Hark! The end of winter skincare is nigh.
Like everything in life, a regular routine is a wonderful thing – up to a point. The skincare regimen that carried you through winter (think emollient-rich moisturisers and regular nighttime slugging) won’t do your skin any harm, but it also might not be serving you best. Warmer weather can cause the skin to produce excess oil (or more than we’re used to), which means the products we use and when we use them can do with a refresh.
For example, in the winter my double cleanse routine consists of an oil or balm cleanser, followed by a moisturising creamy jelly cleanser. In the spring and summer, I like to replace the jelly cleanser with an antioxidant-rich cleanser that brightens uneven skin tone and thoroughly cleanses my pores. It helps my skin stay “alert” (skin can become used to products when they’ve been used for long periods of time) and tackles the things I’m specifically concerned about at the moment.
Everything your spring skincare routine should include
1. A thorough cleanse
“I recommend cleansing twice a day, morning and night – avoiding hot water as it can strip the skin of its natural oil barrier. This will mean your skin will dry out more quickly and could lead to itchiness and flakiness. Also, don’t rely on make-up wipes alone as they won’t cleanse your skin properly,” advises Dr Ross Perry, medical director of Cosmedics skin clinics.
Unsure about the best cleanser for your skin type? Here’s a quick refresher:
- Sensitive skin: choose a hydrating gentle cleanser
- Oily and acne-prone skin: a salicylic acid-based cleanser will unclog congested pores and remove excess oil
- Dry skin: a cream cleanser will help the top layer of your skin retain more moisture
After you’ve cleanser properly, pat your face dry before applying any serums, toners or moisturisers.
2. Regular exfoliation
“I’d recommend using an exfoliator two to three times a week to get rid of any dead skin cells and clean out your pores. There are a number of exfoliators out there to choose from depending on your skin type, from glycolic acid to salicylic acid,” advises Dr Perry.
If you’ve only just started exfoliating, begin with once a week – too much, too fast, and you run the risk of disrupting your skin barrier and causing breakouts.
“At the moment, liquid exfoliators are the most popular option and use chemicals like AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids) to get rid of dead skin cells, leaving smoother-looking, more radiant skin. Because of the active ingredients in these products, they are proving to be more effective than traditional exfoliators.”
3. Daily SPF application
Hopefully, it doesn’t come as a surprise to hear that SPF is something that should be worn every day, not just in the spring and summer months when the sun is more visible. In fact, protecting your skin from the damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays can help avoid premature skin ageing and the possibility of skin cancer.
“It’s always prudent to wear SPF of factor 30 or higher for significant protection, says Dr Perry. “UV rays damage the DNA of the skin and can lead to possible skin cancer formation but also cause premature skin ageing, resulting in brown spots, patchy pigmentation, lines and wrinkles, as well as decreased skin elasticity.
As we move into the warmer months, aim to reapply your SPF every two to three hours as the heat, humidity and sweat can cause it to breakdown more quickly.
Main image: Getty