Exactly How to Transition Your Skin Care From Winter to Spring

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Spring cleaning doesn’t just apply to throwing out all your mismatched tupperware and expired beauty products. As the weather warms and we leave the last gasps of winter behind, it’s time to refresh all your routines, including your skin care. Our skin has different needs at different times of the year, and that means making changes in our skin care from winter to spring. With the arrival of warm weather, humidity and pollen, there are some easy swaps you can make to help your skin make the transition.

  • Julia Schwartz, MD is a dermatologist based in Dorado, PR and dermatological advisor for Ro
  • Angela Caglia is the founder and CEO of Angela Caglia Skincare
  • Allison McNamara is the founder and CEO of MARA
  • Amber Boutiette is the cofounder of Marin Skincare and a biomedical engineer
  • Reshona Jessamy is the founder and CEO of Novara
  • Dr. Geeta Yadav is a dermatologist based in Toronto and founder of FACET
  • Alec Batis is CEO and founder and Sweet Chemistry and a chemist

Year-Round Skin Care

There are some parts of your skin-care routine that aren’t going to change, no matter the weather. And you guessed it, the number one is always going to be sunscreen.

“It’s important to wear sunscreen year round. While some think that they only need to wear it when they’re outside in the sun, they should really protect their skin from the sun all the time,” explains Dorado, PR dermatologist Julia Schwartz, MD.

“Sunscreen is a must every day for all seasons,” agrees CEO and founder of Angela Caglia Skincare, Angela Caglia. “Even if you work inside but are near a window you can still get incidental sun exposure from the window.”

Additionally, your skin benefits from having a stable routine that you can work around by need. That means keeping a fairly consistent schedule with actives and listening to your skin if it seems over-worked, dried-out or otherwise in need.

“I skin cycle year-round, which means on any given night I am rotating between a retinol, an AHA acid, or a rest/hydration day,” explains CEO and founder of MARA, Allison McNamara. “Depending on the season, sometimes I have more hydration days than active days, but I don’t ever lay off my actives altogether. Rather, I layer them or mix them with hydrating oils and creams. I also always wear sunscreen, I never skip vitamin C on clean skin in the morning, and I use an LED face mask at least four to five times a week.”

According to cofounder of Marin Skincare and biomedical engineer, Amber Boutiette, the majority of your skin care should remain consistent throughout the seasons. “It’s a really great idea to have products that you can reliably use year-round (so that not everything is changing as the season changes), and any transitions you do make with products should be made subtly,” Boutiette says.

Skin Care to Use Year-Round

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MARA Sea Kale Sunscreen Sérum ($52)

The first year-round skin-care product you’ll need is a good sunscreen. McNamara wears the MARA sunscreen serum that uses non-nano zinc oxide for Broad Spectrum UVA / UVB protection. Award-winning and rich in vitamin C and skin-supporting sea kale, this sunscreen serum keeps you protected from the sun while working over time to address signs of skin aging and uneven tone.

A proprietary algae stimulates natural hyaluronic acid synthesis for more hydrated and plumper skin. This sunscreen is perfect for any season, with a lightweight oil texture and a delicious scent.

BUY NOW – $52

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Ro’s Enriching Cream ($20)

Dr. Schwartz recommends sticking with a noncomedogenic moisturizer throughout the year. Her choice is the Enriching Cream, which is formulated with skin-loving ingredients like ceramides and vitamin E.

“It’s important to apply a hydrating, noncomedogenic moisturizer that can help nourish your skin,” Dr. Schwartz says. “For a moisturizer, I really like Ro’s Enriching Cream, a dermatologist-formulated, hydrating moisturizer that is made with ingredients like ceramides and shea butter that help prevent dehydration and protect the skin barrier.

BUY NOW – $20

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The Sweet Chemistry Max Repair System ($305)

Chemist, CEO and founder of Sweet Chemistry Alec Batis explains that a routine like the Repair System is able to transition from season to season easily.

“This system is an adjustable system of emollience and repair activity that takes you from season to season,” Batis says. “You can adjust the emollience and repair activity according to your skin’s needs, pollution, environment, humidity, change in geography, or even elevation.”

BUY NOW – $305

Transitioning Skin Care From Winter to Spring

If you’re in an area that gets to experience seasons (I’m writing this from the armpit of South Carolina, so I don’t know them), it’s important to understand that the changing weather can throw your skin into disarray.

