AUTUMN SKINCARE: BRIGHTEN, NOURISH + HYDRATE

AUTUMN SKINCARE: BRIGHTEN, NOURISH + HYDRATE

During the summer, you might have enjoyed dewy, radiant skin thanks to high humidity levels in the air and a generous dose of sunshine. Now that the weather is chilly throughout most of the United States and the air is drier, you might have noticed that your skin is a bit duller and not quite as soft, smooth, and supple as it was five or six months ago. We have the autumn skincare tips you need to enjoy bright, hydrated, and well-nourished skin throughout the cold season and beyond.

SWITCH YOUR MOISTURIZER

When the weather is warm and the air is humid, many people have oilier skin than they do in the fall and winter. This leads us to purchase light, water-based moisturizers that are great for keeping our skin-hydration levels right where they need to be. Unfortunately, these products are not always right for the cooler, drier months.

You may need a richer moisturizer, particularly before bed. You will still want to look for something that is non-comedogenic, especially if you struggle with acne, but a thicker, richer cream will help combat the dryness that comes from cold air, the lack of humidity, and indoor heating sources. A lighter moisturizer still might be appropriate during the day when you’re applying sunscreen (yes, you still need sunscreen in the winter!) and makeup, but at night, slather on something thicker and more nourishing so you can wake up with softer, smoother skin.

HYDRATE YOUR SKIN

Aside from applying moisturizer, there are other ways you can add hydration to your skin. One is to simply drink more water and other (non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic) liquids. If your body is dehydrated, your skin will be, too. If you find it hard to get in your eight glasses per day, try carrying a water bottle with you that you can sip from when you think of it. You also might try carrying a travel mug filled with herbal tea. Some people make it a habit to drink a glass of water every time they use the bathroom; this will naturally keep you well-hydrated.

You can also try spritzing your face with mineral water and allowing it to dry, though if you are wearing makeup that isn’t waterproof, that might not be your favorite strategy. Setting up a cool-mist humidifier in the room where you spend most of your time is another great way to increase your skin’s hydration. Just be sure to keep it clean to prevent mildew and bacteria from proliferating.

DON’T FORGET YOUR LIPS AND EYES

You might not think much about the different areas of your face during the warmer seasons of the year when dryness is less of a concern. During the fall and winter months, however, your lips might become chapped. Don’t pick at them! Peeling your lips just extends the discomfort and can lead to bleeding and cracking, which nobody wants. Instead, apply a balm or even petroleum jelly to keep lips well-moisturized. One caveat: Avoid the medicated balms unless you really need them, because they tend to cause more dryness than anything else, leading you to need to apply them more often.

As for your eyes, flying snow, the cold weather, and the dry air will all work together to cause dryness in that delicate skin. Apply eye cream before bed each night and you’ll see how much better the skin around your eyes looks and feels. You might even try using cucumber slices to hydrate and also reduce puffiness. (This is a great tip if you’re also sleep-deprived or if you’ve indulged in alcohol, both of which are likely at some point during the holiday season!)

ADD VITAMIN C BUT SUBTRACT SOME EXFOLIANTS

When applying serums, you might skip those that are made with alpha-hydroxy acids in favor of those that are made with Vitamin C. While the AHAs can be drying, vitamin C will help boost your collagen production, leading to softer, more supple skin. Using exfoliating scrubs and clay masks might also be too drying for your skin this time of year. Instead, choose gentler cleansers and perhaps a gel mask or one made with honey, which can add moisture to your skin.

DON’T SKIP THE SUNSCREEN

When it’s cold and blowy outside, your last priority might be sun protection, but that’s the wrong tactic to take. The sun can reflect off of any snow or ice and cause double damage. Also, even if it’s not snowy where you live, the sun’s rays are still strong enough to cause burns, even on cloudy or overcast days. Sunscreen will also add an additional layer of protection between your skin and the harsh outdoor elements. Look for one that has an SPF of at least 30 for the most sun protection. Also, don’t forget to use other measures that you would use during the summer, such as wearing sunglasses or a hat to shield your eyes from the sun and avoiding the sun during the peak hours of the day, which are between 10 am and 3 pm in most areas.

KEEP UP YOUR HEALTHY DIET

With several holidays and lots of seasonal treats this time of year, it is easy to get away from a healthy diet. Indulging in rich or salty foods is fine once in a while, but if you do it too often, your skin will begin to show the effects. Keep fruits and veggies, lean protein sources, and whole grains as the mainstay of your diet. This will keep your skin looking and feeling good all year long.

SEE A SKINCARE SPECIALIST IF NEEDED

While acne may peak in the summer months, dryness and sensitivity often peak in the colder months. If you are dealing with a lot of sensitivity and redness, making an appointment with a dermatologist or a skincare clinician can help you decide which products to use and which you should avoid to improve your skin health. There’s no need to suffer from dry or irritated skin in the winter or any other time of year; reach out if you need assistance to look and feel your best!

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