Hands up if you’ve come out of winter with skin that feels like a piece of sand paper and looks like one of those crazy stringy bark trees? Flaky, rough, patchy and in need of a good old shedding. Oh winter, you really can be harsh on the skin.
With the change of seasons comes a little more moisture in the air and a chance to refresh your skincare regime to take advantage of the more favourable conditions. Warmer weather also tends to cause skin to relax, giving it a more open-pored look, while superficial blood vessels tend to be more obvious so our skin can look redder and we sweat more profusely.
A change of season is the perfect time to re-assess and optimise your skincare regime, so here are 6 ways to give your skin a spring clean:
1. Review Your Make Up and Accessories
It’s easy to forget that make up and skincare products have expiry dates just like food.
Expired products can be a problem because the ingredients that are included to stop the growth of mould and bad bacteria may stop working after a certain period of time. Using one of these products could contribute to issues such as acne, inflammation, eye irritations and eye infections.
A new season is a good time to review all of your make up and skincare products to check that they’re not past the sell by date. It’s also a great idea to replace any make-up brushes or sponges that you’ve had for a long time, as they can also harbour harmful bacteria.
While some experts recommend replacing make up brushes every 3-4 months, that could get pretty expensive if you’re investing in premium brands. Replacing them at least annually is definitely worth considering.
Find out more about how to take care of your make up brushes so that you can keep them for longer in this helpful article at Bustle.
2. Swap the Heavy Winter Moisturisers for a Lighter Option
Even though the moisture levels may be increasing and your skin may be feeling a little less parched, it doesn’t mean you should forget the moisturiser all together.
Qualified beauty therapist and make up artist Megan Potter recommends swapping thicker winter favourites for lighter options.
"As the weather warms up I like to swap my facial oils and moisturisers for more light weight serums and creams," says Megan. "Our skin just doesn't need as much nourishment when there's humidity in the air. While the product you used during the cooler months may have done you proud, the trick here is switch out rich creams in favour of something more lightweight."
3. Let Your Skin Breathe
With the change in humidity comes a greater likelihood of sweat and oil on the skin, which can lead to clogged pores and acne. Many experts recommend ditching the heavy foundations and going au natural, although that’s just not practical for everyone.
A new season is definitely a good time to try different products to see if they work better for your skin or to simply swap your regular staples for something lighter.
Megan recommends using a good quality pure mineral makeup that contains a natural sunscreen, as mineral makeup doesn't clog your pores and allows your skin to breathe and sweat through your makeup.
Head to the Adore Beauty website for a range of mineral make up recommended for sensitive skin.
4. Double Cleanse
Cleansing is important all year round, but even more so when you’re sweating and slathering on the sunscreen.
When the weather’s warmer it’s a great idea to add an extra round of cleansing into your bedtime routine to ensure that the day’s dirt, pollution and sun protection doesn’t end up on your pillow or remain on your skin as an overnight irritant.
There are various methods recommended for double cleansing depending on the products you have at your fingertips. The basic premise is to first use a cotton pad, cloth or wipe to remove all traces of surface makeup and dirt – your first cleanse is complete when you no longer see any dirt or make up coming off on the wipe.
Your second round of cleansing is a deep, water based cleanse where you spend a decent amount of time working your cleanser into the skin for a more thorough result.
"Whether you are double cleansing or not, be sure to massage your cleanser in for a minute to thoroughly remove make-up, toxins, pollution and buildup," says clinical facialist, Kate Kerr, in an interview with Elle. "On average, most people only spend about twenty seconds on cleansing, which isn't enough time to massage the cleanser in properly."
5. Put a Spotlight on Exfoliation
Exfoliation is a great way to remove dead skin cells and encourage cell renewal. Amperna® founder Kiri recommends adjusting your level of exfoliation according to the needs of your skin.
"In winter I exfoliate around twice a week depending on what my skin wants, but in spring I sometimes up that to four times a week and then in summer I drop it back down," says Kiri. "Last year I was in Japan all of August during their summer and I actually stopped exfoliating because they had a heatwave and I wanted to protect my skin. I believe it’s important to listen to what your skin needs and play it safe."
We recommend a gentle exfoliation regime using a non-abrasive product like our Amperna® 10% Pro+ Resurfacing Lotion.
6. Treat Your Skin to Some Professional Care
Every now and then our skin could benefit from a visit to a skincare specialist. Skin therapist Linda Jackson of Skin Wellness recommends the following treatments to her clients as a way to refresh their skin for the new season:
Vitamin Skin Infusions
"Vitamin Skin Infusions are my fave for refreshing skin after winter and these have the added benefit of preparing skin for the coming summer by driving the active ingredients right into the skin."
"Dermal needling is a great treatment tool during for the end of winter as this reboots cellular function, normalises melanin formation and normalises sebaceous secretion."
LED Light Therapy
"LED stimulates a photochemical response to encourage healing, so this is a great treatment course to undertake in preparation for summer."
Linda also lists the following as part of her recommended skin spring cleaning regime:
- Using an AHA (alpha hydroxyl acid) face mask twice a week
- Stepping up the vitamin A content of night creams
- Increase intake of vitamin C and anti-oxidants to help protect from increased UV levels
Don’t Forget the Sun Protection
All skincare experts will advise you to step up your use of sun protection with the warmer weather. Whether that be a more regular application of sunscreen, keeping a hat with you whenever you head out doors or checking the day’s UV levels, everything you to do protect your skin from the sun reduces the risk of damage, fine lines and wrinkles.
"Be vigilant with sunscreen," says Linda. "Apply it in greater quantities and more frequently. A tinted sunscreen or BB cream creates a healthy, moist looking skin."
Do you have any great spring cleaning skincare tips? We’d love to hear about them!