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It’s February! Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow, so it seems we’ve got 6 more weeks of winter. With two of those weeks already in the books, I felt it was time to start talking about Spring skincare. I know, I know! It feels like we just made all the adjustments and got our skin used to the winter routine! But trust me on this one, as the weather warms up and the atmosphere gets more humid, you’re going to thank me for prepping you in advance.
As the weather begins to heat up that means there will be more water available in the air (that’s pretty much the definition of humidity), so continuing to use the heavy moisturizers or double and triple layering moisturizers is not going to fly. If you continue to use those techniques through spring and into summer, you're likely to start feeling sticky and greasy throughout the day. Let’s keep our skin balanced and use the following techniques, shall we?
1. Slow your roll with the slugging – Don’t hate the messenger, friend! This layering technique is great for dry and eczema-prone skin, to lock in moisture. If that’s not your skin’s story, then use a facial oil on top of your anti-aging nighttime moisturizer like Artistry Studio™ Zen Daze Ahead Facial Oil + 300 mg CBD or Beauty Bio The Radiance Brightening Vitamin E + Rosehip Seed Facial Oil is the best way to go.
2. Don’t change everything at once – If you’re anything like me, you’ve been using all the deeply hydrating, thick, anti-aging, skin-plumping serums and creams all winter long. We’re going to need to sap some of these products or reduce them to nighttime only. As you select products to swap, remember that swapping out all of the products at once time can shock your skin and result in unhappy, unbalanced skin with blemishes. Think of this like transitioning your pet to a new food-; start slow. Maybe use a small amount of the new product every other day for a week in conjunction with the current product before using the directed amount of product. Once you’ve transitioned out of one product, give it a week or two before transitioning into any more new products
3. Exfoliating – Did you take my advice and switch from manual (scrub) to chemical exfoliator for the winter? Guess what 😇 It’s okay to slowly start switching back to the manual exfoliator that you were accustomed to before. The dead of winter can be super hard on the skin – especially if you already have dry skin. Chemical exfoliators tend to have a little bit less of a drying effect when used correctly, but that could be less concerning at this juncture. With warmer air comes greater humidity. With your manual exfoliator, you may have been exfoliating 3 to 4 times per week. If you took my advice for winter skincare, then you’ve been chemically exfoliating only two times per week through the winter. Give yourself several weeks to get back to exfoliating 3 to 4 times per week. Continue with twice per week leaving a couple of days in between. But now you will use the manual exfoliator on one of those days as you slowly transition to twice a week with the manual exfoliator and then increase over time.
ProTip: Don’t toss your chemical exfoliator! Use it once or twice a month on a self-care day or whenever you mask and pamper your skin.
4. Hydrating – Facial steamers sometimes get a bad rep, but hear me out. You know whenever you go into a sauna, whenever you come out your skin has this beautiful lit-from-within glow to it? But it wears off. Using a facial steamer in conjunction with the right system of products can get you that glow and it will last. How does it work? In an interview with Elle, dermatologist, Dr. Dennis Gross said that in conjunction with moisturizing skin steamers can also boost the efficacy of products in your skincare system. It works like this- the steam will keep pores open long enough to soak up all the ingredients from those amazing products that you’re using. Facial steamers promote maximum hydration and deep product penetration before the product can evaporate. So what’s the best way to use it? Steam one to two times each week. Only use purified or distilled water. Cleanse, tone, steam, and apply hydrating treatment products (serums, acne products, retinol, etc.). Finally, within 1 minute (before the dew on your face dries), moisturize to seal in all that amazing hydration. So simple, such amazing results.
ProTip: Facial steamers can be a little bit pricey- though, they are well worth the benefit. Be sure to do your research on the best product on the market and try to catch it when it's on sale. Right now, the Youth Amplified Ionic Facial Mist is on pre-sale, so you can take $10 off when you order yours now- making this steamer only $59 for a limited time! For other product reviews, check out Cosmopolitan's list of best facial steamers for 2022.
