With spring officially in full force and the countdown to summer on, it’s natural to start thinking about seasonal changes. Whether it’s switching from jeans to shorts or swapping out your moody lipstick colors in place of perkier hues, a new season is a perfect time for a fresh start — especially when it comes to skincare. We talked to board-certified dermatologists David Lortscher, founder of Curology, Dendy Engelman, who practices at Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, and Neal Schultz, creator of BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz, about the habits you should adopt this time of year and how to solve your spring skincare problems. Keep reading for their must-follow advice and tips.
1. Swap out creams for gels. Thick, hydrating creams work wonders on parched winter skin, but it’s best to replace them with lightweight gels, like Clean & Clear Morning Burst Hydrating Gel Moisturizer ($5), this season, according to Dr. Lortscher. “Heavier emollient creams are best during fall and winter to combat the dryness from indoor heating and cold, dry winds, but gel-based products tend to be more aesthetically pleasing as we transition into a time with more humidity in the air,” he explains.
2. Stop washing your face with hot water. Even though you might still be in the habit of cranking up the water temp from winter, it’s important to break that behavior as we transition into a new season. “Hot water can strip the natural oils from your skin, leaving it dry and vulnerable to cracking,” Dr. Engelman says. “It’s best to get in the habit of washing your face with lukewarm water instead.” Beyond reducing the amount of good oil on your skin, hot water can affect your pores. “Hot water makes your pores open more, and for that reason, is more drying,” Dr. Lortscher adds.
3. Switch to lightweight, sport sunscreen. Dr. Schultz recommends getting in the habit of using lightweight sport sunscreen during the spring (and summer) instead of the heavier, thicker version you probably rely on during the fall and winter. “Something sufficiently protective and moisturizing in the winter with cold, strong winds and wind chill will be too heavy in the summer,” he says. “Your SPF should be lightened up in the spring with a product like Neutrogena Sport Face Oil-Free Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 70+ ($11).”
4. Use fewer products that make you prone to sun sensitivity. While products containing alpha hydroxy acids and retinol are fine to use during the colder months when you’re not as likely to be in the sun, Dr. Lortscher recommends relying on them less in the spring and summer, when the potential for sun exposure increases. “The use of these products has the potential to make skin more sensitive to the sun.” Needless to say, all three dermatologists stress the importance of wearing SPF every single day of the year, regardless of the season.
5. Add antioxidants into your routine. Every single day, our skin is exposed to free radicals like pollution, smog, dust, and smoke, but the warm weather this time of year makes it hard to turn down a sunny day outside. It’s crucial to start actively fighting against their damage this season, Dr. Schultz says. The exposure to free radicals can accelerate the aging process — womp womp. “Free radicals can weaken the skin barrier, leaving it vulnerable to premature aging,” Dr. Engelman says.“My go-to is to use an antioxidant treatment product like Skinceuticals CE Ferulic ($165) underneath moisturizer and sunscreen to fight free radicals all day long.”
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