You maintain a consistent skin care routine. I mean, don’t fix what isn’t broken, right? But still, something feels different. Maybe your skin is a bit tight and you start to wonder if you forgot something. Did you moisturize? Use the wrong face wash?
Truth is, you probably completed your routine perfectly….wash, hydrate, moisturize…it was the right routine, but for the wrong time of year.
Your skin is the barrier between you and the external world. It’s effected by the most minor of changes, so is it any surprise that your summertime skincare repertoire would be rendered useless against a full change of seasons?
The take home lesson here is that when the weather changes, the skin care routine should be changing too. No worries though…we have made it fully easy to make the swap. Readers, say hello to your new fall skin care routine.
Why does skin change in the fall months?
The ‘why’ is almost as important as the change itself. Understanding how external forces effect internal processes (in this case, the skin) can help you make the changes that are right for you.
Your skin is the largest organ in your body (crazy right?!) and unlike the rest of your organs, it is exposed to the elements meaning that it is incredibly vulnerable to changes in the environment.
Weather and your skin
Our skin is porous, and permeable, which is why moisturizer doesn’t just sit on top of the skin and is instead, absorbed. As a result of this delicate balance, its no surprise that the water in the air affects the balance of water (hydration) in your skin. A humid climate can soften skin and make it easy to maintain fullness, and conversely a dryer climate can dehydrate the skin, making more likely to show fine lines and wrinkles.
As far as the effects of climate on skin goes, there are advantages and disadvantages to every season. In the summer, skin can be easier to manage because the air is more humid than it is in the winter (even in dryer climates). The lifestyle that summer encourages can also help skin thrive, as we’re more likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, exercise, and stay active, which increases circulation and helps skin stay healthy.
Summer skin vs fall skin
But it isn’t all hydration and plump skin. Summer months often expose our skin to too much sun, which can accelerate the appearance of aging, and if we spend time in the pool the exposure to chlorine or salt can cause drying and temporary irritation. Increased air conditioning dries out skin while excess heat means more sweating, which can lead to clogged pores.
Fall brings colder, more turbulent weather, particularly if you live in regions that have four clearly defined seasons. Winds blow more fiercely and the temperature may vary greatly from one day to the next with hot, humid days and cool, dryer nights. With this shift in weather our skin has to adapt, requiring that our skincare adapt with it.
7 tips for your best fall skin care routine
So what do you do with this information? We have you covered! To help maintain your best look as you go through fall this year, try these seven tips…but above all else, trust your skin. Do you feel dry midday, or do you still have excess oil on warm days? Does your skin look dull and tired? Do you notice more sagging?
Depending on what your skin is telling you, you may want to increase or decrease how often you do each of these steps each week. If you find that you’re a person very affected by the changes in weather, watching the forecast and planning your routine around the humidity and/or cloud cover could offer the best results.
1. Change your cleanser
This is probably the most important thing you can do for your skin and is often overlooked. People often assume that a cleanser is a cleanser, but that could not be further from the truth. Sweat and activity in the summertime often call for a more clarifying cleanser like the Murad Clarifying Cleanser while fall and winter hibernation demand that you take a gentler approach.
If you’re finding that your summertime cleanser is feeling a bit too harsh, look for something that will leave your skin more moisturized. We recommend a cleanser with aloe because it cleanses gently and leaves your skin feeling moisturized and nourished.
After cleansing, think about how your skin is feeling. Is it comfortable and smooth, or does it feel tight? If it’s the latter, keep looking, as that means your skin is still too dry after cleansing. You want to avoid that dry feeling going into fall and winter.
2. Change your toner
This follows the same logic as changing your cleanser—you want something with a little more balancing power. We recommend the Tata Harper Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Floral Essence for fall weather. It provides the extra oomph of hydration that helps your skin resist moisture loss throughout the day
Holy Cow’s Mineral Basil Mist, works wonderful in the summer, as it’s more refreshing and invigorating. Not to mention, it is so easy to use.
Whatever toner you choose, be sure to avoid the alcohol-based ones, as alcohol is drying to the skin. Use something that calms and soothes skin after cleansing. Again, take clues from your skin. How does it feel when you’ve finished applying?