5. Sunscreen – Protect your investment! Skincare ain’t cheap- even if you only use drugstore skincare products, it cost you something. Imagine this: you go to Ulta or the Youth Amplified! shop or your favorite site for skincare and you spend $60 on products, and then you take those products and drop them in a dumpster without ever trying any of them. That is the equivalent of not wearing SPF. As the seasons change and things start to warm up, of course, we want to keep the amount of product on our face to a minimum, but sunscreen is non-negotiable. If you’re like me and you get hot easily, put on the sunscreen and get yourself one of these fans to carry in your purse – I've got 2 and I promise you will manage. Plus, they're adorable!
6. Wash Makeup brushes – If you have already developed a good habit of washing your makeup brushes regularly (at least twice a month), go ahead and skip to #7. Everyone else- pay attention. Think back. When’s the last time you washed your brushes? Was it more than 2 weeks ago? Can you even remember? Keeping your makeup brushes clean, is not a seasonal skin care tip, it’s an all-the-time skin care tip. Consistently keeping your makeup brushes clean can go a long way toward maintaining their integrity and keeping your skin healthy. It’s also a good idea to use a daily cleaner like, the Instant Brush Cleanser by Make Up Forever from Sephora or the Real Techniques - Instant Makeup Brush Cleanser from Ulta between deep cleansings. Replace beauty blenders and sponges every 90 days. I like to think that it’s time for new beauty blenders every time I change my toothbrush. According to a mini-experiment performed by the folks at Byrdie, makeup brushes are home to several different types of bacteria and fungus colonies. With warmer seasons ahead, makeup brushes are a breeding ground for bacterial growth. Yes, there are bacteria between each bristle, feeding on old makeup and multiplying… aka they’re making babies in there. Does that creep you out? 😇 Set a reminder on your phone to deep clean your brushes every 2 weeks.
7. Clean up and clear out – Spring is almost here! Ya know what that means, right? Spring cleaning. This is another tip that we should take care to work on regularly, not just in the spring. But now is a good time to get a jumpstart on the spring cleaning process by going through all your cosmetics products and tossing out any old or expired products. “WHAAAT?! ... Makeup and skin care products expire?!?!” I know it’s shocking. Most of us have never noticed and no one ever told us, but yes, any liquid or cream product has an expiration date. Why? Because bacteria can grow in any liquid or cream product, as well as some powder products. According to a 2019 study in the Journal of Applied Microbiology 79% of makeup products including,- lipsticks, eyeliners, mascaras, foundations, and face powders, were contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus. If you’ve ever heard of a “staph infection,” that’s what Staphylococcus aureus causes. The same study found that 13% of the products were also contaminated by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause malignant external otitis (a necrotizing ear infection), endophthalmitis (an inflammatory infection of the eye), pneumonia, and septicemia (a.k.a. sepsis- blood poisoning) and some even more serious conditions – that’s not to say that sepsis isn’t extremely concerning. But what’s more serious than a necrotizing ear infection or sepsis?! Life-threatening heart conditions. So, I’m a huge advocate for dropping things in the bin.
I could totally compile images of the aforementioned health conditions from all over the internet to scare you, but instead, check out the images below so that you’ll know where to look for the expiration dates on your products. I was even surprised at how many of the products laying around my house were already expired. You know where those products are now… 😏
A Few Tips: What if the date is not on the bottle and you've already tossed the packaging? Well, can you remember how long ago you purchased that product? Most cosmetics have an expiration date of about 2 to 3 years. Although, their shelf-life may not last that long; for example, Vitamin C products break down pretty quickly, but the expiration date may not reflect that. If you can't remember when the product was purchased, but you know that it was opened more than a year ago, toss it. The issue with expiring products is the fact that they have been exposed to air. Things in the container were sanitary back at the production factory, but once you receive it and open it, air can get into the bottle/tube and that's how bacteria gets introduced. Going forward do yourself a favor, when you buy a new product check the bottle for the expiration date. If you don't see the expiration date, check the packaging for the date and then write it on the bottle with a sharpie.
Finally, adjusting your skincare routine for warmer seasons is so much easier than adjusting for the cold. Just remember, while it’s awesome when you look and feel younger, and your skin is glowing, ultimately, skincare is about the health of your skin. Of course, we want our faces to look good. Good-looking skin is healthy skin, but maintaining the skin barriers and protecting against clogged pores and more serious skin conditions or infections is the top priority.
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