Skin Is In! These Spring Skincare Faves Deserve To Be In Your Shopping Cart ASAP

This article is in partnership with Ulta Beauty.

Put away your bubble coats and snow boots (amen!) because Spring has sprung and it's time to make the great outdoors your playground. With every new change of season, making some tweaks to your skincare routine is always a good investment. That's especially true if you're dealing with skincare concerns like hyperpigmentation and dryness.

Lucky for us, Dermatologist Caroline Robinson is giving us the real on how to re-up our skincare arsenal in time for the warmer weather. Dr. Robinson is a MD FAAD board-certified dermatologist and founder of Tone Dermatology, an innovative and inclusive dermatologic practice on Chicago’s near south side. Her practice specializes in alopecia, preventative skincare, and skin of color dermatology.

Whether you're battling hyperpigmentation or texture, these products are worth adding to your cart during your next skincare haul, and key for carrying you into the next few months. Get the 411 on spring skincare below:

xoNecole:Should shoppers be looking to switch up their skincare products as the weather transitions from winter to spring?

Dr. Robinson: Transitioning skin care as the weather transitions is an important step in maintaining a balanced and hydrated skin barrier. The transition from winter to spring can be an important one depending on your climate and I always encourage evaluating your skin care products at that time. Regardless of the season, however, sunscreen is essential. There’s a misconception that this just applies to the summer months but sun protection is very important in the winter, spring and fall months as well. I recommend SPF 30 or higher on a daily basis. Protecting your skin from the sun year-round will protect and improve your skin’s radiance and tone.

If so, what types of products should they be looking for? (ex, should we switch from rich, heavier moisturizers to lighter ones?)

The two main categories to look at when transitioning your skin care with the seasons are cleansers and moisturizers. In general, more nourishing cleansers such as creamy cleansers are helpful in climates with harsh winters. In the spring, as the humidity increases it can be helpful to incorporate a gel cleanser based on your skin type. A gentle gel cleanser can be added for normal skin types and a gentle exfoliating cleanser can be added for more oily skin types. The same concept applies to moisturizer. I typically recommend using a lighter moisturizer than that used in the winter months based on your skin type. Options include light creams, lotions, and gel moisturizers.

Why is SPF so important to include in your skincare routine, and what tips can you give our readers about finding the best one for them?

Wearing sunscreen daily is the single most important thing that you can do to protect your skin and be proactive about skin health. Your sunscreen should be SPF 30 or higher, broad spectrum, and water resistant in order to provide adequate protection. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying 1 shot glass of sunscreen to cover the entire body, approximately 1/2 teaspoon of which will cover the face and neck. I recommend measuring out your application at least one time to make sure that you have an idea of how much you’re actually applying. For those who cook, a 1/2 teaspoon is roughly equivalent to a quarter-sized mound in a cupped hand nor 3 finger lengths of SPF.

There are two categories of sunscreens, mineral (or physical) and chemical, and for the most part they work fairly similar to protect our skin. Mineral sunscreens contain ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and both reflect and absorb light to protect the skin. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the UV rays and turning them into heat which is carried away and off of the skin. Generally speaking, chemical sunscreens do not leave a white cast, however those with more sensitive skin and who are acne prone can occasionally experience issues with this category of sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens are better suited for sensitive skin types but can tend to leave a white cast making it important to find blend-able options for these skin types. I find that tinted mineral sunscreens that contain iron oxide (which also can provide added visible light protection) tend to blend in better than un-tinted mineral sunscreens on darker skin.

Hyperpigmentation is a major skincare concern for women of color. Which skincare ingredients tend to be most effective for people suffer from hyperpigmentation?

One of the least acknowledged truths about treating hyperpigmentation is that sunscreen is the very first step, the most important step, in improving them. Sunscreen is extremely important in protecting the skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays and also visible light which drives hyperpigmentation in melanin-rich skin more than other skin tones. In these cases, sunscreen is more than just protective. It is essential in the treatment of hyperpigmentation. Sunscreens that contain iron oxide and carry a tint tend to provide better protection against visible light. After consistent sunscreen, I recommend topical tone correctors that contain a blend of antioxidants and proven actives and in office treatments like chemical peels, microneedling, and laser. Some of the most popular ingredients for treating hyperpigmentation are hydroquinone (primarily available in prescription only), antioxidants such as Vitamin C, alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic acid and glycolic acid, or other ingredients such as kojic acid, azelaic acid, arbutin and more. As always, pigment is tricky and stubborn pigment is a reason to see a board-certified dermatologist.

Finally, what are the most essential skincare steps that you feel should be in everyone's routine?

The most essential steps that should be in everyone’s skincare routine are cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting (with sunscreen). Treatment products can be added after the cleansing step depending on your skin concerns and these include serums to address hyperpigmentation, retinol to address acne or proactively address the signs of skin aging, and products specific for the eye, lips, neck, etc. Starting with the basics is always best!

Feeling inspired? Shop Dr. Robinson's favorite products below from Ulta Beauty:

Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment Serum

Sunday Riley Good Genes is a multi-treatment serum that deeply exfoliates the skin and instantly plumps the look of fine lines and wrinkles in 3 minutes.

Sunday Riley

Good Molecules Discoloration Correcting Serum

Target hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone with Discoloration Correcting Serum from Good Molecules. Formulated with an advanced form of tranexamic acid to visibly improve the appearance of dark spots, acne scars, melasma, and sun damage.

Discoloration Correcting Serum

Peach & Lily Transparen-C Pro Spot Treatment

Peach & Lily Transparen-C Pro Spot Treatment features a uniquely stable 20% Vitamin C derivative to rapidly, gently, and visibly erase the look of dark spots.

