Creating a new skincare regimen for fall can be a challenge – especially if your current products have served you well over the summer months. Wondering which products you should keep using through the season ahead and which you should replace? Need some tips on protecting sensitive skin from environmental damage and cold, wet weather? Read on to find the answers to these questions and more about fall skincare.
If you suspect your skincare regimen needs a few alterations before cold weather hits in full force, now is a great time to clean out your bathroom cabinet and take inventory of your current products. In this article, you’ll learn how to simplify the process of choosing products targeted to your specific skin type – from gentle cleansers and nourishing moisturizers to rejuvenating after-summer treatments. Let these eight dos and don’ts be your guide when creating the ideal fall weather skincare regimen.
Do introduce moisturizing products into your autumn skincare regimen. While you may have been able to get away with an easy-breezy daily routine over the summer, your skin is going to need a bit more protection and moisture when the weather cools – and that tinted moisturizer probably isn’t hydrating enough. Pair a lightweight daytime moisturizer with a richer nighttime formula to keep your skin comfortable when temperatures drop, or combine your everyday lotion with a moisturizing serum like Kate Somerville Quench Hydrating Face Serum.
Don’t retire your sunscreen. One common – and dangerous – assumption is that your skin isn’t as susceptible to UV damage during the fall and winter seasons. Although you likely won’t be spending as much time outdoors, and you’ll be covered in more layers of clothing, UV rays can still damage the skin and cause premature aging. Take a few minutes each morning to cover exposed areas – face, neck, décolletage and hands – with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15.
Do take some time to consider your skin’s specific needs before shopping for new products. Rather than starting over with a brand new regimen, introduce one new formula at a time and see how your skin reacts. Try adding a more hydrating nighttime lotion first, and if your skin still feels dry, move on to replacing your cleanser and day cream as well. However, if you’ve been using warm-weather products like astringent toners and mattifying moisturizers, you’ll likely have to retire them until spring.
Don’t forgo moisturizing products because your skin is naturally on the oily side. Even oily and acne-prone skin gets drier in the winter. In fact, if your skin doesn’t get the moisture it needs, or your products are too drying, your skin might actually start to overproduce oil to make up for it. For combination skin, you can just use a moisturizer on the areas where your skin gets dry, like the cheeks. Dermatologist Michele Grodberg recommends in Ladies Home Journal, “If you tend to be oily in the T-zone, apply an oil-free toner to that area after you cleanse.” Try SkinCeuticals Equalizing Toner, which removes residue while restoring the skin’s natural pH balance.
Do invest in products you can use year-round. A moisturizer or serum with antioxidants is one item you’ll use every season, to protect skin from the damaging effects of free radicals, so it’s a worthwhile splurge – and a great way to nurture sun-damaged skin after summer is over. Try MD Formulations Moisture Defense Antioxidant Creme, a great choice for most skin types, as well as an antioxidant eye cream like Topix Citrix Antioxidant Eye Cream to protect the delicate skin around the eyes.
Don’t let your skincare changes stop at facial skincare. The rest of your body – especially rough areas like the feet, elbows and knees – can become parched and dry as well. Lather up with a moisturizing and exfoliating body wash, and be sure to use a moisturizer just as you step out of the shower, when your skin is still damp. Pay a little extra attention to rougher spots with a glycolic acid lotion such as Glytone Ultra Heel and Elbow Cream.
Do give your skin some TLC to repair summertime damage. According to New York City dermatologist Ellen Marmur, the combination of seawater, chlorine and sunscreen – along with skincare products – can really take a toll on the skin. "Skin becomes even more vulnerable as the environment shifts to dryer, cooler weather,” she tells Marie Claire. Marmur suggests taking a week off from any aggressive cleansers, scrubs or treatments and using a gentle cleanser, followed by emollients or natural oils to lock in moisture.
Don’t forget to nurture your skin when you’re out and about. Keep a few moisturizing essentials in your purse or bag, such as a rich, hydrating lip balm and some hand cream like L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, to prevent skin from becoming dehydrated. And don’t forget that skin protection isn’t limited to products alone. Gloves and scarves are a stylish way to stay warm while also protecting the hands, neck and décolletage from the elements.
Seasonal transitions are a great time to make positive changes in your skincare routine. Once you’ve found the right products, your regimen should take you through fall and winter as well, so take this time to decide what your skin needs. When in doubt, ask your dermatologist to recommend a specific product – especially if you have sensitive skin that reacts to environmental changes like cold weather.
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