It may be a beautiful time of year, but it’s no secret the arrival of spring – with higher temperatures and pollen counts – often coincides with associated seasonal skin problems. A tricky time to navigate for some, it’s especially so for those with sensitive and allergy-prone skin and eyes. However, spring flowers in bloom needn’t signal the end of your time outdoors! To learn how to transition your skincare routine from winter to spring, read on. These straightforward skincare tips will help all skin types make the most of the season.
How changing seasons affect the skin
Regardless of whether your skin is dry, oily, normal or combination, a change in season can cause subtle – or in some cases, not so subtle – changes to your overall complexion. Some of these changes will be welcome. Others? Not so much. In spring (and more notably, summer), warmer weather and greater humidity can increase hydration and relieve sensations of tightness in dry skin. For oily and acne-prone individuals, however, these conditions also tend to accentuate oil production and manifest in breakouts. Sudden changes in weather have the potential to cause headaches for sensitive and allergy-prone skin, in particular. With an already compromised skin barrier, these individuals may experience an increase in redness, itching and discomfort during spring – when pollen levels are at their highest.
7 spring skincare tips for a contented complexion
Just as you change your wardrobe with the seasons, you might also need to reassess your skincare. From sensitising ingredients to avoid to ways to combat excess oil, these simple spring skincare tips will help reduce change-of-season skin stressors.
# 1 - Spring clean your bathroom cabinet
As well as tackling your pantry, give your bathroom cabinet a good spring clean in September to set you up for the season. This means removing any out of date, questionable looking and unloved products. Haven’t used something in the past 12 months? You’re unlikely to start now, so consider regifting or donating unopened and unused skincare – especially if it’s not suited to your skin type. Also make sure you toss any products sitting around opened for more than 6 months. Why? There is a potential for products to become contaminated if kept for a prolonged period, which may cause an adverse reaction – particularly in sensitive skin.
# 2 - Simplify your skincare regime
Many of us will simply switch to a lighter weight moisturiser during spring. But if your skin is suddenly sensitive and reacting to products it tolerated during winter, it’s often a sign you should pare things back. As a rule, the fewer ingredients the better when sensitivity occurs. This means you might want to consider eliminating potential irritants, such as fragrance and essential oils, as well as abrasive manual exfoliants from your skincare regimen. Try sticking to a gentle cleanser, minimalist moisturiser and broad-spectrum, high-SPF sunscreen as your daily essentials.
# 3 - Stick with your anti-acne regime
As for oily skin in spring? Increased sebum production and sweat can lead to blocked pores and create the ideal environment for breakouts, so it’s important to practise good hygiene. Cleanse twice daily with a product formulated for oily skin and adhere strictly to your anti-acne skincare regimen. This should include products formulated with salicylic acid to micro-exfoliate skin and unplug pores, such as La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Duo (+) Anti-Acne Moisturiser and Micro-Peeling Purifying Gel Cleanser.
# 4 - Protect yourself against external irritants
Sun, smoke, pollution and pollen all have the capacity to irritate sensitive skin, so limit your exposure as much as possible. If spring sends your allergies into overdrive, stay inside on high pollen-count days and cover your skin and eyes with protective clothing and sunglasses.
As always, a high-level, broad spectrum sunscreen should be part of your daily skincare routine to prevent sun damage and premature ageing. However, it’s important to choose correctly to suit your skin type: select a sensitive skin formula suited to your specific skin type, such as those in the La Roche-Posay Anthelios range.
Dermatologically tested, non-comedogenic and fragrance free, Anthelios Invisible Fluid SPF50+ delivers very high UVA and UVB protection in an ultra-lightweight formula for normal to combination sensitive skin, while the Anti-Shine Dry Touch formula helps mattify oily, acne-prone skin. Those with dry skin in spring will benefit from the non-greasy, nourishment of Anthelios ULTRA Cream SPF 50+.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE. Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure. Sunscreen is only one part of sun protection so wear protective clothing and seek shade. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, towelling and perspiring in accordance with directions.
# 5 - Reinforce your skin barrier
Just as minimising exposure to allergens and other stressors will minimise discomfort, so too will strengthening the skin barrier. An invisible shield, the skin barrier plays an important role in optimising skin health, by keeping environmental irritants out and locking moisture in.
There are many things you can do to promote a healthy skin barrier function, but the simplest is ensuring the skin is well hydrated. In sensitive and allergic skin, this means applying a moisturiser, morning and night.
Free from fragrance, alcohol, colourants and lanolin, La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Sensitive Facial Moisturiser supports dry, sensitive skin with a true minimalist formula, hermetically sealed to ensure purity. Enriched with Neurosensine™ to reduce visible redness, it also contains La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water to soothe. (Normal or combination skin? Try Toleriane Ultra Light Sensitive.)
Allergy-prone and ultra-sensitive skin may also benefit from a soothing serum, such as the Toleriane Ultra Dermallergo Serum – formulated to hydrate and comfort sensitive skin and strengthen its barrier.
While it’s tempting to try to aggressively slough off those dry, winter layers – don’t. Doing so will compromise the skin barrier and potentially create microtears. So, bypass any harsh, manual exfoliants in favour of products that contain gentle chemical exfoliants such as BHAs, also taking care not to over-exfoliate.
# 6 - Give irritated eyes some extra love
Itchy, puffy, irritated eyes are not uncommon during spring. To care for your eye area, always cleanse the eyes thoroughly each night to remove makeup and impurities, then apply a minimalist eye cream to hydrate and soothe the eye contour. Formulated with soothing Neurosensine™ and barrier-boosting Niacinamide, Toleriane Ultra Eye Contour is formulated to care fo the sensitive eye contour.
# 7 - Don’t neglect your body
When updating your spring skincare routine, don’t neglect what’s happening below the neck. Because, after all, it’s not just the skin on your face that can struggle to adapt to sudden fluctuations in weather and temperature.
Ultra-dry and allergy-prone skin can be especially vulnerable to spring allergens, and experience redness, itching and uncomfortable dryness flare ups. A gentle, nourishing body lotion – such as Lipikar AP+ M Body Balm – can help strengthen the skin barrier and provide relief from dryness. Formulated with prebiotics, shea butter and Niacinamide, the fragrance-free, lipid-replenishing body balm helps to reduce dryness for newborns through to adults.
On the other hand, with more time spent being active (read: sweaty), others may experience an increase in body acne during spring. If this is the case for you, our back acne article has advice to help you break the breakout cycle.