Three seasonal beauty swaps you should be making this month
Seasonal beauty changes are hugely important if you want healthy skin all year round. So as the clocks go forward this weekend and we step into spring, now is the time to switch up your skincare accordingly. Nothing too drastic is required, but as we transition into longer days, stronger sunshine, warmer evenings and getting outside again we need to subtly shift our beauty routine to reflect that. Here's our guide to mastering the basics of a spring beauty routine and the three seasonal beauty upgrades you should be making right now, to make sure your body is glowing, your complexion is plumped and your skin is protected over the next few months.
1. Up your exfoliation game
How would you describe your winter bodycare routine? Non-existent? Barely there? It’s time to up your game, before we shed the layers of winter clothes in favour of our less forgiving summer wardrobe. While skin should be gradually less in need of thirst-quenching moisture as we enter spring and say goodbye to the bitter cold spells, hot baths and central heating that have wreaked havoc over the last few months, we still have a little leftover damage to repair (think dehydrated limbs, scaly shins, flaky skin...) to get our skin plumped and prime to reveal. That means a really good exfoliation routine to get rid of the top layers of dull, dead, dry skin cells. Incorporate a grainy gritty type of body scrub in your morning shower routine two or three times a week. For a truly deep scrub use on dry skin before stepping into the shower, or for a milder scrub - particularly if your skin is sensitive, not used to this type of product, or prone to irritation and inflammation - use on damp skin once you’re in.
Next - and this is key to smoother, spring-ready skin - take you exfoliation to the next level by pairing your body scrub with a chemical exfoliant. Chemical exfoliants are acids - such as AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and glycolic acids - that break down the bonds in the top layers of the skin cells, shedding them to reveal regenerated skin. They unclog pores, can reduce signs of ageing over time and will leave skin looking considerably brighter, smoother and more even in tone. Try one that you can apply to your body straight after your shower: treat is as you would a serum, but for your body. REN’s Smart Renewal Body Serum is a great example.
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Once you've got rid of the dull, dry, dead skin cells, you need to pump the moisture back in. For your face, consider the products you can layer that will lock in moisture: a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum, particularly one that features plant-derived squalane, will help lock in moisture, especially when layered under a skin-nourishing oil that's full of fatty acids. For your body, choose a rich nourishing body butter as the final step in your regime, to restore, moisturise and soften, and leave your body looking supple and with a noticeable natural glow. Try BODD BALM £12- our brand new all-natural body butter full of skin-replenishing antioxidants, such as vitamin A and E, as well as butters that will plump out and deeply hydrate dry skin, leaving it glowing.
For the ultimate spring body prep try the Yuzo Mandarin BODD BALM, £12, which contains Yuzo oil, to stimulate collagen production, firming skin by improving its elasticity.
3. Prioritise SPF, no matter your skin-type or skin-tone
Finally, facial SPF should be a daily non-negotiable all year round, for EVERYONE, regardless of skin type, skin colour or skin tone. If you haven’t yet refined your SPF game then now is the time to.
Always look for one with clean formula credentials. Focus on mineral options (primarily zinc or titanium dioxide) rather than chemical ones. The former physically block UVA and UVB rays by sitting on top of the skin (a good thing) while chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays (not a good thing). Chemical blockers also contain a potent blend of toxic ingredients, many of which are endocrine disruptors that are at their most harmful in small doses, mimicking hormones and interfering with everything from our reproductive systems to our metabolism. Not something you want to slather on your face each morning.
Something else to bear in mind when choosing your SPF is that even if the active ingredients are mineral, the rest of the formula can still be loaded with toxic ingredients, so keep an eye out for anything ending in -paraben, pthalates, sodium laureth sulfate, and fragrance in the product overall. We love REN’s Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30, for its 100% chemical-free formula and The Organic Pharmacy’s version is a great-all rounder As this is the product that will go on as the final step in your skincare routine, look for other added benefits.
Blue-light protection is relatively new but you’ll find it in many SPF’s already (such as Pai British Summertime SPF 30, £29) . Also look for the addition of skincare ingredients (such as brightening vitamin C; or skin-balancing niacinamide) to help treat your skin.
You might also want to choose one with a gentle hint of tint. This will balance out the naturally chalky quality of Zinc, which is sometimes still visible in formulas, and will give you a make-up free base that gives light coverage and glow, as it protects. Ilia’s Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 30 £43 is pricey but you works as a glow-enhancing hydrating skin serum, light foundation and SPF in one.
Finally, remember when applying to hit the areas that are exposed but often forgotten - ears, neck, temples. Make sure you take your application right down to your decolletage - this is even more important when you've been using a chemical exfoliant - and slather all the excess over the backs of hands, for protection from ageing UVA and UVB rays.