With a birthday on the horizon, I have been reflecting and feeling extremely blessed and overwhelmingly grateful. As I write this article, the coronavirus pandemic has just been declared a national emergency. Times like this cause us to really prioritize and really focus on what’s important and what can wait. My prayer is that by the time this article is published our world will be in recovery mode and moving full steam ahead. Time does what it always does — keeps moving us further down the road of life — it neither pauses nor waits for anyone or anything. Let’s give thanks and value the precious time we have been given and use it for uplifting, encouraging and loving as much as we can. Now that I’ve waxed philosophical — on with the article.

Warm weather is here, and all things living are budding and blossoming. It is the time of year we shed our sweaters, coats and outer wear to reveal ourselves to the world. Hopefully you have remembered the wonderful skin you live in and have been kind to it all winter long. If you’re like a lot of us though, the big reveal is not a pretty picture: dry, scaly neglected skin. Good news! Taking your skin to boot camp can get you up to beach wear speed.

Start exfoliating now. Get into the habit early and often. Scrubbing your whole body may seem tedious in the shower, but it genuinely makes a big difference not only in the overall health of your skin, but also in its ability to absorb moisturizing products. Shaving your legs will be a whole lot more pleasant if you slough off those winter layers of dead skin first.

Re-evaluate your skincare routine. Summer skin is a different thing than winter skin. If you’ve been using heavy oils and creams all winter to fight dry skin, kudos to you. But you’ll want to consider something lighter come summer, and possibly with an upped SPF in anticipation of more hours spent outside.

Test out lighter makeup. Summer is hot; you don’t want to be walking around with a face full of the same makeup you wear when it’s cold. Not only will it likely run when you sweat, but it can also lead to clogged pores. Let your skin take advantage of the warmth and humidity that comes with summer and get comfortable with different products now so the switch will be seamless when temperatures rise. If you’re used to full-coverage foundation, consider a sheer version.

Stock up on sunscreen. Be very aware of the expiration date on your sunscreen. Consider buying one formulated for facial skin and one for your body. Wear religiously every day and remember you MUST reapply. Buy a standalone sunscreen and do not depend on your foundation and other products. SPF should be a minimum of 30.

Stop ignoring your feet. When sandal weather finally graces us with its presence, don’t let the feet and toenails you ignored all winter long stop you from showing your feet. Yes, they’ve been bundled in thick socks and snow boots for months now, but be proactive with your foot care. Use a scrub weekly to soften up those rough spots. Slather on a heavy-duty moisturizing cream at night to smooth cracked heels. (Pro tip: Put socks on right after to make sure the moisturizer stays put and really soaks in.)

Hands. Give your nails and cuticles some love with an oil designed especially for them. During the coronavirus crisis, you have no doubt washed and sanitized your hands zillions of times and now your hands are a wreck. Treat them especially at night with a rich moisturizer that will soak in (also you can don gloves for better penetration.)

Detox. While you wait for the bounty of in-season summer produce that awaits, consider detoxing a bit now with whatever fresh produce you can get your hands on. Whether it’s adding a scoop of greens to your morning smoothie, upping the healthy bacteria in your gut to fight winter bloat or experimenting with some healthy dishes, baby steps now will mean you have the energy to get out and actually be a person when the weather calls for it.

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Marion Edwards is a Licensed Esthetician, Professional Makeup Artist and Certified Trainer for Motives Cosmetics. She can be contacted at 828.773.1500.

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