By Jill Dunn
While some with sensitive skin eschew exfoliating in winter for fear of over-drying, come spring it’s a sure shot for a fresh face. “Exfoliation is important year-round and it’s one of the cheapest and fastest ways to better-looking skin,” says Toronto Dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett, who suggests a daily non-foaming, gel-based exfoliating cleanser. For deeper cleansing, use a more intense scrub or peel. Start slowly at once a week.
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We know retinol-based formulas work to smooth away fine lines but retinol is a little hard to tolerate in winter because it can be drying. Come spring, introduce it at night. A good way to do this is to use a retinol serum which can be applied with your moisturizer to prevent irritation,” says Dr. Kellett. As your skin builds tolerance, the amount can be slowly increased and should be applied uniformly on the entire face.
With increased daylight hours, you’ll need to rely on a minimum SPF 30 for protection against both of the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays. Wondering how much to apply? A quarter to a half a teaspoon of lotion is ideal for your face. Boost your skin’s defences with an antioxidant serum containing vitamin C, green tea or polyphenols (found in grapes and dark berries). Layer this serum under your SPF every morning for extra protection.
Warmer weather can spur increased oil production, clogging pores and causing breakouts. “With the increase in environmental humidity, spring is a good time to switch to a lighter moisturizer,” says Dr. Kellett, who recommends a gel-based formula. To tackle spots, try a salicylic acid treatment, avoiding formulas intended for teenagers that are alcohol-laden and can dry excessively.