Spring is the perfect time to tweak your skincare routine — but how much do you really need to adjust? Here’s a hint: keep it simple. Springtime skincare really comes down to making some small changes to account for rising temperatures, humidity, and sun exposure.
In short, shedding all those winter layers doesn’t just apply to your wardrobe — it also applies to your skin. With that in mind, here are the best spring skin tips from our founder and board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper).
#1 Deep clean your pores by exfoliating
Our pores can easily get clogged with dry, dead skin, oil, and dirt. Clogged pores lead to comedonal acne (aka blackheads and whiteheads), as well as those dark dots in your t-zone called sebaceous filaments.
According to Dr. Lee, keeping skin exfoliated with ingredients like glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid is key to maintaining clear, unclogged pores. She suggests using an everyday, gentle cleanser with beta hydroxy acid that won’t strip away all of your skin’s natural oils. Pair that with a mini peel treatment once or twice weekly, depending on your skin’s tolerance for alpha hydroxy acids.
#2 Swap out your moisturizer
It’s important to keep moisturizing daily, but heavy, emollient wintertime products can cause clogged pores when the weather warms. Instead, opt for a more lightweight, water-based moisturizer that’s non-comedogenic, says Dr. Lee.
Gel-cream products that incorporate humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin (which draw and hold water in the skin) are a good choice. Also look out for products formulated with added antioxidants, which help protect your skin from environmental stress (like sunlight and pollution).
#3 Spring clean your skincare cabinet and routine
Use this time of year to go through your cabinets and get rid of products that have expired, that your skin doesn’t love, or that you never use.
“Believe it or not, my personal skincare routine is pretty simple, with a few products that are powerful and multipurpose — and this philosophy is what guided me when I first created SLMD. Reevaluate your skin — what your skin type is, what your issues might be, and what products do and don’t work for you. I always remind people that knowing your OWN skin is so important. What works well for your best friend may not work well for you, so take the time to understand your personal skin type and concerns,” says Dr. Lee.
#4 Minimize hyperpigmentation and melasma
Sun spots, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and age spots are all promoted by sun exposure. Sun is also a big factor in the development of melasma, which is also affected by heat. If you’re not already using topical products to address these concerns, now’s the time to start. And if you’ve had an in-office treatment — like a chemical peel or a laser/IPL procedure, you’ll want to make sure you’re doing what you can to keep up those results.
Dr. Lee’s best advice here is to incorporate a combination of ingredients — including chemical exfoliants, retinol, and powerful antioxidants — into your routine. But the most important to-do is daily sunscreen. “One of the biggest mistakes people make is not reapplying sunscreen throughout the day,” she says. “If you're outdoors in the afternoon, even just driving in your car, and the last time you applied sunscreen was in the morning, you no longer have effective sun protection.”
Dr. Lee's Last Word
If you’ve got a good skincare routine, you don’t have to do much when the seasons change. As the weather gets warmer, you can add some additional exfoliating, swap any thick, rich creams for lighter formulas…and always make sure you’re wearing sunscreen daily.