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Spring Skin Awakening

Tips and products to ready skin for warm weather

by Karen Day in Style on 30 April 2010

Doing a little something extra for your skin is a good idea year-round, but spring makes a good excuse as any to do a deep cleanse and rejuvenate your routine. We recently met with skin expert Joie Tavernise (who runs her own clinic J Tav on NYC's Upper East Side) to get her recs on how to best treat skin during these transitional months. See her suggestions below, along with some of our favorite new products, and some tips for polishing up your look.

Doing a deeper exfoliation or peel after a winter's worth of dead skin build-up is a good idea (we like Ren's Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask for $55), but Tavernise's three essential tips for everyone during spring months are switch to a lightweight moisturizer, always apply sunscreen, and regularly exfoliate.

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Moisturize

One lightweight moisturizer Tavernise favors, Swiss bio-pharmaceutical brand Amazon.

Tavernise recommends Clarisonic's new Opal Anti-Aging Serum along with the Sonic Micro-Massage Cleanser ($245 from Clarisonic) to keep skin looking young and healthy at home.

Protect

A good sunscreen should have an SPF of 15 or higher and contain ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect against harmful UVA and UVB rays. (A good mineral-based option is Skyn Iceland's SPF 18 Antidote for $)The type of sunscreen can be a personal choice, but Tavernise recommends a mineral sunscreen powder. Options like the SPF 20 Powder Sunscreen by iS Clinical ($40 from SkinStore) often work better since many oils don't actually contain a sufficient amount of sunscreen and gels easily wipe off while sweating in the sun, causing a greater need for reapplication. Tavernise prefers iS because of its broad spectrum of UVA and UVB protective elements and no-hassle application.

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The Organic Pharmacy offers wholesome sun creams, packed with all-natural ingredients that will not only protect skin from the sun, but will also nourish and encourage cell growth while preventing the effects of aging.

Using their patented Cell-Ox Shield technology, La Roche-Posay combines intense anti-oxidants with powerful sun filters in their Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid ($28). The mixture also includes the tropical leaf extract Senna Alata, known for its antiviral and skin healing properties.

Channeling the beneficial effects of wine,Caudalie's Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Cream ($68) provides an SPF of 15 while enriching skin with ingredients like pea and sodium hyaluronate, chamomile extract, tangerine and mint.

Exfoliate

Exfoliating skin not only removes dead skin and evens out its overall texture, but generates the growth of new skin cells while also diminishing visible sun damage and age spots. The process dates back to ancient Egypt and has since evolved to a fine science. While exfoliating at home is simple with a gentle scrub containing tiny grains, a twice-weekly ultrasonic exfoliation at the spa will dramatically boost the skin.

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For a gentle exfoliator try Sco's Refining Face Scrub, a base treatment that will clarify and even out the skin's tone and texture.Customize your exfoliator with Sco infusers like lavender or ginkgo biloba for an extra boost, or pick up an already-formulated mix that includes papaya, lemon and juniper berry from Honey In The Rough's online boutique for $70.

A rice-based enzyme powder, Dermalogica's daily microfoliant ($50) activates upon contact with water releasing nourishing ingredients like papain (a protease that stimulates cell growth), Aspergillus (helps reduce the skin's melanin production for a more even tone), colloidal oatmeal (soothes and smoothes out skin) and more.

If you worry that daily buffing is too intense, several products on the market offer a gentler formula. Odacite's make their tender Jojoba Beads Exfoliant ($45) with pure Jojoba wax, so that the rounded beads scrub without leaving micro-lacerations. Leaving out any preservatives or harmful chemicals, Odacite guarantees each product is fresh and full of active ingredients for complete effectiveness.

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Another good option for once or twice weekly, Ren also uses micro Jojoba oil beads to help deep cleanse by removing dead skin cells, adding Juniper and Peppermint essential oils for toning and other benefits. The Jojoba Micro Bead Purifying Facial Scrub will set you back $35.

A new product from Wei Beauty, their Pomegranate buffing beads ($20) mix into the cleanser you already use to delicately scrub dead skin away. Made with finely ground pomegranate peel, the age-old antioxidant helps brightness and even skin tone.

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Polish

Put an extra bounce in your step with a blow out, like the on-the-go service offered at NYC's Blow bar ($40). We also recommend their Beach Blow spritzer ($21) to separate and tousle hair without weighing it down, maintaining that fresh-out-of-the-ocean look year-round.

To get feet ready to go al fresco, Feet First buffing pads are the best we've found for getting feet clean and soft. The simple scrubbers remove calluses, cure dry heels and revive tired feet with their nonabrasive formula.

Other than great skin, a perfectly arched set of eyebrows can do wonders for making both men and women look great. For New Yorkers, we recommend professional makeup artist Ramy, who works with bone structure to achieve the ideal shape for your face ("The best you possible," as he puts it) and always goes for a fuller, more classic look. Shaping by Ramy himself runs $75, but a new service at Duane Reade's Look Boutiques gets you brows by a technician personally trained by Ramy for $30.

For those downtown, the wonderful esthetician Rosie offers a Friday brow-shaping special for $25, or $50 at other times, at her salon housed in the Honey in the Rough boutique.

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