My favorite time of year is back, Spring! It might have something to do with the fact that it signals the end of my least favorite time of year, Winter. With Spring comes the warming sunshine, bright mornings and the beautiful but revealing show-all-lighting.. Some might find their skin in not so great shape right about now, maybe exhibiting some common post-winter war wounds like; dry or rough spots, lack of luster and maybe even some more expression lines.
Here you have a short list of what you can do to help your skin look it's best, and prepare it for the summer months ahead.
1. Exfoliate - Actually you should have exfoliated regularly throughout winter as well, in order to prevent dry spots and flakyness, but many tend to only moisturize to fight dryness. This might have led to a build up of skin debris, making your skin grey and glow-lacking. I recommend using a gentle yet effective peel product 1-2 times a week for dry/normal skin and 2-3 times a week for oily/combination, be it a scrub, peel-mask or peel-pads. I like Exuviance Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish - containing a mixture of physical peel agents and glycolic acid - read more about that here, and emerginC at home facial peel and clarifying kit which contains a mixture of fruit acids to gently slough off dead skin.
2. Prevent Pigmentation - Increased sun exposure means increased risk of hyper pigmentation. If you already have pigmentation spots, or if you're pregnant and afraid of melasma (pigmentation spots related to the hormonal changes in pregnancy), consider getting a nighttime product that contains skin lightening and pigment preventing ingredients. I like Dermalogica Pure Night which is anti-aging and safe to use, even if you're pregnant. Check out my post on safe acne treatments during pregnancy, if that's something you're dealing with, -here.
3. Change your cleansing product and your moisturizer - Unless your skin is super dry all year around, switching your cream based cleansing milk to a lighter cleansing product, perhaps containing some mild exfoliating AHA's or BHA's might be a good idea. I like Simply Clean cleansing gel from SkinCeuticals. (Also, can we take a moment to appreciate the fact that SkinCeuticals have touched ground in Norway?! It pleases me greatly). Regarding moisturizers, the same, heavy, oily, and occluding moisturizer that did our skin so much good during the colder months, will soon be way to heavy, and perhaps even problem causing. AquaDerma is a new and nice budget brand here in Norway that carry a light, but still super moisturizing day cream that won't clog your pores. This can be bought in most grocery and VITA stoes around Norway.
4. Get an antioxidant serum - I recommend using antioxidants in your skincare all year around, but it becomes extra important now when the sun is making it's return. Antioxidants have shown to have a number of benefits on our skin including increased protection from UV radiation and other anti-aging goodness. I've written about antioxidants a number of times here on ROKderm, f.ex here. I really like the SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic Serum which contains 15% vitamin C, 1% Vitamin E, og 0.5% Ferulic acid, which together perhaps makes the best antioxidant combination out there. For a more wallet friendly alternative you get a lot for your money with OLE HENRIKSEN Truth serum, which contains 10% vitamin C, vitamin E and green tea extract. This I see, is also 20% off at Blivakker.no right now.
5. Up your SPF - Self explanatory. Prevent accelerated and early aging, pigmentation spots and skin cancer by choosing a higher SPF for your daytime regiment. I like SkinCeuticals Mineral Radiance SPF 50, which I've written about - here.
6. Fight acne breakouts - With the increase in temperatures and the use of rich products, some might experience and increased rate of breakouts in this transition phase that is Spring. The weekly exfoliation and change to lighter products will help a lot, but you may also want to use a nighttime treatment that specifically combats clogged pores and acne to prevent breakouts. I like glycolic acid for this purpose, as found in OLE HENRIKSEN Invigorating Night Treatment, or Reviva labs 10% glycolic acid cream.
7. Get your mild to medium professional peels done now, steer clear of deep peels - Deep peels - as the name implies, removes a rather large chunk of your skin layer, which is a great fall and winter time treatment for rough, aging and hyper pigmented skin. This will however leave your skin somewhat raw, and very vulnerable for new insults from f.ex the sun. It is therefore not recommended that you do deep or very skin abrasive treatments during the spring and summer months. More superficial peels can be done now, if you're fast. Come summer, medical strength peels should be avoided all together.
8. Start increasing your antioxidant intake - Again, I go on about the AOX. Increased intake of antioxidant rich foods, like berries, green tea, and green leafy vegetables, have through much research showed to have beneficial effects on the function of skin, including the skin cells ability to protect itself form not only sunlight, but also other stressors such as pollution. It might be a good idea to up your intake now, before the summer months and the heavy duty sunshine kicks in.
9. Get skin savvy - You might want to read my book, or any other skin enlightening book for that matter! Honestly, learning how to take care of your skin, combating your particular skin issue, and getting some tips on ingredients to have a lookout for might be something worth your while this spring, this will also serve as an investment for your skin in the long run. Here's the link to the webpage, or go to your local Norwegian bookstore and ask for it. Some will have it in the shelves, and all will order it in for you if they don't :).
10. Get your moles checked - Skin cancer is still on the rise in Scandinavia, and Spring is a good time to have your moles checked out by your doctor. In Norway your GP will also be able to remove the ones she finds troublesome. Out of sight, out of mind I say!
With big blooming love,