Ah – spring cleaning. Maybe you love it, maybe you don’t. When I was younger, I actually used to dread this time of year. But as I’ve gotten older, I’m going to be really honest here, I kind of love it. I’ll spring clean everything! My closet, the bathroom, the kitchen pantry. Heck I’ll even spring clean the baseboards. But did you know you also need to spring clean your skin care routine?
Fear not, friends. If you didn’t know this, it’s cool. Three and a half years of working at a skin care company taught me this, otherwise I’d be totally clueless.
Here’s the 4-1-1 on how to spring clean your skin care routine.
Exfoliate your face AND body
During the winter, we accumulate more dead skin cells because our skin is dry. In the spring, the humidity increases, making skin less sensitive to exfoliation. Regular exfoliation helps turn over dead skin cells (aka the secret to a brighter complexion), but also gets rid of flaky skin and dirt that can cause impurities and breakouts. For my face, I use Lancer The Polish. (Yes, that’s me in the video in that link!) It’s gentle enough to use every night, but powerful enough to really feel an instant difference in your skin. For the body, I love Bliss Lemon & Sage Body Polish or Herbivore Amethyst Exfoliating Body Polish. If you’re into dry brushing, I like this brush by Joanna Vargas. (You can learn more about dry brushing in this post.)
Switch up your moisturizer
As your skin starts to get relief from dryness, you’re going to need less heavy creams and less layers. Unless your skin is naturally very dry, opt for something lighter than what you use in the winter that’s maybe water-based or more of a gel cream.
Retinoids (or retinol, the over the counter version) increase the skin’s sensitivity to sun. Look, the sun is present every day, but as the clouds disappear and the UV rays become stronger, you probably want to shelf this product for the fall to avoid burns or other sun damage that could get accelerated from this power ingredient.
Be (even more) diligent with your SPF
You should wear SPF every single day, even if it’s not sunny out. But, the sun shining should serve as a daily reminder for you in case you’ve been forgetting it. Since I’m a bit on the oily side, I use this lightweight SPF from Shiseido. It’s a small bottle, but a little goes a long way. On days where I go makeup free, I’ll use this tinted SPF from EltaMD.
Bring on the antioxidants
Better weather means you’re probably going to be outside more, and even with SPF, your skin is still exposed to free radicals. Help prevent aging from pollution and other elements by increasing your use of skin care with antioxidant ingredients. This can range from any kind of product from moisturizer to a serum or special SPF. (I’ve got my eye on these anti-pollution drops from Drunk Elephant – and they bronze at the same time!)
Other Housekeeping Tips to Spring Clean Your Skin Care
Now that we’ve updated our skin care routine, it’s time to get a bit more literal when it comes to spring cleaning.
Update that brush head
If you use a Clarisonic or other kind of exfoliating face brush, now is as good of a time as ever to toss your current brush and get a new one. If you forgot when you replaced it last, the beginning of spring will serve as a good marker; replace them every three months.
Try a facial
No matter how diligent you are with your skin care routine, there’s nothing quite like expert hands to clear out your skin and give it a deep cleaning. Start this season with a clean slate, literally, and book a facial so you have a fresh canvas for your spring products.
Check expiration dates
Bacteria accumulates in anything opened given the right amount of time, so it’s always a good idea to take inventory of your items and what your have or haven’t used in awhile. Chances are, your skin care products you used last spring have been hiding in the back of your cabinet, and you probably haven’t used them since then. The rule of thumb is one year for skin care, so you’re probably due for a refresh. But in general, if something looks, feels, or smells off, even if it’s under the 1-year mark – toss it. Over the counter (OTC) products like acne treatments and SPF have clear labels, making it easy to know when they’ve kicked the bucket.