Advice From The Experts: How To Get Your Melanin-Rich Skin Ready For Spring
When the temperatures begin to shift from cool to warm as spring approaches, it can easily feel like a breath of fresh air. That’s because the risk of dealing with super dry and rough skin becomes less likely. However, the shift in temperature doesn’t mean you should neglect your skincare needs.
Warm weather is undoubtedly gentler on your skin, as long as you keep these key factors in mind. For starters, the spring and summer seasons increase the oil production of your skin, which can leave you with a shiny complexion. Plus, prolonged sun exposure can wreak havoc on your complexion. Think uneven skin tone, dark spots, and the worst-case scenario: sun damage that can lead to cancer.
While most take time to debate the most effective skincare routine for the warmer months, Dr.Hope Mitchell, board-certified dermatologist and Founder & CEO of Mitchell Dermatology, believes that getting your spring beauty routine together is simple.
“With warmer weather quickly approaching, I say out with the old and in with the new – and get your glow on!” she shares. “Every skin type can benefit from a tailored or customized skincare routine. Transitioning a skincare routine from one season to the next is advisable, but the foundational principles still remain – cleanse, moisturize, sun protection. With warmer weather, skincare routines commonly incorporate more exfoliation to remove the winter dullness and dryness and bring the glow back. Skincare routines commonly incorporate more exfoliation to remove the winter dullness and dryness and bring the glow back. Scrubs, Glycolic Acid, Antioxidants and Retinol may be better tolerated during the warmer season.”
Still, no matter which products are part of your skincare routine, it’s also imperative to make sure that you’re moisturizing your skin morning and night. “Melanin-rich skin needs to maintain moisture due to lower production of Ceramides than other ethnicities, as well as protect the skin’s barrier and stay protected from harmful UVA/UVB rays,” explained Rachel Roff, Urban Skin Rx CEO & Founder and aesthetician. “At night, you want to continue using a moisturizer to keep a healthy, hydrated canvas especially if you are using exfoliating ingredients such as retinol. I recommend a lightweight moisturizer or moisturizing gel serum with hyaluronic acid the hydrates but doesn’t clog pores or feel heavy.”
Although there has been talking in the Black community that we don’t need sunscreen, that couldn’t be further from the truth. According to Dr.Mitchell, melanin-rich skin types are unfortunately more susceptible to hyperpigmentation and prolonged exposure to the sun can make things worse.
“Consider increasing your SPF to at least 50+, while assuring the products offer broad-spectrum protection – key to ensuring adequate sun protection in the spring and summer,” she notes. “Incorporate antioxidants like vitamin C and E. Topical antioxidants like vitamin C can donate electrons to stabilize the free radicals and decrease sun damage. I also recommend incorporating lighter-weight tinted SPF moisturizers for day-to-day activities that may be more indoors and investing in a broad spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen to protect the skin and to prevent hyperpigmentation and sun damage, especially when outdoors.”
Rachel also shares the same sentiments as Dr.Mitchell when it comes to melanin-rich skin types using sunscreen and further elaborates on when it should be applied. “It is essential to use an SPF during the day,” she said. “You can find an SPF tailored for your skin type whether that be mattifying or hydrating, lightweight or heavy. Sunscreen should always be applied as the last step of your morning routine before applying your makeup. I recommend selecting a foundation or powder that also provides SPF protection. There are now SPF setting sprays and powders that are great for touching up your sunscreen through the day while not disrupting your makeup.”
It’s true that retinol and niacinamide have become buzzworthy ingredients in the skincare world since they aid in tackling acne, signs of aging, and hyperpigmentation. However, Rachel explains that those ingredients shouldn’t be the only ones on your radar. “My go-to ingredient is vitamin C/ascorbic acid for brightening, improving signs of aging, and antioxidant benefits, she said. “Hydration and skin barrier protection are also key so I would recommend incorporating ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, probiotics, and squalane into your regimen. I also love kojic acid and tranexamic acid for hyperpigmentation as well.”
Stress can also alter the state of your skin. ”If you’re not sleeping enough it can cause your skin to develop wrinkles, lose its elasticity, increase inflammation which then leads to flare-ups in conditions like acne, psoriasis, and even eczema,” Dr.Alicia Barba board-certified Dermatologist and Founder of Barba Dermatology and Skin Clinic said. “Don’t forget, skin repairs itself when we sleep. That’s why I recommend them to make sure they’re getting at least 8 hours of sleep every day. I also recommend engaging in activities that aid with stress relief.”
