Spring cleaning isn't just about reorganizing our closets and cleaning out our junk drawers, it can also be about reassessing our skin care routines and figuring out what truly works for our skin.
For Dr. Whitney Bowe, a New York-based board certified dermatologist, research scientist, and founder of Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty, spring is actually an "ideal time to streamline and 'spring clean' your skin care routine."
Bowe organizes her routine into a schedule she calls "skin cycling." The now-viral process, popularized on TikTok, Instagram and beyond, involves exfoliation nights, retinoid nights and recovery nights.
"During the cold winter months, our skin is especially sensitive and reactive," Bowe told "Good Morning America." "We add extra hydration layers and recovery nights to soothe our irritated skin. But, in spring, we can shed those extra layers and focus on building in more active ingredients like exfoliating serums and retinoids to optimize results."
How to establish your ideal skin care routine
"Skin care should not be complicated, confusing or involve so many steps that you are losing track of where you are!" Bowe said. "As a dermatologist, I choose the most effective products and keep my routine streamlined and straightforward. More is not better when it comes to skin care because mixing and matching ingredients and formulations can lead to irritated, inflamed skin, which is the opposite of optimized, healthy skin!"
Bowe said to "think twice" about using too many products. "It's about selecting fewer products that are purposefully formulated, clinically proven, and using them in the right order," she said.
Bowe's "hero" nighttime skin care products are: a gentle milky cleanser, an exfoliating serum, a retinoid and a moisturizer, following the skin cycling routine that works best for her skin. In the morning, she consistently uses a gentle cleanser, vitamin C serum, moisturizer and sunscreen.
"Learning to listen to your skin is such an important tool because everybody's skin is different and you can use your skin’s signals to guide you," she said. "If your skin is tolerating your retinoid very well -- no stinging, burning, irritation -- you can build in additional retinoid nights to get the most out of your active ingredients."
How to stay consistent
"Skin care is a form of self-care," Bowe said, adding that your skin care routine can provide you with a sense of calm.
"When you have an easy-to-follow framework like skin cycling, it takes the stress out of trying to mix and match products and empowers you to optimize your skin health," she said. "When you start to see results and you start to learn to listen to your skin’s needs, you will feel increasingly motivated to carve out this time and to take care of yourself and, quite literally, to face the world feeling even more confident -- which we all deserve!"
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Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty Exfoliation Night Resurfacing + Brightening Serum
- Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty
Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty Retinal Night 0.0 star rating Advanced 0.1% Retinal Firming Treatment
- Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty
Vitamin C serum
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Kiehl's Since 1851 Ultra Facial Refillable Moisturizing Cream with Squalane
CLEARstem GENTLECLEAN Vitamin Infused Skin Cleanser, Makeup & Oil Remover with Vitamin C, 6 Ounce
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt In Milk Body & Face Sunscreen SPF 60, Oil Free Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin