have acne-prone skin opt for a light mist or gel sunscreen, these are lighter and will prevent clogged pores.
Lighten up your moisturiser
Most of us require a heavier moisturiser in winter, as the dry air in the cooler months dehydrates skin, so it makes sense to switch to a lighter lotion as the weather begins to warm up. Look for a product with lighter formulas infused with antioxidants. Higher humidity levels also mean skin won’t dry out as easily. If you generally have dry skin all year round, stick with your richer moisturiser and see how you go – if your skin starts to become oily, make the switch.
Spring-clean your skin
Exfoliation is a good idea all year round, but since you’ll probably be exposing more skin in spring, it’s time to give it a little extra attention. Dry body brushing is a great way to increase circulation (for firmer skin), loosen dead skin cells (boosting radiance) and stimulate lymph drainage (encouraging the release of toxins). Before you get in the bath or shower, brush your entire body with a natural-bristle brush in long strokes directed towards your heart. But you want to do it very gently and only once a week or you may do more harm than good. Alternatively, use a granular scrub product in the bath or shower for similar results unless you suffer from skin conditions such as Rosacea as this could lead to flare-ups.
If you’ve been using a cream cleanser in winter, you may want to switch to a lighter, milder gel formula in spring that cleans your skin without leaving any oily residue on your face. A cleanser with a small amount of glycolic acid – at least 10% strength, which you can check by reading a products “active ingredients” list – will do the trick.
Be allergy alert
Apart from sneezing, nasal congestion and watery eyes, spring pollen allergies can also cause an even more unpleasant condition called rhinitis dermatitis, which entails swelling, dryness and itchiness around the eyes and nostrils – the symptoms can be very similar to eczema. If you’re affected, antihistamines will help, as will only using hyperallergenic skin products, preferably ones that are natural and/or organic.
Keep spots at bay
The warmer weather in spring can cause certain hormones to become more active, resulting in increased oil production. Couple that with the higher levels of pollen and (depending on your area) dirt in the air around this time of year, and you’ve got prime conditions for a pimple or two (or three or four)! Make sure to cleanse regularly to remove excess sebum and drink plenty of water as dehydration can also contribute to clogged pores. You may also want to apply a cleansing, pimple-preventing facial mask as an added precaution.
Out with the old
It’s also a good time to go through all the bottles, tubs and lotions, lurking in your bathroom cupboard or make-up bag. Keep an eye on the expiry dates. They might not last as long as you think. A giveaway would be their odour, a colour change, or a different texture. Repeated dipping into open make-up containers may cause an unseen build-up of bacteria, and no woman wants to battle an unexpected rash when the warm weather sets in. Be sure to clean make-up brushes regularly to avoid any unnecessary build-up. Replace your make-up sponges at least once a fortnight and sharpen lip and eyeliner pencils after each use to remove any moisture left behind from facial contact.