Fall tends to lull us into a false sense of skin care regimen security. The angle of the sun isn’t as harsh, and we stop consciously thinking about the summer sun resulting in a nasty sunburn. That’s an unfortunate mistake!
The truth is that fall weather carries its own risks. If you’re not careful, cool, dry air will sap the life and moisture right out of your skin, leaving it dry, distressed, and irritated. The fix is simple; transition your skin care regimen with the seasons. We’ll show you how in today’s post.
The summer sun is gone and so are your outdoor activities. Have you subconsciously reduced your water intake? It happens so often as autumn comes, usually without the individual even realizing it. You’re exercising or exerting yourself less, so why drink as much?
But here’s the thing: hydration needs often actually increase in fall and winter. Brisk fall air and indoor heating systems can dry your skin from the outside in; not drinking enough water dehydrates you from the inside out. It’s a double-whammy of dryness.
Make a conscious effort to keep up your water intake, and consider plugging in your home humidifier. It will help you to breathe better as the air cools while also adding moisture into the air to prevent skin from drying out as the temperatures fluctuate.
CHANGE YOUR CLEANSER
Summer sweat and exposure to the sun can leave your skin a bit oily, but that’s not the only factor to consider when fall rolls around. Individual skin types react better to certain weather conditions than others.
Let’s say you have traditionally oily skin. Your skin will feel extra oily in the summer, in which case you’ll need a gel cleanser to dry it out a bit. If your skin is usually dry, the harsh fall weather will make it worse, and you may find you need to switch to a cream cleanser instead.
You may love the feel of a daily exfoliant, but your skin probably wishes you’d give it a rest once in a while. A lot of exfoliating products contain glycolic acid and retinoids that can be extremely harsh on dry skin, making it look and feel tighter and dryer. Switch it up with a weekly hydrating mask.
You don’t have to stop exfoliating altogether. Switch to a very gentle exfoliating scrub; use it a few times a week to slough away dead, dry skin cells as your skin care regimen adapts to the change in seasons. As the weather cools, cut back on the number of times per week you exfoliate.
SWAP OUT YOUR MOISTURIZER
Moisturize every day, twice per day! During the summer months, most people use a lighter-weight moisturizer free from oils. Now, you need to hydrate with heavier creams that give your skin support with added ingredients like fatty acids or hyaluronic acid.
While fall moisturizers are stereotypically heavier than summer moisturizers, it isn’t so much the heaviness that matters. The trick is to have a comfortable option for daytime use and much heavier choice for deep moisturizing while you sleep.
Have a favorite hydrating serum? Add a few drops to your moisturizer for an added boost – but only at night. If you find it makes your skin too oily, back off and use it only once every few nights instead.
MONITOR YOUR SHOWER TEMPERATURE
We all love a hot shower on a brisk fall morning, but that super hot water is actually extremely drying. Hot water also contributes to wrinkling, sagging, and other signs of early aging. Turn the temperature down a few degrees and limit the time you spend under the water. If you must steep tea bag style, limit yourself to just 15 minutes. Rinse off with cooler water to close pores afterward.
DO YOU USE A BODY LOTION?
This section isn’t all about your face – it’s about your entire body. Summer body lotion choices tend to be less viscous and moisturizing, while winter body creams are more substantial and more protective.
Transition to a heavier body cream or butter for the fall and winter months to keep the skin in areas other than your face smooth and dryness-free. As for when to treat, the best time is right after you’ve showered. Towel off and immediately apply your lotion while your pores remain open from the heat.
DO NOT STOP WEARING SPF
The angle of the sun may be different, but fall still carries the risk of exposure to harmful UV rays that can cause environmental skin damage over time. It’s even still possible to get a sunburn, depending on what area of the United States you call home,
To prevent this ouchie issue, apply sunscreen to any exposed skin at least 30 minutes before you head outside. Use a good moisturizer with a high SPF on your face, and choose makeup products with SPF added to amp up the protection.
Topping your makeup off with a finishing powder with SPF will protect your skin and make it easier for you to re-apply throughout the day without ruining your look. Note that while some mineral products may offer UV protection, you should only trust FDA-approved products to keep you safe. All of these products will have a specific SPF logo on the label.
The FDA recommends using an SPF of at least 15 – 30 to 60 is better. You should re-apply after exercise or water exposure or every two hours if you are spending time in the sun. Consider limiting your time in the sun during peak hours – yes, even in the fall.
Treat yourself from time to time. Grab a face mask or two and treat your skin to a nourishing experience. You don’t have to use the same mask on your entire face. Use a hydrating mask on the dry areas and an oil-absorbing mask on over-producing areas.
You may even want to slather some thick body butter on your feet and slide on a pair of fuzzy socks. Grab a book, turn on your favorite music, and spend a little time just relaxing. Your body will appreciate it!
SEEK MEDICAL SPA ADVICE
If you’re concerned about summer sun damage, or you don’t think you can treat it at home, help is available. Call your local aesthetics clinic and set up an appointment for a pampering facial. Your aesthetician can help you assess your skin type to determine what kind of damage or pigmentation issues you have; then, they can help you identify the perfect regimen to resolve it.
Remember your skin as you’re pulling out your fall sweaters, boots, and pumpkin-spice ingredients. The drop in humidity and dry radiator heat can be a recipe for disaster, but with a little extra planning you can ward off the itchiness and dryness that makes fall such a miserable skin experience. Call us if you need to give your skin care regimen a little extra TLC. We’re here to help!