Skincare

Experts reveal how to best take care of your skin during spring

It’ll need a tune up after the harsh winter weather!

It may seem foolish now, even downright grotesque, but we have a long history of going to deadly lengths for beauty.

In Elizabethan times, the upper class risked renal failure under heavy layers of white lead and borax powder to achieve the much-desired ghostly pallor of the time.

In the 1920s, we suddenly tossed our centuries-long skin whitening ways out the window and embraced the equally injurious UV rays in a bid to emulate Coco Chanel; her accidental faux glow during a summer sojourn in the French Riviera is credited for our obsession with suntanned limbs to this day.

Perhaps though, we’ve finally found a comfortable balance – other than the optical dangers of orangey streaks from a bottle bronze gone awry, achieving spring-ready skin is now entirely risk-free. Dare we say, it’s even a little bit fun.

How can I make my skin smooth?

“Great skin does not happen by accident. Take action!” says Poppy Jeffrey, skin therapist at Double Bay’s Wonder clinic.

“Skin suffers during the winter months because the colder weather causes the moisture content to drop. We often don’t notice under all those extra layers and then, shock horror, it’s time to reveal yourself in spring.”

The best remedy? Simply slough the dryness away.

Celebrity facialist Amanda Elena at Higher Self Skin recommends scheduling in spring body prep as a proper self-care ritual. “Run yourself a relaxing bath and allow time to soften all those dry, redundant skin cells,” she says.

“Even though your skin naturally sheds dead cells, it still needs help to physically get them off the body’s surface.”

There are two ways to do this – with a physical exfoliant (think salt and sugar scrubs) or chemical exfoliation (alpha hydroxy acids that ‘dissolve’ dead skin). Or you could do it with a loofah.

“It gets rid of flaky skin, creates the perfect canvas for applying moisture, and stimulates the lymphatic system, which improves the general appearance and tone of the skin,” says Poppy.

Freshly-ground coffee also makes a great natural scrub.

“Coffee contains chlorogenic acids, which can help reduce inflammation and stimulate circulation,” says Amanda.

WATCH: Georgia Fowler’s tips for glowing skin (Article continues after video)

How can I soften my skin texture?

Those newly revealed skin cells will be thirsty so, rather than replenishing with an everyday lotion, consider using a luxurious oil.

“Oils work so well because they imitate the natural lipids present in our skin barrier,” says Amanda.

“Lipids help to fill gaps between our skin cells, creating a smoother surface. Plus, the occlusive nature of oils helps trap moisture in our skin.”

Oils are best applied after a bath or shower, but work quickly – you’ve got roughly three minutes to seal in moisture. Poppy recommends an oil loaded with essential fatty acids (EFAs), such as avocado or sweet almond oil.

“Our body doesn’t naturally produce EFAs so it either needs to be absorbed from diet or skincare,” she explains. “EFAs are essential for keeping skin moisturised and glowing.”

How do I get glowy skin?

Self-tanner has come a long way and is, quite honestly, a dead easy quick fix if you’re feeling frumpy.

“A tan gives confidence, a real kick-arse attitude that gets you bouncing out of bed,” says Amanda. And who doesn’t want that?

If you’ve exfoliated and moisturised the day before, your chances of bottle bronze success are much improved, but you’ll also need to think a day ahead about hair removal – fake tan likes to settle into open pores.

“Prepping skin is the key to a perfect result, then it really comes down to what works best for you and your skin. There is no wrong choice,” says Blair James, co-founder of Bondi Sands.

Foam is popular because you can see where you’re applying it, but you will need to use an application mitt to save your hands going dark.

Tanning water is brilliant if you’re rushed as it sinks in almost instantly and doesn’t stain sheets or clothes. Regardless of the chosen formula, legs often require a second coat 30 minutes later.

“To avoid streaks, rinse your tan off in lukewarm water without soaps or cloths after the development time has completed,” says Blair.

Once your colour is set, it’s just a matter of keeping up the moisture with a gradual tanning lotion or a body oil.

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