How to Tone Your Skin For Spring

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Now that winter is over, it’s time to get your skin ready for sundress season.. (Photo: Chris Heads/Trunk Archive)

We’ve all had that moment of unpeeling layers of winter clothing to reveal less-than-lustrous skin. Exactly how do you get your skin looking toned and radiant in time for spring’s big arrival? We asked Dr. Julia Tzu, Director of Wall Street Dermatology, for her tips to prepare your skin for sundress season.

Start scrubbing. The first step is to remove all dull, winter skin. “Exfoliation helps your skin look more even and smooth,” says Tzu. “It doesn’t necessarily cause contour differences with issues like dimpled cellulite, but I definitely recommend it for overall tone and radiance.” It can make a noticeable difference, especially on the arms.

Go glycolic. Tzu is also a fan of glycolic acid to help remove dull, dry skin in preparation for summer, like Glytone Exfoliating Body Wash ($32). “Glycolic acid is a great body exfoliant and can help get rid of that surface level of dermis safely and effectively,” says Tzu.

Hydration is key. Once the dullness is removed, it’s time to lock in moisture. “Follow any exfoliation with a creamy moisturizer, which helps the overall health, tone and texture of your skin,” says Tzu. She recommends Avène Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream ($28) and Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream ($15), which has no dyes, lanolin or fragrance for those with sensitive skin.

Forego firming lotions. When it comes to firming lotions, the truth is they don’t really work. “Firming is caused by creating collagen, and that requires Vitamin A in the form of a retinoid,” says Tzu. “Products that contain retinoids for the face are irritating to the body since it doesn’t have the oil glands to buffer the effects and the dermis is thicker.”  

Tanning lotion is better than a tanning bed. Even though suntanning can deliver uniform color, there are too many risks that go along with prolonged sun exposure. “Self tanning lotions do give a nice bronze glow and the illusion of even, glowing skin and a slightly thinner appearance,” says Tzu. “If you’re going to do it, I recommend the lotions or professional sprays instead of sunbathing.” Use is easy: just exfoliate, moisturize, and apply. Be mindful of your elbows, knees, ankles and hands—these areas tend to collect more color.

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