What are the most important steps to transition your skin care for spring? It’s important know because the weather, ambient humidity and your activities are going to change significantly – thank goodness!! Your skin needs you to switch up your skin care routine to meet the changes. Emerge into spring glowing with skin that looks and feels great in warm weather clothing. Be sure your skin’s protected as you step outside into spring. Here are my dermatologist tips for the best spring skin care transitions. I'm going to highlight them in the order of the 4 essential steps of Complete Skin Care™ which are: 1) Cleanse, 2) Correct, 3) Hydrate, 4) Protect.
Transition your Skin Care for Spring
- Dermatologist’s 8 Tips to Transition your Skin Care for Spring
- Boost your skin’s antioxidant reserve
- Switch up your moisturizer as you transition from winter to spring
- Get serious about sunscreen
- Exfoliate from neck to toes for satiny, soft glowing skin
- Fight the appearance of (and accumulation of new) dark spots
- Spring lifestyle to support glowing vibrant skin
- Dermatologist’s Skin Care Kits to Transition your Skin Care for Spring
Dermatologist’s 8 Tips to Transition your Skin Care for Spring
1. Spring clean your facial skin so that it glows.
Use a pH balanced cleanser followed by a gentle toner to deeply clean skin without over drying. The pH balanced cleanser will preserve your skin's acid mantle, important for a healthy skin barrier. An alcohol-free witch hazel toner will refine pores and sooth irritated skin.
My favorite combination is my Triple Action Exfoliating Cleanser followed by my Naturally Hydrating Pore Minimizing Toner. I call this combination my Pore Minimizer Cleanse Kit. and it's perfect for spring. Gently exfoliate with AHA/BHA and eco-friendly beads while refining the appearance of pores; reveal super clean glowing skin that is ready to maximally absorb your next products. Organic witch hazel and rose hydrosol in my toner soothe any skin inflammation.
2. Boost your skin’s antioxidant reserve.
This is key to preventing free radical skin damage that leads to premature skin aging. You’ll be outside enjoying spring and your skin will benefit from a fully loaded antioxidant reserve. Wear the best antioxidant under your sunscreen. Studies have shown that this important combination reduces UV skin damage as well as the redness and inflammation from sun sensitive conditions such as rosacea.
The best and most well studied antioxidants in skin care science are green tea EGCG polyphenols and L-ascorbic acid/vitamin C. Pick one and wear it daily.
My top choice antioxidants for skin care are the EGCG polyphenols from green tea which are well studied and tolerated by all skin types. Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey
My Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy contains pharmaceutical grade 80-90% pure green tea polyphenol isolates equivalent to that found in 500 cups of green tea per one ounce of cream. You can’t get a better green tea skin care product.
Vitamin C is the other powerful skin care antioxidant shown to defend skin from damaging free radicals. High levels are also known to stimulate collagen renewal and help reduce uneven skin pigment problems. You 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 contains 15% L-ascorbic acid formulated to a pH of 3 and dispensed in an airtight container. This is what it takes to ensure that you get active vitamin C into your skin. Anything less and you aren't getting all the active vitamin C out of your product because it's unstable and readily oxidizes (becomes inactive) on contact with air. - Dr. Bailey
The way I recommend using a vitamin C serum is to apply it daily for a week to bring the vitamin C content to supraphysiologic levels. I think it is then reasonable to use it as little as every 4th day because the half-life of vitamin C in your skin is 4 days, meaning you still have a lot in there.
Know that a good vitamin C serum is irritating to sensitive skin but if your skin tolerates it, the benefits are significant. I recommend alternating it with the Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy so that your skin gets the benefits of both.
3. Switch up your moisturizer as you transition from winter to spring
Lighten up on your daytime facial moisturizer and deeply hydrate your skin at night. It's a great trick for keeping your skin feeling great during warm spring days while still supporting your skin barrier. Warm days mean sweating and, depending on where you live, exposure to a more humid climate. Your skin will look and feel better during the day when you wear a lighter texture moisturizer.
Pro Tip: I recommend leveraging the water binding power of a fractionated hyaluronic acid serum to fight limp, crepey, dehydrated skin. Apply it under a light textured moisturizer for the perfect look and feel to your skin during a spring day. - Dermatologist Dr. B
Fractionated hyaluronic acid holds water throughout the layers of your skin without the need for a heavy moisturizer to prevent evaporation. I apply my fractionated hyaluronic acid Instantly Luminous Multi-Action Serum under my Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy. This product combo is so popular that I put them together in my Layered Up Besties Duo. I top this beautiful duo with my Daily Moisturizing Face Cream to prevent limp and crepey skin, load antioxidants and perfectly hydrate my skin. My skin looks and feels great on warm spring days.
4.Get serious about sunscreen.
You’ll be outdoors more. Be sure you are using an SPF 30+ broad spectrum zinc oxide product.
I’ve been extolling the superiority of zinc oxide sunscreen for years. My patients and readers already know this and now the FDA and other experts are coming around. Instead of being a lone voice I'm now part of a chorus and I'm thrilled. Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey.
Use a light textured but high concentration zinc oxide sunscreen on all exposed skin daily. Put it on in the morning before you step outside. Two additional important tips:
- Never scrimp on your sunscreen because my patients and I have seen firsthand how quality and efficacy vary. Use only trusted products with excellent reputations.
