So recently, I’ve been very focused on skincare. It’s a popular topic but it’s one of the hardest routines to stick to. I find it so easy to forget to moisturize or apply serums every night. Now that I’m specializing in skincare in my everyday medical practice, I am more in tune with my own skin and its day-to-day care. In my practice I counsel patients on dermatological treatments using prescription medications.
Now that spring is upon us, there’s a lot of spring specific skincare tips that are useful for spring. While winters in most of Canada (with the exception of British Columba) are dryer and harsher on the skin, springtime usually means more humid weather. It also means more sun and protection against those harmful rays is recommended. So here are some tips and hacks to help keep your skin young and healthy
Exfoliate once every week: Unlike in the winter where exfoliating can cause dryness and flaking, spring and summers tend to be more humid. Winter skin can be dull and dry, but exfoliating will help clear the dead skin and improve skin turnover. Use a gently exfoliant and do some skin “spring cleaning”.
Xu2: I like to use a sponge or scrub to help remove dead skin when I exfoliate.
Switch to a lighter moisturizer: this is one tip that I’ve recently adapted to. I’ve noticed that in the winter my collection of moisturizers tend to be thicker, oilier formulations to help protect my skin against dehydration. Lighter moisturizers may be in the form of a gel or a light cold cream texture that traps moisture but also isn’t leaving your skin feeling greasy.
Increase the SPF: SPF also known as Sun Protection Factor is a measure of the extent to which a sunscreen will protect skin from UVB. It’s not just marketing! In medicine, we calculate the amount of time you can stay in the sun without burning from the light. We incorporate the Fitzpatrick score (a scale that measures the amount of melanin in the skin after exposure to sun) as well as the SPF to find how long you can stay in the sun with a certain “strength” of sunscreen. Anywho, what that complex science means is that the higher SPF does protect you better. I opt for at least SPF 30 in the winter and SPF 60 in the summer. Make sure you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen to help cover both UVA and UVB categories of harmful rays that cause aging, wrinkles, and spots.
Note that only certain foundations and make-up have SPF included, if you’re not sure, it’s best to apply a separate layer of non-comedolytic (non-pore clogging) sunscreen!
Use a sunless tanner instead: If you’re looking for a photogenic tan this spring, look for a sunless tanner. These are self-tanners and bronzing creams that don’t cause premature skin aging. You can purchase these online or in many pharmacy front-stores.
Reduce make-up use: if you’re a fan of full-coverage foundations, opt for thinner and lighter foundations that are not comedolytic (pore-clogging). With spring and summer on the way, thicker make-up does not look great in warmer weather and can be irritating for your skin. Opt for lighter viscosity make-up.
Xu3: Here I’m using a very lightweight foundation and lipstick with SPF! Don’t forget to use lipstick or lip balm with SPF to help protect your lips from sun damage.