Ah, winter once again makes its sluggish exit, leaving balmy breezes and bright flowers in its muddy wake. And while most of us have got a handle on switching out our winter wardrobe, too many of us forget to listen to the changing needs of our skin. Now is the time to take your lackluster complexion, battered by winter’s harshness, and give it back its rightful glow. Stop making these four rookie spring skincare mistakes—and your skin will shed dullness for dazzle.
Forgetting to exfoliate
Exfoliation is the best way to slough off our wintered over skin and unearth the brighter, fresher complexion that lies beneath. Exfoliating a few times a week (don’t get overzealous) should do the trick. Use mild, natural scrubs, such as ones incorporating almonds or sugar, to remove the build-up of old, dull cells.
Skimping on serum
If you are prone to sensitivity or spring time allergies, using a serum after you cleanse and before you apply moisturizer gives your skin an essential extra layer of defense against the elements, strengthening the skin’s natural barrier function. All too often, serums get sideswiped in favor of moisturizing, but doubling down on hydration makes better sense. Choose a serum packed with antioxidants to take your skincare routine up a notch. A quality, plant-based serum can retexturize your skin—smoothing wrinkles, evening out skin tone, and soothing irritations.
Not wearing an SPF
Dermatologists tend to agree that the most important thing you can do for your skin is slather on SPF—and that’s not just during summer. A daily SPF routine not only protects your skin from certain cancers, but can also delay aging. And even if you are not spending tons of time outside, incidental exposure such as driving or sitting in an office with big windows can ravage bare skin. Essentially you should wear SPF all year round, but many people don’t think of wearing it until the temperatures start to rise. If the extra application step is a hassle, you can purchase face and body moisturizers that include SPF. Tip: Don’t forget your neck, which is very sensitive to exposure and tends to age quicker than other areas.
Lighten up your lotion
Just as you wear lighter clothes come spring, think about using lighter skin products. During the spring and summer there’s more humidity in the air, so you can get away with less intensive treatments. Your skin gets some of the hydration it needs just from the atmosphere. Instead of creams or balms, try lighter lotions, which lets your skin breathe better. A good rule of thumb is to swap out thick creams in jars to thinner formulas that pump from the bottle. But don’t make the mistake of foregoing lotion altogether: Sweat and sun exposure dehydrate the skin, so some form of replenishment still makes sense.