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Spring is almost here, which means it's time to start getting your skin care routine ready for the new season.
During the colder months, we tend to reach for thick, hydrating products that help relieve dry and itchy skin. But as the weather heats up, you'll want to have lighter options on hand that tackle the more common warm-weather issues like sun damage and dullness. Dr. Melissa Levin, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Entière Dermatology spoke to Shop TODAY about what four items you must have as you transition into spring.
Below are some expert-approved and popular skincare products you should be stocking your beauty cabinet with this season.
1. Daily Sunscreen
Levin recommends using daily sunscreen to prevent unwanted burns. Since many people forget to wear sunscreen during the winter months, she often sees burns in the early spring.
One of Levin's favorite sunscreen products is this tinted mineral-based sunscreen. This Spanish brand creates a pure mineral block with zinc oxide and peptides, which support collagen production and improve the elasticity of your skin.
"It also has peptides, antioxidants and DNA repairsomes, which actually repair your skin from sun damage," explains Levin. (Editor's note: Levin formerly consulted on this brand.)
This popular pick rotects yourself from UVA, UVB and infrared-A rays with this spray-on formula. It's water and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes, so it'll hold up whether you're heading to the beach or going on a hike. Along with the SPF, it contains vitamin C, green tea and acai extracts to nourish your skin.
Made to be worn under makeup or on its own, this sunscreen is great for everyday wear. One Shop TODAY editor previously said that this is her go-to since it's kind to her acne-prone skin and won't leave a white cast, unlike other face sunscreens.
2. Exfoliating Cleanser
People often notice that their face looks dull during the winter.
"That's really because we get a buildup of dead skin cells," said Levin, who recommends using a gentile exfoliating wash, which refreshes the skin with continued use.
Levin's favorite cleanser from NeoStrata is formulated with 18 percent glycolic acid — which helps slough off dead skin cells to reveal soft, supple skin. It's ideal for those with oily or acne-prone skin and it can help those dealing with fine lines, wrinkles and free radical damage.
For a gentle exfoliator, this cleanser uses salicylic acid instead of the typical microbeads to provide gentle exfoliation and soften and smooth skin. The formula also includes ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and ceramides to help your skin retain moisture and rebuild your natural barrier.
3. Gels and Lotions
Lighten up your routine by changing out your heavier products for ones that have a lighter formulation.
"Swap out ointments and creams for something a little more lightweight like gels and lotions," Levin advised.
Dry skin isn't just a winter problem, but this formula won't feel as heavy as your go-to cold weather cream. The gel works to deeply hydrate skin and restore your skin's moisture barrier. A little bit goes a long way, so you'll only need to apply a small amount each day to see the effects. It's made with soothing lavender, sunflower seed and calendula oils, and the latter can help with sunburns.
This lotion works on your legs, hands, arms and anywhere else that may need some TLC. The long-lasting formula is lightweight and fast-absorbing to provide your skin with instant hydration. It's designed for all skin types and is fragrance and paraben-free.
4. Antioxidant serum
Using a daily sunscreen is a must, but when the sun is stronger during the spring, Levin recommends using an antioxidant serum as well for good measure.
"An antioxidant protects against infrared pollutants and other triggers that cause free radical formation," she explained.
Levin recommends this serum due to the high concentration of vitamin C, which helps improve skin's brightness.
"You really want to look for vitamin C as the active ingredient because that's the one that has the most data and the most research behind it," Levin noted, saying that it helps protect skin from free radical formation and improves pigmentation.
Get a double dose of antioxidants and sun protection with this two-in-one formula. The SPF 50 serum features vitamin E and vitamin C to protect skin from free-radicals and improve the look of fine lines and dark spots. The oil-free formula won't clog your pores or cause breakouts, and it's lightweight enough to be worn under makeup.
The antioxidant Co-Q10, featured in this serum from popular brand The Inkey List, works to protect your skin from environmental stressors. Other active ingredients, like squalene and Syn-Tacks, hydrate skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Reviewers praise this formula as "working well with other serums" and under makeup.
For more stories like this, check out:
- Is a mineral sunscreen right for you? We asked dermatologists what to look for
- How to safely clear clogged pores, according to dermatologists
- What every skin care routine should have, no matter your skin type