How to Spring Clean Your Skin

Ignore your desk, your junk drawer and your pantry. There’s one thing that’s screaming out for a spring clean and you won’t have to look far to find it: it’s your face. Covered in a layer of chapped, dry skin all winter long, wind-beaten and vitamin D-deprived, your skin wants to know what love is.

Detox

Time to get real. You binge-drank, ate like a wild woman and Netflixed constantly for the past few months. Your liver isn’t happy about that and, to get back at you, it stopped properly filtering toxins like a month ago. Great, now you’ve got unbalanced skin.

Don’t worry, you can turn this around—all it takes is a mild detox. First, give your liver support with a supplement like milk thistle and follow that up with a lengthy steam.

If the budget doesn’t allow you to indulge in a Body Blitz-esque steaming experience, turn your bathroom into a rainforest. You can do this one of two ways:

Boil a big ol’ pot of water, add calming essential oils (like rose or lavender), throw a towel over your head and let it all in. Your head-pot fort will open your pores and clear your sinuses. Once you’re sufficiently steamed, massage facial oil into your skin.

Liberally saturate the rim of your bathtub in that favourite essential oil of yours, and turn the shower to “skin burning hot.” Sit on the edge of the tub or your toilet (this is a budget option, after all). Within a minute, you should be sitting in a thick fog. Let it in. Trick your brain into thinking you’re at a spa by incorporating cucumber slices on your eyes. Ignore your roommate’s through-the-door requests to use the toilet. How rude of her.

De-gunk

Cold weather does a number on your skin’s moisture barrier. When a pore is compromised, it doesn’t expel sebum like it used to; instead, it holds onto oil and forms a little bump. Don’t pick at it, because this will drive the infection down and may further damage your pore. Instead, if you can afford it, go for post-winter extractions.

Extractions are painful and magical at the same time. Basically, your facialist will manually purge the bumpy culprits from your skin and save you the hassle of dealing with whiteheads and blackheads down the line.

Resurface

Alpha and beta hydroxy acids are exfoliators and, more specifically, chemistry’s gift to tired, dull or flaky skin. If you’re prone to acne, try a BHA; these are pore-clearing and will leave your skin with a buffed, clean feeling. If you’ve got dry or normal skin, go for an AHA; these will shed dead skin from your face and will leave you looking plump and smooth.

Moisturize

You moisturize every day, but that probably means you rub lotion into your skin for two seconds before layering on makeup and (hopefully) sunscreen. To really let the moisture barrier restore itself, try a moisture mask.

Look for one with mild cleansing ingredients, like lavender or green tea, and a powerful moisturizer, like hyaluronic acid. Let the mask sit on your skin for twenty minutes, then massage any leftover residue into your face. You can pick up moisture masks at the drug store, or you can order them in bulk online (don’t judge me).

Now that your skin is glowing, maybe reconsider spring cleaning that closet.

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