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Notes on Spring Skincare

As the seasons around us change, so too do the needs of our skin. Moving into Spring, we’re met with a welcome shift in temperature. With this comes higher levels of humidity, which may lead to increased oil production, clogged pores and break-outs. I like to take the arrival of this warmer weather to support my skin in adapting to environmental changes by making a handful of small adjustments to my existing routine. Below are some simple Spring skincare swaps.

Oil and balm cleansers feel nourishing in winter but can leave a thin veil of residue on the skin’s outermost layer which, during more humid weather, can potentially clog pores. I like to use gel or milk formulations in Spring, which provide a thorough cleanse without residue. The skin’s pH is slightly acidic, so switching to a mild acid cleanser in Spring can also help to support barrier function while moderating oiliness come afternoon and evening.

If you’re anything like me, throughout Winter opting for dense, rich and heavier creams that felt luxurious and worked hard to reduce transepidermal water loss was a must. In Springtime our skin naturally produces more oil and has a better chance of retaining moisture, so reaching for creams that are lightweight and fast-absorbing is best. Try water-based moisturisers or non-occlusive formulas with hydrating humectants like hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, sorbitol and glycerin.

In Winter the skin is prone to dryness and dehydration due to low humidity, indoor heating and our tendency for hot showers and baths. Moving into Spring, it’s important to incorporate a gentle exfoliation into your routine 2-3 times a week in the evenings to help lift any dead cells and debris. Scrubs are helpful with sloughing away built-up dry and dead skin in Winter, though in the warmer months I’d recommend using a gentle chemical exfoliant. AHA (glycolic, lactic, citric or malic acid) is wonderful for those with normal and dry skin, a BHA (salicylic acid) can really penetrate the pores, so is helpful for those with acne or congestion, and a PHA (gluconolactone and lactobionic acid) is mild enough for those with sensitive skin. Though, some intelligent formulas combine all three in perfect ratios so you can enjoy the benefits of each in one simple step.

It’s vital to infuse the complexion with antioxidants as the weather warms and we’re faced with increased sun exposure. Using an antioxidant-rich serum acts as an extra line of defence against UV-induced free radical damage and oxidative stressors (which accelerate ageing and degrade collagen stores). I love using a vitamin C serum in Spring, not only to promote brightness and even skin tone but also to soften sun damage, dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Generally, the skin can tolerate higher levels of actives in warmer months with less irritation, so if you dropped certain ingredients such as retinol in the cooler months now is a great time to reintroduce them to boost cell turnover, plump, tone, refine and enliven the complexion after many months indoors.

Sun damage is the most notable – albeit preventable – cause of accelerated ageing, so taking this knowledge and using it to our advantage by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen each day will yield incredible benefits. From Winter to Summer and the seasons in between, applying an SPF50 as the final step in your skincare routine every morning is a must. Consider swapping out more nourishing formulas for lighter, less occlusive ones as the temperatures rise. Many modern suncare products also contain light-reflecting particles that give the skin a boost of radiance, working to lift a dehydrated, dull and devitalised complexion and doubling as a primer to ward off shine by the end of the day.

As the days get longer and warmer, it’s only natural that our social calendars become more vibrant, too. In an attempt to streamline your regime, consider skincare-makeup-hybrids that even tone, blur imperfections and add radiance will not only save time but will prevent congestion and heaviness in humid weather.