- Never trust moisturizer or makeup that claim to be sunscreens. Always use a real sunscreen to protect your precious skin.
My zinc oxide sunscreens are trusted and patient-proven.
Sheer Strength Pure Physical Matte Tinted SPF 30+ helps to hide complexion flaws. The tinting technology blends into all skin tones. This is my personal favorite facial sunscreen and I wear it every day.Sheer Strength Pure Physical Water-Resistant Spray SPF 50+ gives you very water-resistant protection for swimming and excessive sweating. This is your spring and summer active-wear SPF in a handy non-aerosol spray canister - the latest broad spectrum chemical-free sunscreen filters in an easy-to-use SPF for the entire family. This is my swimming and hiking sunscreen. I stock the house with it every spring so it's handy for my family and there's no excuse for taking precious unprotected skin outside into the sun.
Sheer Strength Pure Physical SPF 50 Refresh Sunscreen Powder makes reapplication of facial sunscreen throughout the day easy. Tinting includes over 3.2% iron oxide to help prevent darkening of stubborn pigment problems such as melasma. I carry this in my purse to reapply throughout the day.
Sheer Strength Pure Physical Untinted SPF 50 Liquid Sunscreen gives you pure mineral protection for every day wear for those who prefer an untinted product.
All Sheer Strength Sunscreens are non-comedogenic, cruelty free and made in the U.S.A.
5. Lighten up your makeup.
Pure mineral powder is the ideal spring makeup solution. It lightly softens complexion shine from little beads of sweat or excess oil as the weather warms. Mineral makeup powder beautifully tops sunscreen, allowing you to create the aesthetic appearance you want without compromising your sun protection.
With pure mineral powder makeup products, you are avoiding fragrance, chemicals and preservatives that can cause allergic reactions or other potential problems. It’s a key product for Minimalist Skin Care - the perfect skin care theme for spring. - Dr. B
My mineral makeup is finely milled to avoid clumping and flaking, while at the same time providing excellent and long-lasting coverage. I include just a hint of mica to give you a luminous complexion that matches spring. Click here to see my makeup collection, including blinc mascara, the ultimate in no-run or smear mascara.
6. Exfoliate from neck to toes for satiny, soft glowing skin!
Emerge from your layered winter wardrobe with soft, satiny skin. Shoulders that highlight definition, shin and knee skin without dry flakes, arms and elbows that surprise you with softness as your hand brushes against them, why not?! Skin almost hibernates in winter’s dry, dehumidified air and it’s so easy to reveal fresh, dewy, soft new skin.
Use my Ultra-Fast Triple Action Body Smoothing Kit for your skin from the neck down to your toes. If your feet love to rough up, give ‘em a little more exfoliation by adding Mr. Pumi, the industry standard when it comes to synthetic foot pumice bars.
7. Fight the appearance of (and accumulation of new) dark spots
This takes work as you transition to more outside time. Your sunscreen will help but you need to fight even harder against nature if you really want to avoid an accumulation of sun spots or worsening melasma. Continue using retinol at night and glycolic acid. Good sun protection with hat, sunscreen and UPF 50 clothing will protect exfoliated skin. You can always tell if you sun protection is good enough because skin responds to any UV exposure by making a tan. If you don't tan then you are UV protecting well.
When you do plan extreme sun exposure activities, stop exfoliating and using retinol and glycolic acid for at least 2 weeks to build up dead skin cells to help scatter UV rays. The rest of the time, keep your glow on with these great products
8. Spring lifestyle to support glowing vibrant skin
Spring is the perfect time to go outside, enjoy the beauty of nature and get some much-needed exercise. Take a walk, ride a bike, go for a run – whatever. It’s good for you and your complexion will benefit. Eat the season of delicious spring produce and watch your complexion transform. Winter’s comfort foods are full of notorious complexion spoilers like carbs, sugar and dairy. Spring brings peas, asparagus, the most delicate lettuce, strawberries, blueberries and more. These foods build glowing complexions as much as they support overall health and vitality. There’s so much to love about spring.
Dermatologist’s Skin Care Kits to Transition your Skin Care for Spring
I've taken the guess work out of your spring skin care transition by building compatible products into routines. Here are my favorites:
I combine Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy with my Vitamin C Professional Anti-Wrinkle Serum to cover all the antioxidant bases. Pair that with a pH balanced cleanser, the right facial moisturizer and best tinted chemical-free sunscreen and I've got you covered with smart spring skin care; fend off free radicals, pigment problems and future wrinkles with a dermatologist's Complete Skin Care Routine for healthy facial skin. Add a UPF 50 sun hat and you're set for dermatologist-recommended sun protection for skin cancer risk reduction and superb anti-aging skin care!
The perfect cleanser for sensitive complexions combined with Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy, your choice for facial moisturizers and the most versatile sunscreen. This compatible and Complete Skin Care Routine is the foundation of all routines I've designed for sensitive facial complexions in my dermatology practice for years.
Sport soft satiny skin - control dry flakes, roughness and crusty age spots. My body skin care kit works so well that my husband actually thinks smooth skin is normal as we age! Add Mr. Pumi and you also tackle rough feet with one kit!
Author: Dr. Cynthia Bailey M.D. is a Board Certified dermatologist practicing dermatology since 1987. She has done well over 200,000 skin exams during her career and authors the longest running physician written skin health blog in the world.