No matter which route you decide to take with your spring skincare regimen, how you wear masks can change the game when it comes to your skin health as well. “Cotton masks tend to absorb moisture and dry out your face,” Breanna Seward esthetician of Natural Bella Skincare explained. “I recommend utilizing washable silk masks. Or disposing your medical masks after each use.”
Echoing Dr. Mitchell and Breanna’s words, Toronto-based esthetician Anika Bodden also highlighted tips for dealing with face masks. “Try avoiding touching your face as much as possible and use a clean mask anytime you are going out,” she said. “Wash your cloth and silk masks daily since there is a chance of breakouts with the friction, sweat, and bacteria from our noses and mouths. There are a lot of treatments on the market right now to help treat “maskne” and keeping your skin barrier intact with a great routine will also help immensely.”
Wondering which products should be on your radar to get your spring skincare game in order? Keep reading for five product recommendations from five dermatologists and estheticians.
1. Dove Antibacterial Beauty Bar
While using gentle face cleansers are a must for your spring skincare routine, you shouldn’t leave out the rest of your body. After all, the rest of your skin could suffer without proper treatment.
“The best cleansers are gentle ones that get rid of germs/bacteria while not disrupting the skin barrier like the Dove Beauty Bar which can be used on the whole body, including face and hands,” Dr.Barba shares.
And while using the Dove Beauty Bar may be the last thing on your mind, you can count on this offering to provide your skin with long-lasting nourishment while helping to combat skin dryness.
2. URBAN SKIN RX HYDRAFIRM + BRIGHTENING SERUM
“Hyaluronic acid serums are great,” Dr. Mitchell said. “Lighter moisturizers with humectants that pack moisture into the skin and lightweight emollients are great options for spring.”
The Urban Skin Rx Hydrafirm + Brightening Serum is a must-have for spring. Like Dr.Mitchell and Urban Skin Rx’s Rachel recommends, this offering intensely hydrates skin with hyaluronic acid. It also has alpha arbutin, peptides, niacinamide, and lactic acid that works to improve the appearance of uneven skin tone and rough texture while tackling signs of aging.
3. Beauty Strike Brightening Day Protection SPF & Moisturizer
The Beauty Strike Beauty Strike Brightening Day Protection SPF & Moisturizer is in a league of its own, according to Breanna the esthetician. This offering combines the power of a daily moisturizer and an SPF into one to provide your skin with lasting hydration and optimum sun protection.
While sunscreen should be a staple in our routines, there is a way to go about applying it. “We should be applying a nickel size amount to your chest, neck, and face daily,” she said. “You should also apply sunscreen to your hands.”
4. Beauty Strike Green Tea Cleanser
Breanna the esthetician is quite fond of the Beauty Strike Green Tea Cleanser because it gently hydrates skin and works to calm all skin types. Not to mention, it’s made with vitamin A, E and B5 along that goes the extra mile to protect your skin from free radicals. It is also vegan, paraben free and certified cruelty free.
In addition to using a solid cleanser, it’s also important to wash your face regularly— two times a day morning and night. But in some cases, you’ll need to add an extra washing session into the mix. “Oily/Combination skin can benefit from washing their face more frequently in the warmer months, she said. “Once your skin is happy it will heal itself.”
5. Finishing Touch Flawless Silk Face Mask
Face masks have become permanent fixtures in our wardrobes. While they serve as a way to protect us from contracting COVID, they can wreak havoc on your skin if not used correctly. Dr.Mitchell shares the same sentiments as estheticians Anika and Breanna about the importance of silk masks.
“Because masks are fitted to your face, moisture from breathing while wearing one can become trapped on the skin, increasing humidity and therefore cause acne breakouts, she said. “To minimize this, consider wearing a breathable material such as silk, or silk lined masks. A silk mask with multiple layers would be ideal for sensitive acne-prone skin.”
This is why a silk mask like the Finishing Touch Flawless Silk Face Mask is a go-to for our beauty experts. Made with 100% silk, this pick is washable and has an ultra soft, breathable design that complements your skin perfectly.