It’s time to put a ‘spring watch’ on your skin. Changes are on the horizon!

Daffodils aren’t the only thing popping up this spring! Spring often brings challenging skin changes and maybe an odd spot!

In many ways Spring will attempt to positively influence your skin. It brings new growth, more light (yay!) more warmer sun and perhaps a shift in mood and new beginnings but have you noticed a change in your skin too?

It’s no surprise to me (as a skincare professional) that the gentle increase in temperature and UVB rays not only influences a rapid rise in daffodils but also a surge in your skin cell turnover (this is a good thing!) The only problem is it’s inconsistent. One day warm, mild, blue sky’s and bright sun, the skin feels all “glowy” and bright but the next day hail storms and a drop in temperature means the skin is beaten red-raw and is dry and irritated .

What does all this mean? 

It means that your skin is constantly getting ‘mixed messages’ from Mother nature…one day it’s being told to “increase cell turnover and rejuvenate”, (as well as increase oil activity) next day the ice cold wind drys up any moisture on the skins surface, no sunlight means lower cell turnover, the skin becomes surface dry, red and irritated. Your makeup may also look patchy and your regular moisturiser doesn’t do the job…breakouts occur due to the ‘bottleneck’ effect of fast cell turnover quickly followed by sluggish cell turnover, and that means blackhead may make an unwelcome appearance too!

Okay, so here’s my 4 best tips to keep your confused skin “hanging-in-there’ until Summer!

  1. Add an exfoliator to your routine! Even more importantly, use it consistently not randomly. So pick a level of frequency you can commit to..and stick with it. If that’s twice a week, then great. I prefer ones that don’t have ‘grains’ in as these can be too harsh and cause micro tears in the skins surface causing redness, sensitivity and an impaired skin barrier. An exfoliator will not only clear the backlog of waxy, dead skin cells and oil that often happen more this time of year reducing blackheads and breakout occurrence, but consistent and effective exfoliation (or even better,  deeper home-care peels) will actually have the effect of ‘duping’ the skin into increasing cell turnover. The skin will appear brighter, will retain moisture more and will allow all your other skin serums and fancy creams to penetrate through. My favourite and quite sophisticated ones come in the form of a mask and rinse-off effortlessly. The revival mask by Environ and the Enzymatic peel By AlumierMD.
  2. Add a hydrating serum (or booster) to the mix! Keeping hydration (ie water) abundant in the upper layers of the skin is key to allowing  your skin to operate well as every single skin function performs better with more water. So, of course, drink plenty of water but also I recommend adding a hyaluronic acid serum to your skincare routine (just before you moisturise) Hyaluronic acid will plump your skin up a thousand times it’s weight in water so this water-holding molecule is an awesome little trick to keep the skin happy, not just through the Winter and Spring, but all year round as it helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles too! I love the Environ’s Hydrating serum.
  3. Supplement with Omega 3 fish oil-Taking a good oral supplement of Omega 3 (or even better, 3,6 and 9 in the right ratio) acts like an internal moisturiser by supporting the fatty bi layers in the skin, so you “hold on to” moisture and make better use of the water that you drink too. As an extra bonus, fish oils help reduce inflammatory responses in the body, regulate hormones and diffuse redness, all part of the ammunition we need to keep the skin calm and happy during seasonal fluctuations.I love the Advanced Nutrition Programme- Skin Omega Plus.
  4. Wear a good stand-alone sunscreen daily (Yes, even though it’s not Summer yet!) We are all well educated in the Summer months in terms of applying a Broad spectrum sunscreen to avoid burning…but applying a stand-alone (by that I mean not a moisturiser that has sunscreen in it) sunscreen in the early spring where the temperature can fluctuate dramatically not only protects against the early increase in UVB levels, UVA rays but will actually act as a ‘Buffer’ from the icy cold winds, keeping the skin in a constant homeostasis, sealing in your moisturiser and preventing TEWL (Thats Trans-Epidermal Water Loss… the fancy name for water lost to the atmosphere from your skin :-D) I love the AlumierMD Sheer hydration SPF40 (comes in tinted or non-tinted) which protects against pollution too!

Keep these tips in mind as you trundle on through the patchy Spring until we welcome Summer with open arms.