Your Spring Skincare Checklist

Carolyn Hsu

Spring skincare

Spring doesn’t just call for wardrobe makeovers and house cleanings; it’s also time to revamp your skincare routine. While you might be excited to leave behind winter woes, the transition period can be stressful on skin and spring’s unique conditions present its own set of challenges. To help us understand transitional do’s and don’ts, we consulted with Dr. Marko Lens, a renowned plastic and reconstructive surgeon and founder of Zelens skin care products, for tips and advice to putting our brightest face forward for the season.

Exfoliate More
During the winter, skin becomes dull and scaly, so using a scrub to remove dead surface skin cells is essential to achieving a radiant glow for spring, advises Dr. Lens. “I would recommend using a gentle exfoliator at least three times per week to reduce sebum and stimulate the natural cell renewal process.”

Try: Zelens Micro-Refiner Exfoliator ($80,; Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx Peeling Gel ($48,; Bliss Pore Perfecting Facial Polish ($30,

Use A Lighter Moisturizer
Seasonal changes cause variations in the natural moisture level of the skin. According to Dr Lens, the hydrolipidic layer – a film on the surface level of skin which protects against moisture loss and keeps bacteria and other foreign substances from harming the skin – is much weaker functionally during the winter than during the spring. Studies have also shown that water loss from the skin is significantly higher during the wintertime. Thus, skin tends to become oilier during the transition period as the weather gets milder. To help balance skin’s naturally changing moisture level, opt for a lighter lotion instead of a cream, and go for an oil-free formulation if you already have oily or combination skin.

Try: Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet ($39,; Darphin Hydraskin Light ($62,; Tata Harper Rebuilding Moisturizer ($100,

Layer On SPF
We should be wearing SPF all year round, rain or shine, warm or cold, but skin gets more sensitive to the sun during the spring due to the increase in sun exposure, says Dr. Lens. As a skin cancer specialist, he also notes that he sees more patients with sun related conditions pop up during the spring. To protect yourself from sun damage, break out all your SPF-laden products – not just for your face, but body and hands as well. As warmer days call for fewer layers, make sure you’re protected from head to toe.

Try: MD Solar Sciences Mineral Tinted Crème SPF 30 ($32,; Kiehls Lip Balm SPF 15 ($9.50,; Yes to Carrots Hydrating Body Lotion with SPF 30 ($11.99,; Avon Anew Clinical Absolute Even Spot Correcting Hand Cream, SPF 15 ($14.99,

Try a BB or CC Cream
“During the spring, skin tends to gain significantly better color and complexion, so I would recommend using lighter makeup,” says Dr. Lens. Instead of applying heavier foundations that can make complexion look dull or sallow, try a BB or CC Cream that helps even skin tone while still letting national radiance shine through. As an added bonus, these all-in-one products are packed with light moisturizers, SPF, and anti-aging ingredients that help nurture skin during the transition period without weighing down your makeup bag.

Try: AmorePacific CC Compact SPF 50+ ($60,; Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream SPF 25 ($40,; Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream SPF 15 ($14.99,

Watch Out For Extra Sensitivity
According to Dr. Lens, people with sensitive skin actually tend to become more sensitive during spring than the winter. This increased sensitivity and irritation is even more pronounced in people who suffer from pollen allergies. To comfort sensitive skin, keep dry patches of skin frequently moisturized and use products formulated without irritants such as chemicals, parabens or fragrances. In particular, Dr. Lens advises avoiding cleansers and products formulated with mineral oils as they contain allergens that could further irritate skin and clog pores. He also advises that in most cases, oral antihistamines may be required to reduce skin sensitivity during this season.

Try: Dermalogica Super Sensitive Face Block SPF 30 ($45,; Mario Badescu Kera Moist Cream ($20,; VMV Hypoallergenics Red Better Deeply Soothing Cleansing Cream ($26,

Ask the Pros
Transitional skincare can be extra tricky, so Dr. Lens recommends having a pro evaluate and customize skincare based on your own needs. If you’re long overdue for a facial, this may just be the opportune time to book one. However, make sure you understand all the steps of the facial before you book, as Dr Lens cautions against using any ultra-hydrating masks or oils this time of year.

Try: Haven Spa Ultimate Antioxidant Summer Defense Facial — Haven Spa NYC;  Equinox Conditioning Facial — the Spa at Equinox; Kate Somerville Signature Facial — Kate Somerville Clinic.

Read more: 20 Products That Leave Skin Matte 

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