3. Change your moisturizer
You’ve probably already heard that it’s best to use oil in the summer and cream in the winter. Because we tend to sweat more in summer, it’s best if moisturizer we use has a lighter base so it doesn’t clog pores. In the fall, we’re transitioning into colder windy days, blasting heaters, and less water in the air—all of which suck that hydration out of our skin (and moisture right along with it) leaving behind a dry, flaky surface that highlights lines and wrinkles.
Why it’s so important to moisturize
Skin also tends to naturally produce less oil in the fall and winter months so that means it’s time to step up the moisture application. If you have oily skin, you may be fine staying with your summer moisturizer during the day, but switch to a more deeply penetrating moisturizer at night to help keep your skin from developing dry patches.
Don’t forget the eye area. This delicate skin also requires more moisture. We like the Hey Honey Look Into My Eyes Retinol & Propolis Eye Mask. It’s a deeply penetrating eye mask that isn’t sticky and wont leave an awkward residue.
Even the most cautious sun lover can enter into fall time with the remnants of the summer sun and pool playtime showing up on their skin. We always recommend exfoliating because it is the best way to minimize the appearance of dark spots and smooth out your skin tone, but now is a really great time to pay attention to your exfoliating routine.
Since we’re entering into a time of year where the skin is creating less oil and can be irritated by the environmental factors—wind, rain, the changing temperature—you want to pay close attention to when your skin is looking a little dull and in need of a scrub.
Some people are able to exfoliate a couple of times a week in the summertime but over exfoliating in the cooler, drier part of the year can be to much. Paula’s Choice The Unscrub is ideal for this, as it’s gentle enough to use regularly.
By the way—don’t forget your lips. Whatever exfoliating you use on your face, you can also apply lightly to the lips. (Rinse after 2-3 minutes.) Follow up with your deep moisturizer to enjoy plump, soft lips in the fall months.
5. Reduce appearance of pore size
Because we sweat more in the summertime, the pores tend to enlarge. That means that as we go into the fall months, we may look in the mirror and see more pores than we’d like.
Take advantage of this time to bring your pores into line. The key is to keep them clean so that your body’s natural cycle can do the rest. The Olay Pore Detox Black Charcoal Clay Mask Stick is what you need! The clays absorb excess oil, pulling all the gunk out of the pores as you sit back and relax. When you rinse, you’ll notice a difference right away.
Try it twice a week for a few weeks until you notice a difference in your pores, and then you can back off to just once a week. We like to exfoliate before we do the mask, just to make sure we’re working with the new skin, then follow up with a hydrating mask for a lovely at-home spa treatment.
6. Bring out the hydrating masks
The transition from summer to fall to winter bring drier air, which can rob your skin of moisture. That means that even if you change your moisturizer, it may not be enough, especially when the winds blow and the heaters come on.
You may not have needed a hydrating mask in the summertime, but now it’s time to start using one again. During your weekly at-home spa treatment, we recommend a coconut and honey mask. These are super popular right now so you wont be in short supply, but if you don’t want to commit to the heavy price tag, then you can always DIY. There are a TON of recipes online using ingredients like mashed bananas, avocados, honey, yogurt, olive or jojoba oil, oatmeal, and the like. Just mix together, apply, and leave on for 10-15 minutes.
Honey is a natural humectant and the coconut oil in the mask will leave your skin feeling smooth and deeply nourished.
7. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
All this dry, blustery weather is dehydrating to our skin. We can (and should) drink glass after glass of water but because the skin is part of creating a balance in our internal and external worlds, sometimes we need a little extra topical hydration to fight that external battle. Our Serums are created just that! Use them just before your moisturizer to plump up the skin.
What does your skin need most?
Anti-Aging Serums work to soothe and plump of the skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Stem-cell serum that rejuvenates skin and provides powerful antioxidant activity to help promote beautiful skin and the Wild Fruit Serum brightens, hydrates, and helps tone aging skin.
Three keys to your best skin
Keep in mind the three keys to your best skin this fall:
- Notice how your skin reacts to the change in weather
- Notice how your skin looks throughout the day
- Adjust your skin care routine to match what you’re needing
Remember that anytime you add a product or change your routine, your skin will need time to adapt. Use your new routine for at least a couple weeks before determining that it’s not working.
Make product changes gradually. Start with just changing your cleanser and give that a week or so then change your toner and watch how your skin responds with each change. Give it the time it needs to level out before you make your next change.