Tokyo is currently gearing up for its second major snow day of 2022! But, soon the fragrant scent of plum trees will fill the air, signaling that spring is finally on its way. It’s time to make the transition from winter to spring skincare, and here’s how to do it. 


Why Should Our Skin Care Change With The Seasons?

Before we get into our tips on how to transition from winter to spring skincare, let’s talk about why we need to change our skincare routine. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… right?

Think about it this way: why do you transition your wardrobe or makeup from winter to spring? Lighter colors and floral prints signal rebirth and the arrival of warmer days. 

During the winter, temperatures are low and the air is dry. That’s why we supplement our skincare routine with rich, nourishing products that hydrate and lock in moisture. But, our skin won’t need all that additional moisture in the spring when temperatures and humidity rises. 

Even if winter’s cold never bothered you anyway, spring weather can harm your skin barrier if you’re not prepared.  

As our largest organ, our skin acts as a living barrier that protects us from potential harm caused by our environment. However, no matter how tough our skin is, it’s actually very easily affected by external factors. 

This is especially true for our face. There, the skin is particularly thin and susceptible to seasonal changes like changes in humidity/temperature, UV radiation/sun exposure and environmental stresses (i.e. pollen.)

As the seasons change from winter to spring, choose skin care products that will counteract these factors.

Transition From Winter To Spring Skincare: 5 Product Swaps To Make

1. Choose a Mild, Light Cleanser

This spring, replace your thick, hydrating cleanser with a lightweight gel or foaming facial cleanser. 

Gel cleansers unclog the pores and remove dirt and excess oil off the survce of the skin, and are suitable if you have oily or acne-prone skin. For an extra skincare boost, choose a gel cleanser with antibacterial or exfoliation properties, like FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil or ORBIS CLEAR Deep Cleansing Liquid.  

On the other hand, if you have sensitive skin or combination skin you may like MUJI Foam Face Soap for Sensitive Skin or Curel Foaming Wash.

Foam cleansers remove dirt, pollutants while maintaining your skin’s moisture balance. 

2. Move On To A Lighter Moisturizer

Japanese moisturizers tend to fall under a category of skincare products known as “keshousui” or “lotion.”

Milky and creamy moisturizers can do wonders for our skin during the winter months as they lock in hydration. But, as the weather warms up, you’re more likely to sweat as you spend more time outdoors. Thick moisturizers seal in sweat and oil, potentially leading to breakouts. 

Go for a water-based moisturizer like Hanajirushi Coix Seed Skin Conditioner, which can be applied to the body as well as your face. 



Better yet, choose one with hyaluronic acid, like the cult favorite Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Premium Lotion.

3. Welcome Water-Based Serums

If you used oil-based serums all winter, it’s time to switch to a water-based serum. They’ll still nourish your skin, but they’re lighter, meaning you can layer them with other products during the daytime.

Kiku Masamune Sake Brewing Skin Care Essence blends nourishing ingredients like amino acids, ceramides, vitamin C derivatives with Japanese rice wine to create a rich, lightweight serum that soothes, brightens, and hydrates.

Allna Organic Natural Essence combines 22 organic, plant-based ingredients with 12 beauty enhancing ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acids, and vitamin C derivatives to moisturize and reduce the appearance of blemishes.

4. Pick a Peeling Gel or Peeling Toner 

Regular exfoliation during the winter months helps remove layers of dry skin caused by low temperatures and humidity. As the days become longer and warmer, you’ll want to switch from scrubs to gel exfoliators, like DETClear Bright & Peel Peeling Jelly.

Available in 3 delicious fruit scents, this peeling gel uses both AHA and BHA to slough off dead skin.

An exfoliating toner is also a great choice to add to your spring skincare routine.

TUNEMAKERS Undiluted Solution Peeling Lotion is an alcohol-free wipe-off toner formulated with 2 different types of AHA to soften and brighten the skin. It also contains ceramides to restore your skin’s moisture.

5. Switch Your Sunscreen

Spring is the time for new beginnings and you’re likely to be occupied with school and work related events. But, no matter what’s on your spring social calendar, be sure to apply sunscreen before heading out! After all, sun exposure is one of the leading causes of skin damage. 

Japanese sunscreens are formulated to protect against both UVA and UVB rays, which is denoted by its rating system. SPF stands for “sun protection factor,” a number which indicates how well a product protects against UVB rays. 

PA stands for “protection grade of UVA,” harmful rays  that are the primary cause of premature skin aging and skin cancer. 

In the spring, choose a tinted sunscreen which will act as a color corrector and primer, like ALLIE Airy Nuance Change UV Gel (SPF 50+ PA++++). It has a subtle cherry blossom scent that compliments its pink iridescent hue.


If you suffer from hay fever rash, try Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Essence in Mint Green. Its waterproof formula is rated SPF 50+ PA++++ and the green tint counteracts redness.

BONUS: Pollen and Puffy Eyes? 

For many, spring in Japan is all about hanami, or gathering under fully-bloomed sakura (cherry blossom trees) with your friends, family, and co-workers. However, those of you that suffer from hay fever might associate “spring in Japan” with hinoki (Japanese cypress) and sugi (Japanese red-cedar) trees!

Spring allergies are certainly nothing to sneeze at! In addition to redness and itchy eyes, hay fever can also leave you with unsightly puffiness under your eyes. 

Add a de-puffing eye cream or gel with brightening properties like SK-II R.N.A Power Eye Cream Radical New Age to your spring skin care routine. For a soothing effect, store your eye cream or gel in the fridge as the chilled product also reduces down swelling.

You can also alleviate puffiness around the eyes through lymphatic drainage. To do this, gently massage your face using a gua sha and/or facial roller made of natural gemstones like jade and rose quartz. For tips on how to incorporate a gua sha and facial roller into your skincare routine, check out this post: 3 Step Sunday Skincare Routine

Transition From Winter To Spring Skincare: Recap

We’ve identified 5 easy ways you can transition from winter to spring skincare by making a few product swaps:

1. Choose a Mild, Light Cleanser

2. Move On To A Lighter Moisturizer

3. Welcome Water-Based Serums

4. Pick a Peeling Gel or Peeling Toner

5. Switch Your Sunscreen

Don’t forget to add a de-puffing eye cream or gua sha/facial roller to the mix and you’re all set! No matter what’s on your Spring 2022 itinerary, these winter to spring skincare tips are sure to help you put your best face forward. 

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Transition From Winter To Spring Skincare

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