Peach & Lily

Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum

Sunday Riley CEO 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum is powered by 15% Vitamin C. This lightweight serum fights the look of dullness and discolorations at the source, while diminishing the signs of aging.

Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum

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Jodie Turner-Smith Files For Divorce From Joshua Jackson After Nearly 4 Years Of Marriage

2023 has become the year of celebrity breakups with headlines breaking left and right about celebs filing for divorce or ending high-profile relationships. The latest couple to announce their dissolution? British actress Jodie Turner-Smith. TMZ reported that Jodie has filed for a divorce from her husband, Dawson Creek alum Joshua Jackson.

As far as her reason for calling it quits, Jodie cited "irreconcilable differences," according to TMZ, and has requested joint custody of the couple's daughter, Juno Rose Diana Jackson. Late last year there were rumblings of there being "trouble in paradise" for the couple after the media realized they were no longer following each other on Instagram.

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Jodie Turner-Smith celebrates her birthday with husband Joshua Jackson at the unveiling of the new fully-electric Lotus Emeya on September 07, 2023 in New York City.

Brian Ach/Getty Images for Lotus

Despite seeming particularly happy and in love, perhaps the writing was already written on the wall even then. In the past, Jodie has been very celebratory publicly about her love for her estranged husband, even boldly recounting their love story for the books in a 2021 interview with Seth Meyers.

When Jodie and Joshua met, it was while at his birthday party in 2018. Their relationship was hot and heavy from the start, with Jodie openly noting that they began as a "one-night stand." During her 2021 interview with Seth Meyers, she jokingly referred to their love story as a "three-year one-night stand." She shared:

"First of all, I saw him before he saw me and when I saw him, I was like, 'I want that.' And then when he saw me, I just pretended like I didn't see him. He had to yell across the room to me, and I was wearing this T-shirt from a movie called Sorry to Bother You and [actress] Tessa Thompson plays a character called Detroit, and she has this T-shirt that says, 'The Future Is Female Ejaculation.'

"And so, he shouts across the room, 'Detroit!' He comes over and… does this really cute, charming thing that he does and just all night -- he just basically followed me around the party."

The couple were together from that moment forth, and even made things "Instagram official" less than two weeks later while on a dinner date. Joshua would later clarify to Insider that the night they met in 2018 was not a 'one-night stand' or a 'three-year one-night stand' like his then-wife joked but instead, it was "technically a three-night stand."

"It was sealed with a kiss that night and then we didn't leave each other's sides for, well, three years now," Joshua continued at the time.

In a July 2021 interview with Jimmy Fallon, Joshua dropped more details about the why behind getting married. He revealed that he didn't know he wanted to get married to Jodie until "the moment she asked me."

"She asked me on New Year's Eve. We were in Nicaragua. It was very beautiful, incredibly romantic, we were walking down the beach and she asked me to marry her."

He added, "I did not know [she would propose], but she was quite adamant and she was right. This is the best choice I ever made."

Joshua Jackson Reveals Jodie Turner-Smith Proposed To Him

Jodie received quite a bit of flack for proposing to Joshua because it goes against tradition and what society sees as acceptable for a woman to do to a man, and proposing isn't one of them. No matter how much time has passed, the viewpoints around who should do the proposing and who should be proposed to are still very traditional.

After being on the receiving end of such backlash, Joshua would later clarify to the media in a separate interview that it wasn't just Jodie's proposal to him that sealed the deal of them getting married, he proposed to her too. She might have initiated it, but Joshua followed through.

"I accidentally threw my wife under the bus because that story was told quickly and it didn't give the full context and holy Jesus, the internet is racist and misogynist," he explained to Refinery29 that same year. "We were in Nicaragua on a beautiful moonlit night, it could not possibly have been more romantic."

David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

He continued, "And yes, my wife did propose to me and yes, I did say yes, but what I didn't say in that interview was there was a caveat, which is that I'm still old school enough that I said, 'This is a yes, but you have to give me the opportunity [to do it too].'"

"She has a biological father and a stepdad, who's the man who raised her. [I said], 'You have to give me the opportunity to ask both of those men for your hand in marriage.' And then, 'I would like the opportunity to re-propose to you and do it the old-fashioned way down on bended knee.' So, that's actually how the story ended up."

Joshua and Jodie would eventually marry in December 2019. Shortly thereafter, Jodie gave birth to the couple's first child, Janie, in 2020.

In a recent interview with Elle UK, Jodie shared the ways becoming a mother to Juno helped to heal her of her wounds from colorism she experienced in the past. "It's interesting because I had a lot of resistance to becoming a mother and, throughout my life, I always said if I were to have children, I wanted to have Black, Black babies so that I could affirm them as children with the love that I felt I needed to have been affirmed with by the outside world," Jodie shared with the outlet.

She continued, "Then I fell in love with my husband and we talked about having kids. I did have this mini pause, where I was like, 'She's going to be walking through the world not only having an experience that I did not have, but looking like people that, in a way, I'd always felt a little bit tormented by.' Now that I've got this little, tiny, light-skinned boss, I feel like it’s the universe teaching me lessons. I've been given a daughter who looks this way to heal my own conversations around colorism."

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Masterdating: A TikTok Dating Trend That We Should Totally Get Behind

Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”

Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?

Now masterdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.

If you’re not familiar with what masterdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.


Masturdate: a date w oneself

What’s Masterdating All About?

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Masterdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masterdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.

Any of you who may think that masterdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masterdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.

3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masterdating

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1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.

That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masterdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.

2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.

One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?

3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.

Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.

10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masterdating

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So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masterdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:

1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.

2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).

3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.

4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).

5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.

Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.

6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?

7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.

8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.

9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.

10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.

TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.

Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie

While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.





Sooo…what kind of masterdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!

No…for real. ENJOY!

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