Soon, the winter will be gone, unfortunately leaving behind some chilling effects. As the days get longer and the temperatures begin to shin up, off go the jumpers and boots and on come the skin-exposing garbs and flip-flops.
During spring, your heart might be enjoying the season’s magic, but your skin is crying out with the winter blues – dry, scaly, rough, spots on heels, knees and elbows as well as stressed-out, overheated, undernourished skin on your face and body.
With a forecast of brighter days ahead, it’s time to spring clean your skin-care routines.
Dr. Anup Dhir, Senior Consultant, Cosmetic Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, says, “The harsh winter can have a detrimental effect on the skin, so spring is the time to rejuvenate it. The most important skin care regime for spring is exfoliation and hydration to get rid of the dead, flaky winter skin to reveal the healthy glow.”
He adds, “You can buy a good, gentle exfoliator or use a homemade one, like with combining sugar and coconut oil or oatmeal and honey.”
In scientific terms, there exists the phenomenon called the Hayflick limit, which is the number of times a normal cell population will divide before it stops. For human skin, that number is around 50, suggesting that each skin cell is only allowed to rejuvenate itself 50 times before it becomes useless.
Exfoliation takes away the dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin, to stimulate new cell growth, below the surface of the skin. The consensus is that a gentle and mild exfoliant, once a week, is enough for most skin types.
Dr. Dhir further says, “Remember to use a good moisturiser to make the skin supple and soft.”
Seasonal changes can cause our skin to undergo considerable modifications – higher the temperature, oilier is the skin. And so, it’s important to use a lighter moisturizer during spring. Sunflower oil and vitamin E work as emollients that trap moisture inside skin cells, keeping the skin hydrated. But if you prefer not to switch to a new moisturizer, you can try mixing some rosewater into your winter one.
Dr. Dhir next suggests using a “high factor sunscreen cream.” If you like dolling up, you can use the sunblock beneath your makeup.
Sunscreen is a must-have year-round, but as for the spring and summer, it becomes crucial, when more of your skin is exposed for longer periods of time. It helps you stay vigilant. Non-chemical sunscreens with ingredients like titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide are a better choice as these do not react with skin the way harsher chemicals do.
Also, a research, conducted in Australia and published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, demonstrated that regular sunscreen use can prevent the most deadly form of skin cancer, melanoma.
According to Dr. Dhir, when warm weather arrives one should “eat fresh fruits and vegetables and drink lots of water.”
Conventional wisdom tells us that drinking more water will have a positive impact on skin, providing a younger-looking, radiant complexion. However, definitive research on any positive effects water consumption has on the skin is scarce.
When it comes to skin, the phrase “you are what you eat” cannot be truer. Foods like bell peppers, mushroom, shellfish, strawberries, sunflower seeds and others can give you a spring glow.
A diet rich in antioxidants like carotenenes, vitamins A and E, algae and EFAs is extremely beneficial for springtime skin as it will kick-start sluggish skin conditions and reveal a brighter, rejuvenated complexion.
Spring is a great time to let your skin go au natural and lighten up on the makeup. Warmer days mean sweating, which can leave a mess on your face if you wear a lot of makeup and can lead to clogged pores and acne.