As we’re in the first week of spring, some of us have already begun spring cleaning our homes, but most of us neglect one of the most important spring cleanings of all: our skin. After months of indoor heat and cold weather, our first impulse is to ditch the sweaters and boots, and break out the sandals, sleeveless shirts, and shorts, as the days get longer, and the temperatures begin to rise. Before you begin to reveal what’s hiding underneath your clothes, make these six changes to your beauty routine to protect the skin on your face and body:

1. Choose a Lighter Moisturizer

Although it’s the end of winter, and your skin may not be as dry during spring, it’s important to continue to moisturize daily to protect your skin. Opt for a lighter moisturizer, and wear minimal makeup to prevent clogged pores, whiteheads, blackheads, and acne, since the skin is typically oiler in warmer climates, says A Woman’s Health. Applying a lighter or oil-free moisturizer will prevent pores from clogging and help your skin feel lighter, but hydrated and protected.

Tip: If you do not want to switch to a new moisturizer, try mixing rosewater into your thick, winter moisturizer.

2. Increase Sun Protection

Longer days and cool nights could only mean one thing: more sunscreen. More hours of daylight mean the greater the need for sunscreen application to protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Sunscreen is considered to be one of the best anti-aging products that provides your skin with maximum protection. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends applying a tablespoon of broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 for the face, and a shot glass amount for the body. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before going outside to be most effective.

Tip: Choose a moisturizing sunscreen to hydrate your face and protect it from the sun’s damaging rays.

3. Exfoliate Before Hair Removal

With cold winter temperatures and snow storms every weekend, chances are you might’ve skipped out on shaving for a week, or all winter long. Whether you have a few dry, rough patchy spots, or have gone au natural, it’s best to exfoliate before doing any hair removal treatments. Use a washcloth or a loofah to scrub away dead skin cells off your face and body to create a smooth, spring glow. Claudia Spagnolo, director of the DeFranco Spagnolo Salon and Spa in Great Neck, N.Y., suggests avoiding a body scrub or exfoliation product the same day of your hair removal treatment or shaving to make the procedure easier and safer.

Tip: Pretreat your body 24 hours to 48 hours before hair removal or tanning.

4. Pamper Your Feet

Open-toed shoe season means most of us will be eager to show our feet in sandals or flip flops after months of hiding in suede pumps and knee-high boots. As we begin to ditch our wool socks and get ready to show our spring manicure toes, we must pamper our feet before breaking in the footwear. A pumice stone is a great way to deal with calluses on your feet to exfoliate dead skin cells. To keep your feet soft and moisturized, it’s best to slather on a layer of cream, lotion, or body butter on your feet after showering or bathing, according to Vista Magazine.

Tip: To get really soft feet, slip on a pair of cotton socks right after moisturizing with either aloe vera or olive oil, and leave them on overnight to have baby smooth skin.

5. Hydrate With Water

Protecting your skin for spring is as simple as drinking water. It helps skin stay naturally moisturized and hydrated to prevent the skin from becoming dry and chapped. Also, drinking more water is a great way to reduce weight, especially from loading up on all the comfort food during the long winter months. If you need to add some flavor to your water, add lemon, to double this as a natural immunity booster, says blogger FP Jana at the Free People Blog.  

Tip: Drink a warm cup of lemon water before bed to increase your H2O intake, and you'll feel more relaxed.

6. Steam It Out

Indulge in warm showers every once in a while to create an at-home spa experience as you open up your pores and remove the oil buildup from the winter months. Steam will make it easy for you to exfoliate dead skin cells and flakiness from cold temperatures, and promote new skin growth. This helps to clear out the pores, and prevent clogging for the increase in oil production during spring. Elena Rubin, New York City facialist advises to avoid over-steaming to prevent stripping the skin of its natural oil.

Tip: Do not put your face near steaming hot water that may cause burns and bruising.

Strip your skin away from the winter blues, and let it be radiant and healthy for springtime.