Just as you're packing away your winter coats and leggings (hallelujah!), it's a smart idea to revamp your skincare routine, too. "Skin changes throughout the year, so products you use in the winter months may not work so well in spring and summer," explains Dr. Debra Jaliman, author of Skin Rules. Here, she offers advice for sporting a flawless complexion all season long.
What's your advice for transitioning skin from winter to spring?
I'm a big believer in exfoliation. Skin tends to become oilier when temperatures rise, so switching to an exfoliating cleanser or adding a glycolic acid-based toner will help keep skin healthy and clear. As we head into summer, I recommend swapping out heavy foundation for a lightweight tinted moisturizer (like Stila Oil-Free Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30, $16) to give skin a subtle glow, while protecting it from UV damage. To control excess shine throughout the day, opt for blotting papers, cleansing wipes, and powdered sunscreens.
In your book, you say expensive cleansers aren't worth the money. Why is that?
Cleansers stay on the skin for a short amount of time, so you're better off investing in an anti-aging serum or night cream for maximum benefit. As we move into spring, it's more important to choose a cleanser that's right for your skin type. For dry skin, I recommend a creamy formula that's packed with hydrators like hyaluronic acid and glycerin (try Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser, $6) and for oily complexions an exfoliating cleanser with salicylic acid (like L'Oreal Paris Go 360 Clean Deep Exfoliating Scrub, $7) works great.
Is eye cream really necessary?
Everyone needs an eye cream because the eyelid is the thinnest skin anywhere on your body. Plus, there aren't as many oil glands around the eyes which can result in wrinkles — even for women in their 20s. For dark circles and puffiness, look for gel formulas with caffeine to constrict blood vessels and green tea which is a natural anti-inflammatory. If fine lines are more your problem, choose products with peptides and hyaluronic acid to boost hydration.
As summer approaches, what ingredients should we look for in a sunscreen?
I prefer sunscreens with physical blockers — like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide — which protect against harmful UV rays and won't irritate sensitive skin with rosacea or acne. For very oily complexions, try a mineral powder sunscreen like Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral Powder SPF 30, $28. My personal favorite is EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46, $29 because it's waterproof, lightweight, and blends easily into the skin.
What is the most common skincare mistake women make?
Using new products too aggressively, usually before a big event, can be extremely irritating to skin. If you're trying something new — especially formulas containing active ingredients like retinoids — always start slowly. Approach skin treatments the way you approach exercise: Use only one new product at a time until you're sure you are not reacting negatively to it.