9 tips to prep your skin for spring

Harry Comp, skin expert and executive director/owner of Parisian Beauty Academy, shares his nine essential tips for healing your skin from the harsh winter months and prepping it for spring and beyond

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    Keep well hydrated "During the winter months, our bodies get less moisture, so it is crucial to increase water consumption as we move into the spring," Comp said. "When properly hydrated, your appetite is better controlled, your body is more able to break down fat and you feel energized.  Also, consider using a toner on your face."    
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    Use sun block year-round The sun can strike all year round.  While UVB rays are stronger during the summertime, they can still cause sunburn in the spring and even winter. Look to use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher everyday.  Those who get too many UV rays run the risk of getting dehydration and expression lines around the eyes and mouth. "By using sunscreen, you will decrease your risk for skin cancer while increasing your chance for healthier, smoother, and more youthful looking skin," Comp said.  
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    Exfoliate "Exfoliation is an important step in skin care and is essential for anti-aging, but unfortunately is often overlooked on a daily basis," Comp said. "Spring is the perfect time to exfoliate as the winter months often leave skin dry and irritated.  Exfoliation helps remove the dead cells on the surface of your skin, fosters cell renewal and promotes younger, healthier skin, helping to give you that summertime glow."
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    Choose a gentler soap Now that the winter weather is on the way out, skin's natural oils are no longer being stripped away. "Consider switching to a more gentle soap," Comp said. "Pay special attention to your most defenseless areas such as your hands and face."
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    Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize "Using a good moisturizing lotion can help heal dry skin and protect it from abrasive conditions all season long," Comp said.  "The best time to apply lotion is right after a shower, as your skin is still moist." Ideally, you should apply moisturizer two to three times a day.
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    Vitamins for the Skin Especially as we age, our cell regeneration begins to slow to around 30 days or more, which leads to dullness and a less even skin tone.  Also, oil production slows and barrier lipids reduce in the warmer weather, meaning skin may be slightly drier and dehydrated.  "Wrinkles are more evident and are prominent around the eyes and mouth (smile lines)," Comp said.  "Elasticity and skin turgor begin to diminish as collagen and elastin reduce by 1 percent per year."
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    Take shorter showers The best way to retain moisture is to keep your showers short - about five to 10 minutes is best. "Also remember that showering with lukewarm water is a better choice as hot showers can actually extract moisture from your skin, stripping your skin's natural oils," Comp said.
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    Love your lips The winter can be hard on anyone's lips, so now is the time to show them some love. You actually lose more moisture through your lips than anywhere else on your body. "Avoid licking your lips," Comp advised. "Saliva makes lips parched and dehydrated.  Like your skin, it is important to exfoliate your lips to remove dead layers." Using a toothbrush or natural scrub, gently smooth out your lips. Then when you're done exfoliating, apply a renewal lip balm; never let your lips go bare.
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    Treat Yourself "Spring is the perfect season to indulge in some extra needed beauty TLC and a great time to get your body ready for bathing suit season," Comp said.  "If you have the luxury of treating yourself to some needed renewal and relaxation, your body will love you. Massages, facials, customized skin treatments, microdermabrasion, (and) body wraps are just some of the services available for perfect pampering this season." 
    Parisian Beauty Academy
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