One of the things we love about spring, in addition to all that lovely weather, is that we get to transition away from the heavier creams and oils that we relied on to keep our skin hydrated through winter's drying weather and bring out all those more delicate lotions and serums to play with. It's something our founder Jess also loves about spring. "I always look forward to is switching up my skin care and allowing my skin to breathe again (not literally — I know that's not a thing)."
Just as we remove those layers of warmth, so too do we scale back on the products come spring and Jess is a prime example. Her winter routine is intense (it has to be in order to keep her typically dry, redness-prone complexion from suffering), but come spring she pares down dramatically on what she uses.
"The switch over from winter to spring is the absolute worst for me, because my extra dry skin just freaks out when the weather gets nicer," she explains. "To mitigate that, I focus on exfoliating and treating at home and then trying to find a little bit of extra time for more frequent facials until my skin makes the transition. It's hard to find that time, what with running a business, being a single mom of two boys, and trying to homeschool them both, but whenever I can squeeze a few moments in with Pedro or Monica, I definitely make the effort. At home, the key to success for me is exfoliate, treat, and hydrate — and, of course, copious amounts of SPF!"
After the last gasps of winter pass, Jess says that the biggest issue she sees with her skin is dullness and dehydration. "My skin is itchy, dry, and, ironically, the only time I get breakouts in between seasons," she says. Her first step to winter skin recovery/spring prep is a facial with microdermabrasion to slough off all that dead skin, followed by a super-hydrating mask. "I always tell people that they need facials every four to six weeks to keep skin in good health," advises Jess. "But, if finances are a bit tight, then every three months can still have an impact."
As for products, she likens your routine to a wardrobe change. "Think about taking off your heavy jackets and only wearing a light jacket or sweatshirt — your skin needs new products in the same way you need to switch out the clothes you wear for the warmer weather. I usually start by removing heavier creams or oils and replacing them with lighter serums like a hyaluronic acid that still helps to bind moisture to the skin, just without the thick texture."
Her spring skin routine is minimal (or, as minimal as someone who owns a beauty boutique and is obsessed with skin-care can get). She starts with the Tammy Fender Cleansing Milk, a hydrating cleanser that keeps her rosacea-prone skin clean without drying it out. "It gently takes off any bit of makeup on my skin but doesn't strip away the natural oils my skin produces," she says. "It's incredibly important to not overly strip your skin, because then your body will actually start producing more oil and cause you to break out." Next up is the Irene Forte Helichrysum Hyaluronic Toner for an additional bit of both cleansing and hydration. "I don't usually love toners," says Jess, "but this one is the exception. The hyaluronic acid in it makes it hydrating while still grabbing any leftover residue of dirt or makeup. Sometimes in the morning I will just use a little of this toner on dry skin rather than washing with cleanser — it adds hydration and gently cleanses without stripping my moisture barrier."
To help combat that winter dullness, Jess turns to a skin-care staple: vitamin C. Her new go-to is the latest from her BFF Dr. Barbara Sturm, The Good C. "Vitamin C is literally the best for dry, dull skin and this serum is life-changing," says Jess. "I use it both morning and evening and it has made a huge difference — I can actually see my skin look brighter." Her other go-to treatment serum is one that's a holdover from her winter routine — the MBR Liquid Surgery Serum. "This is quite possibly the only thing that has saved my dry, parched, aging skin over the last few months," she says. "It is actually liquid surgery in a bottle. It's super hydrating, but what makes it really special is that it adds oxygen back into the skin by deeply penetrating the skin's barrier to deliver essential nutrients." Jess says that after three months of using this, you will see a huge difference in your skin — it's the closest thing to getting the transformational benefits of a cosmetic procedure without actually having to go under the knife.
After her treatment serums comes the hydration step, and for this Jess turns to the latest brand addition to Shen's shelves, Decree. "I use the Peptide Emollient Veil+ both morning and night because it's incredibly hydrating, but not so heavy that it sits on top of the skin. The proprietary peptides help to improve collagen production for firmer, more plump skin and it helps counteract the dryness and aging effects caused by the environment, stress, and too many late nights," she says. "Decree launched exclusively with us in the US and after a couple of months testing the products, I can honestly say they are incredible." And, because no morning routine is complete without sunscreen, Jess reaches for Decree's Day Shield SPF 30 Spray, an SPF mist that's a total gamechanger in your sun protection game. "Although I am an SPF devotee 365 days a year, I find that I am not good at reapplying. I spray this on in the morning and then throw it in my bag so I can easily re-apply throughout the day. I just spray it on — no rubbing it in or having to get my hands all messy or ruin my makeup."
Speaking of makeup, although Jess isn't known to wear a lot of it, she does say that spring is the time of year when she finds herself reaching for more cosmetics. "I find that in the spring I am addicted to a bold red lip, usually going between the Westman Atelier Lip Suede Les Rouges Palette or the Kosas Weightless Lip Color in Thrillest, but due to mask wearing and not wanting red lipstick all over my face, I am getting lip blushing done with Josh — it's a type of semi-permanent lip color that adds subtle natural pigment to your lips." She's also big on new fragrances in the spring, with her two picks for season coming from Heretic Parfums: Dirty Grass and the brand new Dirty Lavender.
Now that spring has officially sprung, we asked Jess to tell us what she's hopeful (and grateful) for with the start of a new season. "I'm looking forward to the world opening up — travel, life, wine, food, friends, all of it," she says. "I think as we reopen and people are feeling safe again, I'm looking forward to seeing our community. The people here are so supportive and it's just nice to see the faces from yesteryear come back and excited to see the shop. And, I'm incredibly excited about all the new brands we are launching and what we are working on for the fall."