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By Melissa Epifano
Winter is (finally) coming to an end, and while you’re busy packing away those puffy coats, it’s time to rethink your skincare routine again, too. When seasons change, so should the products you’re putting on your complexion. You don’t necessarily have to completely replace *every* serum, essence, and mask; it’s a matter of adjusting for the weather, environment, and lifestyle you’ll be living.
You may already know the basics, like changing up your daily moisturizer, but these tweaks should go far beyond your emollient of choice. We asked the pros to give us their best tips for refreshing our routines, and their guidance doesn’t disappoint.
Here are seven major things to keep in mind when it comes to crafting the perfect spring and summer skincare arsenal.
One of the first rules of revamping your skincare routine is lightening up your moisturizer. Winter’s cold, dry air will be replaced with much more moisture and in many cases humidity, so the thick cream you’re used to slathering on can be swapped in for something more lightweight.
“For a great post-winter skincare routine, the key is to exchange your moisturizer for something a little more lightweight and with a thinner consistency; water-based moisturizers or those with hyaluronic acid are a great option,” says master aesthetician Edyta Jarosz, who is part of the team at Shafer Clinic Fifth Avenue. “Usually our skin is likely to produce more sweat and oil with the warmer weather, so lightweight moisturizers are sufficient to keep skin moisturized without feeling greasy.”
If you could only pick one thing to change, it would be this. Not to be dramatic, but all of your other skincare efforts are futile if you’re not staying on top of your SPF. Skin coach and founder of The Rich Skin Club Gabrielle Richens explains, “UVA rays cause premature aging to the skin that cannot be repaired! So either use a daily moisturizer that contains an SPF 30, or apply a non-greasy facial sunscreen a few minutes after your day cream.”
Geneva-based dermatologist, Dr. Luigi L. Polla, founder of Forever Institut and Alchimie Forever, agrees. “Of course, you should be wearing SPF year-round, but if you slacked on this during the winter, it’s time to start again ASAP.” He says that an SPF of 20 is the lowest you should go (but aim for higher) and it’s an absolute must to stay protected. Also, remember that sweating and extra exercise and activities mean you need to reapply more often than usual.
Exfoliation can be tricky during the winter. If you already experience peeling or dry skin, putting some kind of acid on your face or using a physical exfoliant might be the last thing you feel like doing. If this is the case, it’s time to break those bad boys out once more. Dr. Polla says, “If you pushed pause on exfoliation during the winter, it’s time to start again. Exfoliate weekly with a dual exfoliation product so that your skin benefits from mechanical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation (but nothing too gritty). I use our Gentle refining scrub.”
This being said, don’t go wild with all your products on the daily. As Jarosz puts it, “Take caution because over-exfoliation can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. So, if you don’t want to risk getting a sunburn on your face, go easy on the exfoliators.”
Like exfoliation, retinol is another ingredient some people keep to a minimum during colder months. When your skin is already chapped, and flaking caused by your vitamin A feels like unnecessary pain. If you’ve been off of retinoids for a bit, ease back into it and make sure you’re moisturizing to counteract any possible irritation.
If it’s not already sitting pretty on your shelf, it’s time to get a vitamin C serum involved in your routine. Richens says, “Not only is vitamin C an anti-aging workhorse that brightens the complexion and boosts collagen, but it is also a powerful antioxidant, meaning it protects the skin against sun damage and other free radicals.” She likes to compare it to a full suit of armor for your skin. So if you’re all about that summer glow, double-check you’ve got a bottle or two at the ready.
Yep, even your cleanser needs to be reconsidered come springtime. Makeup, oil production, sunscreen, and sweat can all become major problems when the temperatures rise if they’re not properly removed, so it’s a good time to master your double-cleansing.
Dr. Sheilagh Maguinness, MD told us, “A gentle hypoallergenic cleanser is still a must, but at times a deeper foaming cleanser could be appropriate, especially for oilier skin and after exercising.” Dr. Polla echoes this, saying that a deep-cleanser should be thrown into the mix throughout the week, particularly one with enzymes or acids.
Lastly, take a look at the ingredient lists on your serums. Even these products can be better customized to the changing seasons. “Make the switch from oil-based serums to water-based ones, as they are much more lightweight,” says Jarosz. “Look for products with a watery or gel-like texture. The skin absorbs water-based serums more quickly, so it’s perfect for the warmer spring weather.”
So, if you need another excuse to forgo that spring cleaning checklist for one more weekend, start sorting out your new skincare routine instead.