They exfoliate more
“Just like you clean up your winter wardrobe, clean up your winter skin,” says Doris Day, MD, a dermatologist based in New York City and clinical associate professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center. “Bring out its brightness by exfoliating a little more in the spring.” In the winter, when your skin is drier and more sensitive (thanks, whipping winter winds and dry indoor heat), it’s best to exfoliate just once a week. But in the spring, exfoliation removes old layers of skin and helps topical treatments absorb into the skin better. Most skin types can increase exfoliation to twice a week. If you notice dryness, redness, or sensitivity, decrease how often you exfoliate or ask your dermatologist which exfoliation method might work best for you.
They trade in cream for lotion
Moisturizer is crucial to any skin-care routine, but using heavy creams in the spring can actually cause annoying breakouts. “In the spring, I switch from very heavy, hydrating moisturizer and oil-based products to lighter formulations, like a hydrating serum,” says Dr. Bowe. Heavy creams have lipids that stick to the skin and repair your dry winter skin barrier. When that skin barrier is already healthy, however, the extra lipids to the skin can cause clogged pores and pimples. Look for serum, lotions, or hydrating gels rather than creams.
They swap cleansers
As you bid farewell to cold weather, introduce stronger cleansers into your skin routine. “During the winter, I tend to use creamy or hydrating cleansers, but I switch to a normal cleanser in the spring,” says Dr. Bowe. “Like heavy moisturizer, creamy cleansers leave a residue of fats and lips on the skin. That’s good in the winter because you have a compromised skin barrier, but you don’t need it in the spring.” Keep the three categories of cleansers in mind: creamy, foaming, and normal (non-soap, pH-balanced cleanser). Opt for normal cleanser once the weather warms up, unless your skin is especially oily, in which case a foaming cleanser can help remove extra oils.