Is your complexion ready for the new season?
We awaken to spring much like animals and plants do, but often, we are too busy to be aware of it in ourselves. As days brighten and sunlight hours lengthen, we are drawn outside to actively revel in the beauty of spring. We swap out our winter wardrobe for lighter clothing. We yearn for the lighter flavors of spring foods instead of the cozy winter comfort foods. Our skin care appropriately needs to transition with the season too, and I’m going to help you understand how.
I love spring, and I love to observe this transition in myself. I’m already in the midst of it. In this 3 part series, we will mindfully prepare ourselves to ease into spring, ready to awaken to sunlight, bright and beautiful days, more physical activity, and to support our skin for what’s ahead.
Last week we began the process with 3 steps:
- Getting serious about sunscreen.
- Loosening up our body and spirit with yoga.
- Exfoliating away dull dead skin covered by winter clothing and dry from cold windy outside weather and dehumidified and heated indoor air.
Continuing our emergence from winter and awakening into spring:
4. Boost your skin’s antioxidant reserve to avoid damaging free radicals.
You’ll want to be out walking or sitting on a bench in the spring sunlight. Wear antioxidants under your sunscreen. Green Tea EGCG polyphenol antioxidants and L-ascorbic acid/vitamin C have proven benefits for helping your skin resist UV free radical damage that comes with exposure to sun and environmental stresses.
All skin types benefit from green tea without difficulty. My top choice is Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy, which is formulated based on science that proves the benefit of the key ingredients in reducing skin cancer tumors and UV skin damage. Even sensitive complexions can use Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy used once or twice a day. It even helps reduce skin redness from conditions such as rosacea or acne, in addition to boosting skin’s antioxidant reserve for free radical defense. This is a product I use every day and am doubly sure to apply it dutifully during the sunny times when I will be outdoors often.
Vitamin C is another powerful antioxidant shown to defend skin from damaging free radicals. High levels are also known to stimulate collagen renewal to help fight wrinkles. Vitamin C’s additional benefit to help prevent hyperpigmentation due to its inhibition of melanin production make it ideal for spring and summer. We can increase the amount of vitamin C in our skin, beyond what is possible through diet or oral vitamin supplements, by adding a professional vitamin C product to our skin care routine. Vitamin C Anti-Wrinkle Treatment Serum is the ideal choice because it is formulated and dispensed to ensure that you get all the potential benefits possible from adding vitamin C. This serum is formulated to a pH or 3 and dispensed in an airtight container so potency is not lost to oxidation (all products in droppers and other containers that are not airtight lose potency quickly). These are key requirements for vitamin C efficacy. If you have normal to tolerant skin, adding Vitamin C Serum during the day is a great way to prepare skin for spring.
As a 60+ year old dermatologist who pays close attention to anti-aging skin care, I know that green tea and Vitamin C are the two best antioxidants to add to our skin care as we are drawn outside into the spring sunlight.
5. Reorganize your skin care routine and simplify to what is really important.
The mystery of great skin care really can be distilled down to the 4 essential steps of :
When you cover these 4 steps in your skincare routine you achieve the best results. I call it a Complete Skin Care Routine.
As you transition into spring, prune out the extraneous products and treatments you occasionally use. Focus on what’s really important for your complexion. It’s analogous to pruning roses or fruit trees, this focused simplification will push forward new vigor for your complexion. Here is my guide:
Chose a simple cleanser based on your skin type. The idea is to remove product, oil, dirt, debris without over-cleaning your skin’s natural barrier lipids. Great options include my Extremely Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser for all skin types or Daily Foaming Facial Cleanser for normal to oily complexions and for men who wet shave. Or, go all natural with my Naturally Best Bar Soap – simple, smart, hypoallergenic, economical skin cleansing for the entire family.
Add a toner step to your cleansing routine if you have large pores, oily skin or want to be certain to remove all of the product, dirt and debris from your skin. My Naturally Hydrating Pore Minimizing Toner is non-drying and ideal for all skin types. I love the way my skin feels after using the toner on a cotton pad.
Correct skin problems by applying therapeutic products right after washing. What is it your skin really needs? In spring, this is when you want to focus on loading your skin’s antioxidant reserve with green tea and/or Vitamin C during the day. At night, think about Retinol. My Retinol Cream has the same green tea as my Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy – apply Green Tea in the AM and Retinol in PM for the ultimate in smart skin care that’s backed by the best current skin care science.
To balance your skin’s moisture by applying a moisturizer matched to your skin type. Lighten up your product as cold winter days warm to spring, and ambient humidity rises. If you loved my Daily Face Cream for Dry to Normal Skin or Natural Butter in winter, you may want to try a lighter option such am my Daily Face Cream for Oily to Normal Skin or my Natural Lotion. If your skin is oily, you may want to try my Instantly Luminous Serum or just the Green Tea Antioxidant Therapy (both are rich in hyaluronic acid) in place of a moisturizer on those portions of your face that produce too much oil.
Use a pure zinc oxide sunscreen this year. It’s time to make this simple and smart sunscreen choice. Zinc oxide is now easy to use. It provides the best and most trusted broad spectrum UV protection. It’s also hypoallergenic and non-irritating. Here are some great choices:
I wear Suntegrity 5 in 1 BB Sunscreen SPF 30+ everyday in place of a moisturizer. It is tinted and doubles as foundation - and it looks beautiful on my 60+ year old complexion.
I wear Sheer Strength Pure Physical Spray SPF 50+ transparent sunscreen on my neck, decollette, ears and the back of my hands and/or arms (if exposed). It’s so easy.
Normal to oily complexions may prefer Sheer Strength Invisible or Matte Tinted Sunscreens for facial protection. The Matte Tinted helps absorb oil and the iron oxide is ideal to help prevent melasma hyperpigmentation in those prone to it.
6. Go outside!
Put on a hat, sunscreen and go outdoors. Watch, see and relish nature as it too emerges from hibernation - walk, picnic, watch the birds, discover the first butterflies, see spring rains bringing spring flowers, watch puffy clouds cross the cerulean blue spring sky – it’s all happening – and your soul and mood will lighten as you pass time in nature.
Your skin is ready, your spirit yearns for it, and there is so much to see as we awaken from winter into the new season.