As an Ayurvedic Practitioner, I believe that our bodies are affected by the environment around us. The weather, temperature and energy that surrounds us plays a major role in what our skin and bodily tissues are exposed to. In response, we need to change our diet, lifestyle and self-care to respond to this, keeping our bodies in balance. This is something I have also known for a long time as an esthetician. It is no secret that different climates poses different stressors on our skin, so the way we maintain and protect it also must be influenced by this. As springtime approaches, we move into warmer, more humid weather along with longer daylight hours for stronger, prolonged sun exposure. So, in my professional opinion, here are the top six ways you should be changing your skincare to respond to the new spring season.
1. Switch Your Oils
Gone are the days where skincare professionals tell you to stop using oil in the spring and summertime. At least I hope so! Face oils are wonderful for locking in hydration: something we need all year round. They also provide us with a barrier between us and the environment. While this is wonderful for protection against the harsh elements in winter, its also important to shield our skin in warmer seasons as we are more exposed to outdoor pollution and smog. This is incredibly damaging and aging to our skin! So, while I tout keeping your oil this spring, changing oils is a good idea. Let go of rich, emollient oils such as sesame, avocado and castor and opt for lighter ones such as coconut and jojoba. Along with this, refrain from using circulation-increasing oils such as castor, sesame and mustard seed. In the winter, its good to promote blood flow to combat cold weather vascular constriction (goodbye dull complexions!) but in the spring and summer they can over-stimulate and heat the skin. During warmer seasons you want to mitigate inflammation as the heat in the environment can trigger inflammation reactions such as acne breakouts, hypersensitivity and rosacea flareups.
2. Scrub Don’t Peel
Start spring with a deep exfoliation session. This will clear about dead skin cells left behind from winter dryness. If you get a facial with a peel even better. However, after your initial spring cleaning, I suggest only exfoliating with scrub exfoliators. These are easier to control and remain more on the surface. Why do I want you to be more gentle and avoid overly deep exfoliation? Sun of course! Avoid sun damage by making sure you do not over peel your skin. If you are using a peel in the summertime, make sure you ask a skin pro if this is right for you. Peels can be beneficial this season but in a regime that is carefully crafted to guard against UV damage.
If you’re not already using sun protection, start now. I repeat, start now. Springtime is the perfect time to incorporate it into your regimen as the sun just starting to get stronger and out for longer. You can do this by using in or on top of your moisturizer or in a mineral makeup powder (as it has SPF). A good quality mineral block can also serve a multi-purpose complexion mattifier as it naturally reduces shine.
4. Use a Skin Mister
I’m a huge advocate of toning the skin before moisturizing. Here’s why. But in the springtime we can even ramp up our toner usage and apply it as a hydrating skin mister. Transfer your toner to a spritz bottle, et voila: A refreshing skin mister! You can use this to balance you pH, infuse hydration in and soften powdery makeup. I don’t believe in using drying, alcohol-based toners – see my post on habits that GIVE you acne – and instead using all-natural hydrosols (water extracted from plants). Misting your hydrosol throughout the day only helps increase water-content in the skin without the use of barrier oils. Even better, on hotter days, keep your toner in the fridge for anti-inflammatory hydration.
5. Lighten Up
As much as you should not stop moisturizing in warmer weather, you can light up the texture of your moisturizing products. We don’t need rich butters and salves to seal cracked, dry skin anymore – we need a good skin drink of water! This is because we start to sweat more and spend more time in the sun. So, look for a lighter moisturizer that will absorb easily and into your deeper tissues. Ingredients such as algae and hyaluronic acid help your skin hold hydration, retaining moisture. Pair this will your lighter, anti-inflammatory face oil and you’ll be radiant all season.
6. Get a Clay Mask
Springtime is a common time to breakout and buildup sweat and impurities in your pores. So, a clay mask is essential weekly skin therapy to detox our complexions. We can also use clay masks as a spot treatment overnight on blemishes. This is a great way to dry out pimples without drying out your overall skin. I always pack a clay mask when going on spring or summer vacations because its excellent for travel break outs, drying out wet infections and soothing mosquito bites (it reduces their swelling and takes out their itch!). Arm yourself with clay for a variety of springtime skin emergencies that require drawing out impurities!