Essential Tips To Bring Your Skincare Into Spring

We all deal with different skin conditions. Some of us struggle with oily or dry skin, others deal with acne-prone skin and scarring that's lasted for decades, and still many of us are focused on how age-related changes affect us. But let's be sure not to underestimate the impact the seasons have on this oversized, protective organ we call our skin.  

For instance, 2011 research in The International Journal of Cosmetic Science shows that from winter to summer, the facial skin of women produces an increase in sebum, an oily substance used to protect the skin. This leads to a higher level of hydration during the warmer seasons. At the same time, skin is also prone to dryness as a result of increased sun exposure. Thus, our skincare regimen should account for these conditions. While there is no one-size-fits-all skincare regimen, there are some general skincare tips we can follow to ensure that our skin keeps up with the demands of the new season, like dealing with excess oil, switching up our products, and increasing our SPF. So as silver, white winters melt into spring, here's what to keep in mind.

Even out excess oils

With the temperature rising, and our sweat glands working hard to ensure our body temperature is right, we can look forward to an increase in dead skin. According to an article on The, this can lead to dead skin cells getting caught on your skin's surface, which can lead to blocked pores and your skin feeling oilier than usual. And for those of us prone to acne and acne scars, anything we can do to minimize breakouts has our attention.

According to a 2011 study published in Functional Plant Science and Biotechnology, skin requires frequent exfoliation and hydration in order to stay healthy. This helps to keep pores free of excess oils from environmental toxins. The study reinforces that those with oily or acne-prone skin produce more dead skin cells than those with other skin ailments. So if that's you, it's a good idea to make exfoliating your best friend to get rid of those excess oils. 

Make sure you nourish the skin adequately

During warmer weather, heavy cleansers and moisturizers can clog the pores and prevent us from achieving the warm weather glow we're looking for. Consultant dermatologist Dr. Rinky Kapoor told The Indian Express that we should  " ... ditch the heavy emollients and switch to summer-friendly care products that will soothe, protect, and nourish your skin." You can opt for a light foaming cleanser, or a light cooling moisturizer instead of a heavyweight alternative. You can even use cucumbers. 2012 research in Fitoterapia shows that applying cucumbers to the eyes has a cooling effect on the skin, helps to get rid of dirt, and helps soothe pain from sunburn.

Be sure not to skip moisturizing altogether, though. According to the study in Functional Plant Science and Biotechnology, poorly moisturized or dehydrated skin leads to "fractures" in the skin's "cellular barrier" causing it to become "tight and stretched." On the other hand, you also don't want to over-moisturize, as this can lead to your skin producing less moisture on its own. And while you're going for a lighter cleanser, it's a good idea to avoid heavy makeup that can be harder to remove and contributes to dirt and oil in the skin.

Make sure your SPF is high enough

While you may not bother with sunscreen all year long (although it's recommended), it's definitely not something you want to pooh-pooh during the warmer months when your skin will likely be exposed to the sun rays for longer periods. The increased sun exposure damages skin cells, accelerates aging, and can lead to skin cancer due to ultraviolet radiation (via Functional Plant Science and Biotechnology).

It's important to use sunscreen on all areas exposed to the sun, including your face. Unfortunately, relying on makeup with SPF may not cut it. According to an article written by Dr. Anna Lien-Lun Chien, M.D.  in Johns Hopkins Medicine, makeup with SPF is not enough to protect your face from sun exposure. She recommends a sunscreen with SPF 60 or higher if you are going to be outside.

If you are using medication for acne-prone skin, sunscreen can offset the side effects of acne medications. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner told NBC that "many acne medications make your skin sensitive to sunburn" and sunscreen offers the necessary protection. Oil and fragrance-free sunscreens are also recommended for acne-prone skin.