Soon, we’ll be trading our coats and scarves for short sleeves and skirts, baring a bit more skin than we’re used to. To keep us from running back to the closet for a cover-up, we spoke with Sarah McFarland, senior buyer of beauty and well-being for Soft Surroundings, about how to smooth the transition—and our skin, for that matter!

LN: Tell us about Soft Surroundings’ new Renewal Room.

SM: We look at it as a solution room— customers can come give us their skincare challenges for us to solve, or even if they just want a fabulous facial, we can do that! It’s the only place in St. Louis that offers facials from Bliss, and we also offer Epicuren products, relaxation massages and more. We have two aestheticians in a beautiful environment, and we offer great head-to-toe solutions.

LN: What should you do to get your skin ready for spring?

SM: First, I suggest switching from your heavier winter moisturizer to a lighter one as it gets warmer, because the heavier one will cause skin to look oily throughout the day. You’ll also want to renew what you’re carrying around in your makeup bag. Most people have winter products and summer products, but spring is sort of transitional. Take the time to go through and throw out things that are expired or have run out, then figure out how your skin’s needs are different from last year, and adjust.

The next thing to do is renew your radiance. With the dry winter, skin complexions can look duller. We have two facial treatments to bring out the radiance in the skin—the Bliss instant radiance oxygen facial, and the 30 percent glycolic refining facial from Epicuren. If you’re looking for something you can do at home, try a microdermabrasion scrub, or any great facial scrub like an apricot scrub.

Finally, people tend to forget about it, but wearing an SPF makes the biggest difference to our skin as we age. You can use one that’s in a moisturizer, in your makeup or a separate product. We might leave for work with an SPF protective, but just like when you’re out on the beach, you want to reapply every couple of hours if you’re going to be in and out. It’s always good to do before you head out of the office or you’re leaving home.

LN: What component of skincare do women most often overlook?

SM: The neck and the tops of the hands are the first telltale signs of age. Ladies have taken great are of face and they’re in great shape, but they’ll often forget those two areas. You don’t necessarily even need a separate neck cream, but when you’re moisturizing your face, also take it down the neck and across the décolletage. And we wash the SPF off our hands because we don’t want our fingers to be greasy, but always apply it to the tops of your hands. People get dark spots on their hands and it will be from damage incurred 10 years ago, so it’s always important to prevent that.

LN: What are the top three things you would keep in your makeup bag if you were traveling?

SM: The No. 1 thing for me is going to be mascara. I don’t have big eyes and I have light lashes, so I want volume there. Second is a great lipstick. This season, we’re moving away from the warmer shades of winter into brighter corals and oranges. The third thing would be a little hair product.