Have you got your spring skin care routine in order? Spring is nearly here! Soon you’ll be able to take off all those heavy layers and switch to something lighter, and I’m not just talking about clothes.
As the weather gets warmer and sunnier, it’s a good time to do a reevaluation, and switch up some of your winter products for new spring skin care products. As the sun comes out, it’s also critical to think about SPF, so we’ll definitely have a few words about that!
We’ve found the best spring skin care products for you to try as the weather changes, with reviews that explain exactly how they work and for whom. I’ll get into the details of why and how you’ll want to transform your spring skin care routine, and I’ll finish off with some innovative spring skin care tips and tricks!
Spring Skin Care Routine: Contents
- 11 Best Spring Skin Care Products to Try
- Why Switch Products for Your Spring Skin Care Routine?
- Ultimate Spring Skin Care Routine for Evening
- Ultimate Spring Skin Care Routine for Daytime
- Other Spring Skin Care Tips & Tricks
Ready to switch your skincare routine to give that touch of brightness to your face? Here you have 11 of the best spring skin products to test!
1. Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
Your cleanser isn’t a product that needs to change for your spring skin care routine – you just always want to use a great one! This cleanser from Fresh is gentle yet extremely effective. It thoroughly removes all traces of sweat, dirt, and makeup without sulfates so it won’t leave the skin dry or dehydrated. It has a creamy texture but it still gets rinsed away completely with water, so it can work for literally any skin type. Buy it from Sephora!
2. Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser
You might feel the need to switch over to a slightly more mattifying cleanser as part of your spring skin care overhaul. While I generally suggest sticking to cream cleansers year-round, it just so happens that this foaming cleanser manages to reach my high standards of being gentle and non-stripping while still clearing oils quite well.
It is a sulfate-free, pH-balanced formula that leaves the skin feeling fresh and clean. It is a fine choice for all skin types, but those with oily skin will likely love it the most. It can be purchased from Nordstrom.
3. Jack Black Power Peel Multi-Acid Resurfacing Pads
Seasonal changes often throw our bodies off balance, and for many that means breakouts or clogged pores. A great way to get ahead of the seasonal acne and to renew the skin is to add an exfoliating acid product to your spring skin care routine!
There are many great options out there, but these wipes are a particularly easy and quick fix, as they will also tone your skin after cleansing, keep it hydrated, and exfoliate it thoroughly with a mixture of glycolic and salicylic acid. They also include a variety of balancing and anti-aging ingredients like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, witch hazel, and more! They are available for sale at Sephora.
4. Juice Beauty Green Apple Brightening Essence
Hydrating essences are awesome all year round, but in spring in particular they help to keep the skin hydrated without any of the greasiness of a moisturizer. This light essence is all natural and filled to the brim with hydrating compounds like glycerin and aloe vera.
It also contains lots of soothing and anti-aging natural extracts that won’t aggravate acne-prone skin. It’s great for all skin types, and while it won’t replace a moisturizer, it can certainly boost a serum or a sunscreen so they can do the job. You can get it at Dermstore.
5. Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM
In skin care, one of the ingredients most closely associated with renewal is retinol. It resurfaces the skin, improving its texture and promoting cell regeneration, which is why it is considered one of the best ingredients for both anti-aging and acne fighting.
This formula combines renewing retinol with brightening vitamin C, to make you feel like your skin is truly glowing for spring. Use it at night after a hydrating serum or essence, and if your skin is oily you can even skip a moisturizer after. Don’t forget the sunscreen in the daytime! Pick up a bottle at Sephora!
6. Tula Probiotic Skincare Multi-Spectrum Eye Renewal Serum
The eye area could always use lighter products during the seasonal change, but it still needs maximum nourishment. An eye serum is the perfect way to hydrate and rejuvenate without overwhelming the skin. This particular serum comes with a cooling applicator, and loads the eye area with renewing vitamin A, tightening and soothing caffeine, and lots of super hydrating probiotic extracts. Get it at Nordstrom!
7. It Cosmetics Confidence in a Gel Lotion
A gel moisturizer is an indispensable spring skin care product for those with combination skin, although it can also work well for skin types on the oily and dry sides of the spectrum. It moisturizes the skin thoroughly and restores any hydration that might have been lost during the winter, but without feeling heavy or greasy.