“It is well documented that climate has an effect on the biomechanical and physical properties of human skin,” explains Batis. “In the colder, drier winter months, there is significant decrease in skin hydration, and an increase in trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), as well as skin roughness. There is also a reduction in skin thickness, firmness, elasticity, and melanin.”

On the other hand, the shift into warmer months and the back-and-forth of cold and hot, can easily lead to irritation and even blemishes.

“Spring can be a tough season for the skin as the fluctuations in temperature and humidity can leave your skin dry one day, oily the next,” says Toronto dermatologist and founder of FACET dermatology Dr. Geeta Yadav. “As a result, blemishes are pretty common this time of year. Seasonal allergies can also affect the skin and cause blotchiness, dryness, itchiness, and inflammation, as well as exacerbate conditions like eczema.”

Winter-Skin Needs

“As we transition from the harsh cold of winter to the refreshing warmth of spring, I think it’s essential to adapt our skin-care routine to meet the changing needs of our skin,” explains CEO and founder of Novara, Reshona Jessamy. “One key tip I would recommend is to focus on hydration and renewal.”

That’s because for most people, our main concern in the winter is dryness.

“The biggest winter skin concerns are dryness and a damaged skin barrier,” explains McNamara. “Wintertime ushers in a myriad of temperature fluctuations from cold winter air outside to dry heat inside, which can cause the skin to get extremely dry and flakey, especially if you’re using actives in your routine. It’s critical to prioritize hydration and supporting the skin barrier with fatty acids to ensure your skin stays hydrated and supple.”

Prioritizing hydration may require turning to oil-based products to up your moisture. “I always suggest changing out water-based moisturizers to oil-based ones and using a good cleansing oil to replenish the barrier like my organic Neroli Cleansing Oil,” explains Caglia.

According to Dr. Yadav, it’s not just the outdoor air that tends to be harsher, but also the indoor heated air. “Air tends to be drier during this season—both the blustery winds outdoors and the forced heating indoors—which strips the skin of its natural moisture,” Dr. Yadav explains. “We also often take hotter showers in the winter to warm up, which also removes too much of our skin’s oils.”

You may also need more product to get the job done. “In the winter, people often prioritize moisture in their skin-care routines—colder temperatures can lead to dryer skin that requires more moisturizing ingredients to lock in hydration and preserve skin texture and tone,” Dr. Schwartz says.

Spring Skin Care

All those changes can throw our skin out of whack pretty easily, so transitioning your skin care from winter to spring should be done fairly slowly.

“Drastic changes in environment and weather can throw off your skin barrier’s balance. In the spring, your skin is adjusting to changing temperatures, humidity, and new allergens both indoors and outdoors, which can irritate your skin barrier,” says Boutiette.

You may also find yourself looking for different formulas that are lighter and don’t feel heavy on the skin.

“Regardless of their base, I love formulas that sink into the skin quickly,” McNamara says. “For me, it’s important to load up on vitamin C for sun damage, hyperpigmentation and texture. I also tend to lean into chemical exfoliants in the evening when it’s warmer outside because I wear less makeup during the summer and want my skin texture to look soft and smooth.”

Products to Spring into the Season

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Novara Lactic Acid Resurfacing Serum ($110)

Perfect for a rejuvenating Spring, Novara’s Lactic Acid Resurfacing Serum works to encourage the production of ceramides and collagen.

“Featuring lactic acid, green tea extract, and basil leaf extract, this works wonders in refining skin texture and combating signs of aging, perfect for achieving that fresh springtime glow,” Jessamy says. “By adjusting your skin-care regimen to meet the needs of Spring, you can ensure your skin stays nourished, balanced and glowing.”

BUY NOW – $110

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Marin Skincare Soothing Hydration Cream ($35)

Perfect for anyone who’s struggling with the irritation and breakouts that spring can bring us, Marin Skincare’s Soothing Hydration Cream is a lightweight moisturizer meant to soothe and repair skin.

The key is marine glycoproteins. Found in lobsters, this how the animal is capable of regenerating lost limbs, and now it’s capable of repairing our skin barrier.

BUY NOW – $35

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Angela Caglia Skincare Cell Forté Serum ($395)

“Spring is about resetting,” Caglia says. “Every season should begin with an expert facial to gain the benefits of a professional reset and guidance. You’ll want to use actives that don’t sensitize the skin barrier year-round but especially in spring as the days are sunnier.”

The Cell Forté Serum uses BIOMSC, derived from pure, patented technology, protein-rich mesenchymal stem cells. Those human stem cells work alongside growth factors, exosomes, and proteins to revive skin.

BUY NOW – $395

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