7 Ways to Spring Clean Your Beauty Routine

Kelly Dougher
spring cleaning

Photo: George Mayer / Getty

With the constantly flip-flopping weather (please no more snow!) and chilly temps, March hasn’t exactly been doing a great job of ushering in spring. Be assured, however, that warmer days are coming—and with them, brand new beauty products to try.

It’s also the perfect time to edit your existing collection. With the changing seasons, your skin care routine is likely to be a little different and your go-to beauty look could probably use a tweak as well.

With that in mind, here are seven things you can do now to prepare your beauty stash for spring!

1. Check expiration dates.
It’s a good idea to remember to do this at least twice a year—and what better time than spring? Makeup and skin care products do expire, and if you keep using it, you risk break-outs and bacterial infections. Mascara should be tossed after three months, liquid liner and concealer after six months, and lipstick, lip gloss, and foundation after one year. You should also check your moisturizer and sunscreen for an expiration date. If anything is expired, or you’re in doubt, throw it out!

2. Wash your brushes.
Makeup brushes are prime breeding grounds for bacteria. If you use your brushes every day, you should be washing them every week. Of course, we’re all human and this is definitely one of those chores that tends to fall by the wayside. To combat this, make a little brush-washing station by the sink to remind you to do this more often. Stock the area with clean washcloths, a pretty jar to hold brushes, and a special cleansing solution like e.l.f. Brush Shampoo ($3).

3. Reorganize.
There’s nothing like springtime to make you want to throw open your windows…and then toss everything you own out of them. Harness that energy and use it to do a deep organization of your beauty products. Once your expired products are thrown out, take an honest look at what’s left and get rid of anything that you never use. A makeup swap with friends is a great way for everyone to get rid of their gently-used products. Then have some fun with reorganizing what’s left: get creative with used candle jars, vintage teacups, pretty trays, and acrylic organizers to display your prettiest and most-used products.

4. Switch out your SPF if needed.
Obviously you should toss your SPF if it’s expired, but even if it’s not, spring is a great excuse to upgrade your sunscreen. If your sunscreen is below SPF 30, makes your skin too greasy, makes you break out, has a weird smell, or just doesn’t excite you, swap it for one that makes you happy. After all, you’ll be wearing it every single day, right?

5. Update your daily moisturizer.
Most of us don’t have the same skin care needs year-round. Your winter moisturizer is probably too rich for summer, so it’s a good idea to switch to one that’s lighter and contains SPF 30. Olay Professional Pro-X Age Repair Lotion with SPF 30 ($41) is fantastic—hydrating yet lightweight, and never makes skin chalky-looking.

6. Think more matte.
In the winter it makes sense to reach for any makeup that promises a dewy glow, but once the weather gets warmer, those products will turn your face into a puddle. Yikes. Luckily, you don’t have to throw away your usual BB or foundation—just consider adding a mattifying primer or finishing spray to your routine. NYX Matte Finish Make-Up Setting Spray ($8) is a great option that provides mattification and extends the wear of your makeup without breaking the bank.

7. Brighten up your palette.
It’s been a long winter of oxblood nail polish and dark red lipstick. You may have forgotten what bright colors look like. Ease yourself into a summery mood by brightening up your makeup palette a little at a time; maybe with a coral blush or a pink nail polish. If you can’t imagine parting with your signature deep lip, switch out the dark red for an orange-red like NARS Heat Wave ($27). And don’t be afraid to experiment with eye shadow: a light sea foam eye shadow is a fresh, unexpected look that is both totally cool AND work-appropriate.

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