This gel lotion boasts a collection of barrier-repairing ceramides, lots of water-attracting glycerin, and a robust collection of antioxidants and plant extracts to slow down the aging process. Find a bottle at Sephora!
8. Consonant Ultra Moisturizing Organic Face Cream
Some of us do not feel like our skin is adequately hydrated if we haven’t used a moisturizing cream at the end of the day. You can still have creams as part of your collection of spring skin care products, but you just want to take them a step down and opt for lighter, medium-textured moisturizers.
This creamy moisturizer is great for all skin types, since it is made with light emollients that occlude the skin to keep it hydrated at night. It contains all kinds of saccharides to attract moisture to the skin, as well as my favorite all-around antioxidant niacinamide.
9. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
Finding that perfect sunscreen can be difficult, especially when the last thing you want to put on your skin is a thick, heavy cream, which won’t play nicely with the rest of your spring skin care products. That’s why this mineral/ chemical hybrid sunscreen is so incredible – it is lightweight, it plays nicely with other skin care products, and it gives full protection.
If your skin is oily, it can double as your daytime moisturizer, since it contains hydrators like lactic acid and hyaluronic acid. Oh, and did we mention it is a great base for makeup? Order yourself a bottle from Dermstore!
10. TonyMoly I’m Real Rose Sheet Mask
Sheet masks are awesome all year round because they are one of the best ways to seriously load the skin up with both actives and moistures, much like a supercharged essence or serum. They are one of the best ways to get some extra pampering in your spring skin care.
We couldn’t think of a better way to usher in the season of blooming flowers than with a rose-infused sheet mask. The rose extract in it is rich in antioxidants, and there are also powerful hydrators like hyaluronic acid and hydrolyzed collagen. Most importantly, it smells exactly like the most gorgeous spring day. Buy it from Ulta Beauty!
11. Biossance Squalane + Glycolic Renewal Facial
If you prefer your exfoliation process to be a bit more special, you might prefer this AHA-based skin-resurfacing mask. You apply it to your skin, let it sit for ten minutes, rinse it off and follow it up with all kinds of hydrators.
It includes a blend of glycolic, lactic, and malic acids to get rid of all of the dead, dry skin from winter, along with clay mineral oxides for a bit of an added physical push. It’s loaded with brightening and anti-aging actives as well, making it ideal for mature and combination skin types. It is available at Sephora.
For many of us, the turnover from winter to spring is seen as a time of change, renewal, and improvement. Hibernation ends for many animals (as well as for some humans), heavy coats and scarves come off, and it seems like dead streets become alive again as everyone goes outside.
Symbolically, this is a great time to take leaps and change things up, not to mention that the term “spring cleaning” can certainly apply to your skin as well as your home! Spring is a great time to go in for a facial or to do your own at-home chemical exfoliation, especially if your skin accumulated some dead skin build-up over the winter months.
On the more practical side, spring is the time to pare down a skin care routine, getting rid of the heavier creams and switching over to lighter serums and lotions. The air tends to be very dry in winter so most of us have to use rich moisturizers or to add extra skin care steps, but as the air gets more humid in spring those rich moisturizers are no longer necessary.
Additionally, while I actually do recommend using SPF products in winter, the fact of the matter is that we try to spend as little time outdoors as possible when it’s cold out, so for many of us sunscreen is not that critical. However, the moment the sun starts peeking out in the spring we rush outdoors, but we often forget sunscreen since it’s not really that hot out yet.
Many do not realize that sunscreen is important even if it’s not stiflingly hot – the sun’s UVA and UVB rays don’t care about the temperature, and they are still damaging to the skin. In the short term it is possible to get a sunburn in spring, while in the long term the accumulated damage of sun exposure speeds up the extrinsic (i.e. premature) aging process and in some cases can lead to skin cancer.
In other words, if you weren’t using a daily sunscreen during winter it should definitely become a part of your spring skin care routine.
Cleansing the skin gently is super important on spring nights, to remove the sunscreen you’ve definitely been wearing all day if you’re a Glowsly reader. If your skin is on the dry side, you can swap an oil or balm cleanser for a milk cleanser. A milk cleanser is fine if your skin is oily, as well, but if you want a cleaner feel opt for a gentle, sulfate-free foaming cleanser.
Apply your cleanser following instructions (milk cleansers are best applied to dry skin while gel cleansers are better to apply to a moistened face), and after massaging it into your skin in outward, upward motions you can rinse it away with some cool or lukewarm water. Use a microfiber face cloth to make sure all cleanser and makeup residue are long gone.
