Healthy Living

Cultivating Your Spring Glow: Skincare Tips for the Season

May. 14, 2024

Like tending to a garden, skincare requires knowledge, patience, and adaptability to changing conditions.

By thoughtfully selecting ingredients, understanding our skin's unique needs, and nurturing it with patience, we can step into the spring season with confidence, ready to tend to our skin's 'garden' with the love and attention it deserves.

What is my skin type?

Knowing your skin type—whether dry, oily, normal, combination, or sensitive—is crucial for selecting your best skincare ingredients.

But where does your skin type come from? The short answer is genetics. Your genes influence everything from sensitivity and oil production to predispositions towards conditions like eczema and rosacea, and even how well your dermis holds onto water.

While you start with some genetic building blocks, your skin type can change over time. It evolves with age, lifestyle, medications, health conditions, hormones, and environmental exposures such as climate and sun damage, leading to changes like reduced oil production during menopause, resulting in drier skin.

Finding the best products

Identifying the right skincare ingredients involves understanding our skin type's requirements and the properties of ingredients—be they for hydration, moisturization, calming inflammation, exfoliation, or oil absorption.

Drawing of skin care products.
  • Emollients and Humectants: Emollients moisturize skin, while humectants attract water. Humectant ingredients include hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin. These can be sealed with emollients like natural oils to repair and maintain a healthy skin barrier.
  • Ceramides: Ceramides, lipid molecules in our skin cell membranes, are vital for repairing the natural barrier and shielding against damage, reducing dryness and irritation.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: This is a polysaccharide that occurs naturally in our skin. It helps our skin to hold onto water, plumping up the skin cells and reducing the visibility of fine lines.
  • Squalane: A lightweight hydrocarbon that resembles sebum's natural squalene, squalane shields against environmental damage and free radicals, hydrates, and helps regulate oil production.
  • Retinoids: Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A that are well-known by skincare enthusiasts for their ability to fade hyperpigmentation, stimulate collagen production, and clear up the most stubborn and widespread acne. By enhancing collagen synthesis and speeding up cell turnover, they exfoliate and even out melanin distribution, resulting in smoother skin and a more uniform tone.

Working with your skin

If you're a gardener, you're likely familiar with companion planting. This technique allows different plants to enhance growth, yield, and pest control mutually. Similarly, specific activities can make great companions in your skincare routine. Let's take a look at some companions to help your skincare routine blossom:

  • Vitamin C, E, and Ferulic Acid: These antioxidants synergize to protect against free radicals and brighten skin. Ferulic Acid stabilizes vitamins C and E, enhancing their effects.

  • Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid hydrates, mitigating the dryness often associated with retinol use.

  • Niacinamide and Zinc: Niacinamide reduces inflammation, while zinc regulates oil production and soothes irritation.

  • Peptides and Ceramides: Ceramides reinforce the skin barrier, locking in moisture, as peptides boost collagen production.

  • Broad-spectrum SPF: It goes with everything. No matter what actives you're using, a UVA/UVB sunscreen is crucial for maintaining a happy, healthy barrier and preventing sun damage. Remember that some actives, like retinol, make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

How to choose skincare treatments

Woman sits on couch wearing eye patches underneath her eyes for her nighttime skin routine.
  • Timing is everything. Just like some plants thrive in the sun and others in shade, some actives do their best work day or night. Antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E and barrier enhancers like ceramides, squalene, and hyaluronic acid are great in your a.m. routine, while nighttime is perfect for regenerative products like retinoids, which boost skin's overnight healing but increase sun sensitivity.

  • Read the labels. Consider the concentration of active ingredients like retinoids, vitamin C, niacinamide, and glycolic acid in skincare products. Lower concentrations are less potent, but even a 2% concentration of a powerful ingredient can irritate, demonstrating that all skin types can react differently to various strengths.

  • Start small. The next step is to patch test. When you're trying a new product or picking up one you haven't used in a while, especially if you've experienced a significant change in your health or lifestyle, like pregnancy or menopause, do a patch test. Apply a small amount of product to your inner elbow or wrist and monitor the area for 24 to 48 hours. The absence of redness, itching, burning, hives, inflammation, or discoloration indicates compatibility.

  • Ease into it. Remember to go slow. Introduce new products, ingredients, and concentrations, one at a time. In the same way that a well-tended garden doesn't sprout overnight, a radiant complexion is cultivated with dedication and care over time. You want to be the tortoise, not the hare.

When to see a dermatologist

While home skincare addresses many concerns, certain situations necessitate professional treatments for better outcomes. If you're seeking more dramatic improvements than what you've achieved at home, it's time to consider professional treatments.

A dermatologist can offer guidance on the most appropriate procedures for your skin type and concerns, like severe acne, deep wrinkles, stubborn or widespread hyperpigmentation, scarring, or conditions like rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis.

Close up of forehead with white cream on it. Hand uses dripper to add clear liquid product to forehead.

Chemical Peels

A chemical solution is applied to the skin, removing the outer layer of dead skin to help improve its texture by reducing the severity of acne, diminishing acne scars, and reducing fine lines and fading dark spots and melasma. By revealing a new layer of skin, this treatment can enhance the effectiveness of your at-home skincare products.

Chemical Peel Services

Woman lays head back while dermatologist uses clear + brilliant laser treatment on her chin.

Clear + Brilliant Laser

A gentle, fractional laser treatment that targets the outer layer of skin, creating a more even skin tone and a smoother texture, such as by minimizing the look of pores. It's a great preventive treatment to be proactive about the signs of aging.

Laser Treatments

Woman receives botox injection between eyebrows.


One of the most well-known neuromodulators, Botox can reduce the appearance of dynamic facial wrinkles, especially those on the forehead, around the eyes, and between the brows, by temporarily paralyzing muscles underneath.

Botox Services

Woman lays in dark room with facial mask on. A blue LED light shines on her face as a skin treatment.

LED Light Therapy

A non-invasive treatment that uses specific wavelengths of light to treat skin issues. Blue light targets acne bacteria, while red light promotes collagen production and is used for anti-aging.

Non-Surgical Aesthetic Procedures

Preparing for Treatments

It's crucial to assess your needs and communicate openly with your dermatologist to ensure optimal outcomes from any treatment.

Reflect on Your Skin's Past Reactions

Consider how your skin has responded to previous treatments. This feedback is invaluable for you and your dermatologist to identify the safest and most beneficial options. If adverse reactions occur, the treatment may not suit you, or adjustments may be necessary. It's crucial to communicate any side effects like redness, itching, or peeling; your dermatologist needs to know.

Understand Post-Treatment Requirements

Be mindful of the aftercare or downtime some treatments demand. Committing to these guidelines is essential for optimal outcomes and reducing risks. If constraints like work, sun exposure, or other impediments exist, evaluate if the treatment aligns with your lifestyle. Successful treatment and your well-being significantly depend on proper aftercare.

Dermatology at UR Medicine

UR Medicine Dermatology offers a full range of dermatology services for adults and children with skin conditions as common as warts and as complicated as skin cancer. Our goal is to provide each patient with the best care possible.

Dermatology Services

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