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With warmer days ahead, we’re excited to shed those extra winter layers—and this includes our wardrobes as well as our skin. “The beginning of spring is great news for our skin, as the increase in temperatures and humidity is beneficial for moisture levels as well as overall healthy appearance,” says board-certified Miami dermatologist Dr. Ileana Perez-Quintairos. Now’s the time to put a fresh face forward, and there are myriad ways to both improve cold-induced dullness and dryness from head to toe while revealing the healthy, radiant skin you crave for spring, summer and well beyond.
It’s all about exfoliation
Low humidity, cold weather and exposure to artificial heat can cause skin cells to accumulate on the skin over the course of winter. According to Dr. Debra Jaliman, board-certified New York City dermatologist, Assistant Professor of Dermatology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and author of the book, Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist, “Exfoliation helps get rid of that dry, flaky, winter skin and allows for maximum absorption of your skincare products.”
Yet there are a few ways to exfoliate… Mechanical exfoliation includes use of a sponge, brush, or a scrub to gently remove dry, dead skin cells. Chemical exfoliation uses acid-based products to reduce dull, dry, dead skin cells. “In-office chemical peels are a great option for virtually anyone, since they can be customized to each patient’s unique skin type and concerns,” explains Dr. Perez-Quintairos. These professional treatments can help improve dry skin, acne, discoloration, visible signs of aging and more. Dr. Jaliman recommends salicylic acid peels for oily skin and clogged pores, and says, “A lactic acid peel is gentle and good for brightening the complexion and improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in even the most sensitive skin.”
Product to try: Whether used on its own or as part of a multi-step cleansing regimen, Good Science Beauty Skin Renewing Polishing Powder gives your regimen a skin-smoothing exfoliating boost along with antioxidants to help shield the skin from environmental damage plus vitamin E, turmeric and sandalwood to calm and rejuvenate.
Refresh your skin’s surface
Exfoliation works wonders for revealing fresh, radiant skin, but it can take some extra effort to improve fine lines, wrinkles and unwanted pigment—and laser treatments can help you put your best face forward for spring. “I often recommend the RevLite laser to stimulate collagen production in the upper layers of the skin to improve the look of fine lines—and it’s also a safe and effective option for treating the appearance of dark spots, melasma, sun damage and scarring,” says Dr. Jaliman.
Don’t forget your feet
Unless you live in the South, odds are your feet have been cooped up in boots and closed-toe shoes for the past several months—any perhaps you’ve been lax with the pedicures as well. Now’s the time to prep your feet before sandals become part of your footwear rotation, and a potent product that hydrates and exfoliates is in order. “Alpha-hydroxy acids are extremely effective for smoothing rough skin, but the addition of urea provides moisture and helps lock it into the skin while providing exfoliating benefits as well,” explains Nashville, Tennessee dermatologist Dr. Michael Gold.
Product to try: Formulated to provide intense moisture and soften severely dry skin, Replenix Glyco-Urea 15-15 Cream can be used on stubborn rough spots due to keratosis pilaris and calluses to get your skin ready for the big spring reveal.
Edit your makeup
“Just as we do spring cleaning in our homes, this is also a great time to get rid of any old makeup,” says Dr. Jaliman. Similar to the clothes in your closet, if you haven’t used a product in a year, you should probably ditch it. Unlike clothing (trends aside), makeup has an expiration date. Consider these guidelines from when it’s time to toss:
- Mascara: Air and bacteria get into the tube every time you use it, so it’s best to replace your mascara every three to six months.
- Eyeliner: Sharpening with every use can help keep your eyeliner germ-free for up to a year, but retractable pencils or gels have a shelf life of about six months.
- Powders: Eyeshadows, blushes and other powders are generally good for up to two years, but be sure to keep an eye out for changes in texture or smell that can mean the product has gone bad.
- Foundation: Pump-based foundations can maintain their integrity for up to two years, but then it’s a great time to try something new.
- Lipstick: We have a tendency to collect lipsticks, but it’s usually best to discard them after two years—and sanitize them with a spritz of alcohol before using if it’s been a while since your last use.
Product to try: If you’re in the market for a new foundation for spring, check out IT Cosmetics’ new Confidence in a Foundation. With weightless full coverage that lasts all day—and an oil-free formula that contains skin-friendly ceramides, peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid and squalene, it has you and your skin covered.
Hair needs extra care, too
Winter can leave a lasting impression on your hair, but a nutrient- and moisture-rich treatment can make a big difference in the softness and smoothness of your strands. Spending more time outdoors means you hair needs protection from the elements as well, which is why it’s important to use a product that works from the inside out to maximize its health and appearance.
Product to try: Offering the rejuvenating and reparative benefits of precious oils, goji berry and amber extract, Sally Hershberger 24K Golden Touch Nourishing Dry Oil is a pre-and post-styling treatment that helps prevent frizz and color fading as it protects your strands from damage caused by heat and environmental factors like UV rays.
NOTE: Products were provided for review. All opinions are my own.