• Exfoliate (2-4 Times a Week)
“Out with the old, in with the new” is a big spring cleaning moto, and it also applies to your skin. Exfoliation fulfills the first part of the adage, since it sloughs away the dead skin cells and reveals fresh, young skin below. We love a good chemical exfoliant, so we’ve recommended some peel pads reinforced with both glycolic and salicylic acid to suit all skin types.
Wipe your chemical exfoliant over your skin, avoiding the eye area. Let it sit for 5-10 so it can get fully absorbed into the skin, and then move on to the next step.
Some people’s skin can tolerate daily chemical exfoliation, while for others it’s strictly a once or twice a week step. If you haven’t used a chemical exfoliant, make sure to start off slow and to gradually increase how often you use it. Using sunscreen becomes extra important once the skin has been exfoliated!
• Toners, Essences and Serums
I sometimes group these products together because in the spring skin care routine they should all serve the same purpose – to load the skin up with hydrating and active ingredients and to precede a dedicated moisturizer!
The big difference is that toners and essences usually have a thinner, more watery texture (which is why they should be applied first), while serums are a bit thicker and sometimes oilier (so they go last). Both are best applied in a gentle upward massage, since if you use a cotton pad you will lose a lot of your product.
Essences and serums can also go around the eyes, especially if they don’t contain any strong actives like retinol or ascorbic acid – alternatively, you can apply a dedicated eye serum to the area around the eyes.
Essences and serums are fabulous in spring, because they restore the moisture lost in the wintertime without weighing the skin down or feeling greasy. In many cases the combination of a toner/ essence and serum gives sufficient moisture to the skin, especially in spring, rendering a moisturizer optional!
Look for essences and serums filled with humectants like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, saccharides, and aloe vera, as well as antioxidants and skin-restoring ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin A, niacinamide, CoQ10, and various plant extracts.
Like an essence or serum, a moisturizer should also be applied with the hands in upward motions. In springtime you want to switch to a moisturizer that is a step or two lighter than what you were using previously. If you were using a gel moisturizer, you can shift over to a light serum, if you were using a light lotion then switch to a gel, and if you were using a cream then make the shift to a lighter lotion. Pretty simple, no?
• Cleansing or Toning
In our opinion cleansing the skin in the morning is totally optional. If you are a fan of a morning cleanse, use a super gentle cleanser the same way that you would for cleansing in the evening. If you’re going to skip the cleanser, feel free to wipe your skin with a cotton pad saturated with a gentle toner just to help you feel a little refreshed.
• Hydrate with Serum or Essence
Read the last section to understand why essences and serums are so awesome for hydrating and fortifying the skin in spring, and how you’ll want to apply them. In the morning, serums and essences are an awesome way to give the skin all the moisture it needs without interfering with the sunscreen you’ll want to apply after.
If you have plans to go outside, even for a few minutes, it’s important to protect the skin from the sun’s rays, which have been newly revealed. You will likely prefer to use a lighter sunscreen that won’t feel greasy or heavy on your skin, like the one I recommended earlier.
It’s important to use a ¼ teaspoon of sunscreen to cover the whole face (and another for the neck). Since this is a lot of sunscreen, I recommend a double application approach.
First apply an ⅛ teaspoon, let it all soak in and get absorbed, and then apply the same amount a second time. This will save you from embarrassing white stripes on your face, but ensure that you are completely protected.
Remember that sunscreen has to be reapplied after two hours of direct sun exposure! One application of sunscreen in the morning is plenty if you won’t be spending much time outdoors.
• To feel super cleaned up and recharged for spring, consider pampering yourself with an in-salon facial! Opt for an exfoliating peel or a light microdermabrasion to thoroughly remove all the dead skin build-up from the winter, and have it followed up with a restoring mask filled with hydrating and antioxidant ingredients.
• This is also the time to treat your body well, from the inside and out! Use a light body cream after every shower, drink lots of water, and feed yourself a healthy, vegetable-rich diet. This is will ensure that you feel great from the inside out.
• As part of the spring clean-up process, don’t neglect your bedsheets! Pillow cases, especially, are important to wash regularly in order to avoid pesky breakouts.
Photos via @ajdasitar, @evelyneslava_, @ymorbeauty, @ohuprettythings