Byrdie’s Beauty Director on How to Spring-Clean Your Beauty Routine
Deven Hopp is the Beauty Director at Byrdie. A self-described skincare junkie, she’s always trying new masks, peels and moisturizers. She’s also developed a slight tendency for product hoarding, which is why she takes beauty spring-cleaning very seriously. See the foolproof process she swears by.
If you’re anything like us, spring-cleaning starts (and ends) with your beauty routine. Once a year, we take stock of everything in our medicine cabinets, on our vanities and in all the other places we store our favorite beauty products. (Are we the only ones with shoeboxes full of serums under our beds?) Your skin can change a lot from season to season, so it’s important to keep an eye on your skincare stash and make product substitutions as needed. Ready to get started? From expiration dates to exfoliation, we’re sharing the four essential tasks on our beauty spring-cleaning checklist.
If you hoard beauty products like we do, there’s a very good chance you’ve got a few expired goods hiding in your skincare arsenal. While cleaning out your medicine cabinet, look for the “period after opening” symbol. It looks like a jar with an opened lid, and it features a number next to the letter “M.” For example, “6M” denotes six months. The big ones to look out for are acne treatments (benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid decay quickly), peels (once the buffering agents start to evaporate, the active ingredients become more potent and irritating) and SPF (for obvious reasons). If it’s been a year since your last beauty cleanout, it’s definitely time to replace those items.
Once you’ve eliminated expired exfoliators, give your skin a thorough scrubdown. First, dry brush or shave your face for a little at-home dermaplaning, a beauty trend we’re obsessed with right now. Next, exfoliate with a nonirritating scrub. Finally, apply a gentle peel. We prefer gommage peels—they’re oddly satisfying. Finish with hydrating products and enjoy your baby-soft skin. (Note: This step should really be done during your summer, fall and winter cleanouts as well.)
It may be time to shelve the heavy creams you were using all winter. As the weather warms up and moisture levels rise, most skin types don’t need to rely on thick creams to stay hydrated. Try something lighter like a gel cream. And, yes, SPF should be a year-round consideration, but if you’ve let your efforts slip over the past few months, now’s the time to either choose a daytime hydrator with SPF 30 (or higher) or layer sunscreen over your go-to moisturizer.
Neck and décolleté care should always be part of your beauty routine, but they deserve extra attention come spring as turtlenecks turn into V-necks and the areas are exposed to the sun’s damaging rays. Plus, you want your neck and chest to look good in those V-necks. Exfoliate your neck and décolleté the same way you exfoliate your face, but choose products specifically designed for the thin, delicate skin of the areas.