Here’s How To Transition Your Skin-Care Routine From Winter To Spring

After months of snow, slush, and frigid temperatures, spring is finally on the horizon. Winter has left the building (well, almost), taking with it our dreary moods and dry, itchy skin. And while we’ve spent the first part of 2016 layering serums, balms, and oils, warmer air and increased humidity mean our skin is about to be in for a shock. How, then, to prep the face for sunnier days ahead? We spoke to New York City dermatologist Patricia Wexler, M.D., for her tips on getting healthy, gorgeous skin just in time for summer.

“Swapping your moisturizer for something a little lighter is key,” says Wexler, who recommends a hyaluronic acid– or water-based formula when the weather warms up. “Our skin tends to hold more water in the spring and summer, so you won’t need as much protection.” While using a moisturizer with an SPF 30 is fine for winter, Wexler stresses the importance of a sunscreen—separate from your lotion and makeup—that’s at least SPF 50.

The next step in the glow game is exfoliation. “Contrary to popular belief,” Wexler says, “we actually need to exfoliate when our skin is extra dry.” Wexler advises patients to slough off dead skin and unblock pores with a gentle exfoliating cleanser rather than with harsh scrubs, and says a formula with a small amount of glycolic acid will do the trick.

Quite possibly the most important piece of the puzzle is spring-cleaning. “Throw out anything over six months old,” advises Wexler, who adds that old products can host a buildup of bacteria, leading to clogged pores and dull skin. Makeup brushes, too, are often overlooked, and can store unwanted germs and viruses. Wexler recommends washing brushes at least once a week with regular hand soap and drying them with a blow-dryer. “Something that’s so simple can have a huge impact on the overall health of skin,” she says.

Luckily, summer’s makeup routine is perennially simple, and tinted moisturizer makes a perfect substitute for a heavy foundation. Wexler’s final piece of advice for healthy skin? “Carry makeup wipes everywhere you go,” she says. Here’s hoping the chance to do so will come sooner rather than later.