April showers may be Mother Nature’s way to bring May’s flowers, but they’re also a great reminder: it’s time to lighten up our head-to-toe body and skincare routine. Here’s how and why.
By Adriana Ermter
Have you been told to lighten up, lately? The phrase is frequently used in conjunction with humour when we don’t get a joke, in relation to difficult situations when we take ourselves too seriously and in accordance with the weather, when we literally swap our winter wardrobe for looser, airier clothing. Well, with spring temperatures on the rise, you can now apply it to your head-to-toe body and skincare regime, too.
“We have a milder climate, now,” explains Charmaine Cooper, the education manager for Dermalogica and the International Dermal Institute Canada. “That means we’re being more active and need to lighten up on the emollients and barriers we use to shield our bodies from the outside world.”
Your Skin Care: Face and Body
By the time April rolls around, your skin no longer needs the thicker formulations it did to combat winter’s hot indoor and frosty outdoor conditions. Higher temperatures result in excess oil production and not simply for those with a tendency towards combination to oily skin. According to Cooper, whether it’s for the skin on your face or on your body, a good rule of thumb is to shelve your thick and heavy formulations and replace them with airier ones. Products like Bioderma, Hydrabio Facial Gel-Crème ($29.50, available in drugstores) and Dermalogica Body Hydrating Cream ($68, available at spas and salons) include ingredients like water, Vitamins C and E, and salicylic or hydroxy acids are lightweight, hydrating, brighten and nourish, as well as smooth and exfoliate your skin. Not to mention, “they keep water in the skin and as the air gets warmer we want to focus on this type of hydration,” says Cooper.
Your Shower Cleanser
While the ultimate purpose of hopping into the shower with a bar of soap or tube of shower gel is to wash away the day, there are benefits of choosing the right products to accompany you. Creamy formulations containing heavy oils are ideal for winter weather but in warmer conditions can trap sweat, dirt, grime and bacteria on your skin. Instead, try ones that are “light, fresh and clean: these are quintessential spring qualities,” suggests Deborah Fulsang, the editorial director for the fragrance magazine, The Whale and The Rose. “In the spring, I want my shower to refresh, cleanse, invigorate and wake me up to face the sunshine.” Products like Aveda, Rosemary Mint Bar ($21, available at Aveda salons and stores) and The Body Shop, Olive Shower Gel ($10, available at The Body Shop stores) do the trick, acting as an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and natural humectant respectively, thanks to ingredients: rosemary, mint and olive oil.
Your Hair Care
When you live in Canada, transitioning your hair care from a winter to spring routine is all about creating a fresh start. “First, get a hair cut to eliminate dead ends and then add a little colour to give yourself a fresh feel,” advises Daniel Naumovski, co-owner of TAZ Hair Co. in Toronto. Next, he recommends swapping your moisturizing shampoos and conditioners for cleansing and volumizing versions like Revlon Professional, Style Masters Volume Shampoo and Conditioner ($15.95 each, available at hair salons), containing ingredients like bamboo extract, vegetable proteins and amino acids, that provide nourishment and volume without weighing your hair down. “You want to put a bounce in your hair,” says Naumovski. “Products with too much moisture combined with the season’s warm air and humidity will only make your hair look flat and limp.”
Wanting to shelve your headier, spicier scents and reach for crisper, fresher versions is “instinctual for spring,” says Fulsang. “Think about what you love to eat in the spring and summer—barbecued meat and veggies, plus cocktails cooked and garnished with amazing fresh herbs. It’s just like that. I want my fragrance to be fresh and aromatic.” She recommends opting for eaus with earthy, citrusy, non-invasive notes like the spicy wasabi and incense, tangy mandarin and vetiver, earthy violet leaf, wet cobblestones and orris concrete, and sensual rose and sandalwood found in CK2 ($67, available at the Hudson’s Bay, Sephora and Shoppers Drug Mart stores).