As much as you might like to, it just doesn’t make sense to repeat the same skincare routine every day. Not only will your skin have different needs on any given day, but the season has a huge effect. Say the weather is hot and sticky and your face feels sweaty – piling on your heavy winter moisturiser wouldn’t make sense, and it could lead to your face looking dull.
Now is the perfect time to think about how best to switch up your routine to give your skin the most love possible. Consider your seasonal needs: Hot weather and cold weather call for different routines.
“In winter, the skin gets dry, pale and dull due to cold and wind. The spring warmth and sunshine means your skin will have different needs,” says Dr Anton Alexandroff, consultant dermatologist at BMI The Manor Hospital in Bedford. While this doesn’t mean you should skip your routine entirely, it does mean it’s worthwhile focusing on different things.
How to fix dull looking skin
“Use lighter, less greasy moisturisers in warmer months,” is Alexandroff’s top piece of advice. But while there is no need to use heavy-duty emollients, he says, your skin still needs moisture.
Dermatologist and founder of Murad Skincare, Dr Howard Murad, agrees with this analysis, saying: “Dry weather in the winter can zap moisture from the skin, but as the weather starts to get warmer, your body naturally produces more oil, and is therefore better able to hydrate itself.”
If you switch to lighter, water-based moisturisers, you will minimise any clogging of your pores.
Murad Nutrient Charged Water Gel, Amazon.
Vichy LiftActiv Collagen Specialist Cream SPF 25, Amazon.
Antioxidants are key to protecting your skin. These are the ingredients which reduce the impact of free radicals – which damage skin cells – and help give you a brighter, bouncier complexion. They’re a skincare saviour all year round.
Murad explains “incorporating antioxidants into your routine will boost your skin’s ability to protect itself and combat free radicals.”
The easiest way to treat your skin to more antioxidants is to look for products which include vitamin C. This ingredient “helps protect skin cells against environmental damage, and when used in intense quantities, helps build collagen, brighten skin and neutralise toxins”, says Murad.
Vichy LiftActiv Peptide-C Anti-Ageing Ampoules, Amazon.
Even if you’ve maintained a perfect routine, most of our skin comes out of winter looking pretty dull. If you really want to go into spring and summer with a fresh face, exfoliation is key.
“Over winter, we can get a build up of dead and dry skin. A combination of fluctuating temperatures, damp weather and irritating central heating can lead to our skin being angry. You may find your skin is feeling a bit tight, dull or may be struggling with congestion and breakouts,” explains Dr Amber Woodcock, medical director at Cosmetics Doctor.
While Woodcock recommends increasing your vitamin C usage in spring, she also says: “It’s a good time to focus on gentle chemical exfoliation, to remove dead skin build up – much like a spring clean for your skin.”
Gently removing the layers of dead skin will really brighten your complexion and help smooth out any lines. It will also make your skin more readily able to absorb any products you choose to apply.
Alongside exfoliation, Alexandroff recommends using retinol and/or hyaluronic acid serums and creams to tighten your skin up and get ready for summer. Retinols are another way of sluicing off the dead skin cells, and both of these ingredients will help give you a glow – something you may need after months of winter.
Murad Replenishing Multi-Acid Peel, Amazon.
Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Purifying Cleansing Wash, Amazon.
La Roche Posay Retinol B3 Serum, Amazon.
Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Booster Face Serum, Amazon.
It sounds obvious, but as we get into sunnier weather, sunscreen becomes even more crucial – but you should be wearing it in all seasons. It will protect your skin, and also keep it from looking dull.
“Don’t be fooled by cloud cover, UV rays are present all year round,” warns Murad. “Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher at least 30 minutes before heading outdoors, to protect from the UVA and UVB rays.”
UV rays can penetrate glass, so even though it might seem like an alien concept, you should still be slathering on sunblock even if you’re spending the day indoors.
Alexandroff and Woodcock are also big proponents of wearing sunscreen. While all these ingredients and products will help get your skin ready for spring and summer, Alexandroff says: “You should also get out and enjoy fresh air and exercise. Remember to drink an adequate amount of water to maintain the hydration of your skin”.
Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense SPF 30, Amazon.
Neutrogena Age Shield Face Lotion Sunscreen with SPF 110, Amazon.
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