Spring is almost here and we couldn’t be more excited to soak up the sunshine and celebrate the season. While you may be jumping for joy to get back in the great outdoors, your skin may need a little more convincing. Winter months have a tendency to wreak havoc on your skin – low humidity in combination with recycled heat and less fresh air can leave your skin looking dull, dry, rough and wrinkled.

Start the season off right and show the world your best side with these tips for springtime skincare:

SUNSCREEN. First things first, wear it! All the time. UV radiation from the sun is the number one cause of skin cancer. What else do you really need to know before committing to a daily dose of SPF? Healthy skin requires protection from the sun’s harmful rays, especially those who spend a great deal of time outdoors. While basking in the sun is one of the most relaxing pastimes known to man, the importance of wearing sunscreen cannot be stressed enough. Choose a daily moisturizer for both your face and body that contains SPF 15 or higher. If you know you will be out in the sun for more than 20 minutes, pack a small bottle of sunscreen and reapply every hour to avoid sun damage and wrinkles.

Exfoliate. While it’s perfectly fine to use a mechanical scrub to buff dead skin off of your elbows, knees, heels and toes, this is where the similarities and differences in seasonal skin care end. Scrubs that contain fruit pits and nut shells can cause microscopic tears in the skin that make dry winter skin look and feel even worse. Instead, use a gentle cleansing cloth or facial cleanser containing an alpha-hydroxy or beta-hydroxy acid to remove the dull, dead skin from your face. Exfoliating is also advised before having any type of hair removal treatments. Pretreat the area by gently exfoliating 24 to 48 hours before hair removal to make the process easier and less painful.

Cleanse. It is important to find the right facial cleanser for your skin type. Whether you have naturally sensitive skin, acne-prone skin, dry, oily, or combination skin, there is a face wash out there just for you. Ask your dermatologist for recommendations before trying every product on the drug store shelf. Changing skin care products too often can also put added stress on your skin.

Moisturize. Avoid premature wrinkles and boost hydration by maintaining good moisturizing habits all year round. Choose an oil-free product for oily skin, or try a creamier version for dry skin. Bonus points for using a moisturizer with SPF. Don’t forget the SPF!

Beautify. When was the last time you cleaned your make up brushes or replaced your foundation sponge? Never? Don’t worry, you’re certainly not alone. Believe it or not, the bacteria currently thriving in your make up brushes multiplies with every application. While powder palettes and liquid foundation hold their integrity for about a year, your brushes need to be washed at least once a month. Mix a gentle, natural cleanser with warm water in a small container to wash your brushes every few weeks. After a good 20-minute soak, rinse them clean under running water and let them dry thoroughly before using.