It’s here it’s here! We look forward to Fall all year. It is the basic within us to just crave the crisp temps, beautiful colors, pumpkin flavors, and of course, sweaters. As excited as we may be for the change in season it is a bittersweet time for our skin, and saying goodbye to summer means saying hello to some essential updates to our Fall skincare routine
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through the link I may make a small commission. I am not a medical pro, just someone who loves skincare and has done the research. Everyone’s skin is different and any serious skin issues should be consulted with a dermatologist or your esthetician.
HOW DOES THE CHANGE IN SEASON IMPACT MY SKIN?
Summer provides our skin with essential humidity and natural hydration which keeps our skin barrier happy and better protected. As the temperature starts to drop outside and increase indoors, our skin will be more exposed to drying elements that disrupt the skin barrier leading to dryness, sensitivity, and potential irritation.
Those of us who are more on the oily side may welcome a drop in humidity, while the dry girls out there fear this time of year. Dry or oily, our skin automatically functions to produce less oil when it is exposed to lower temperatures and humidity levels (unfair, I know).
SO, DO I NEED TO TOTALLY REVAMP MY SKINCARE ROUTINE BECAUSE IT IS FALL?
No need to totally change a good thing, but it is important to help your skin transition and adjust to the changing season and reduce any unwanted impacts.
We might change our whole wardrobe to embrace the Fall weather, but just some subtle swaps in our skincare routine are all we need to make sure we are ready for Fall head to toe.
5 ESSENTIAL fall skincare TIPS TO MASTER YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE
Let’s use the change in season to repair any damage we did with those sunny beach days and poolside frose happy hours. Here are five essential tips to help keep your skin happy so you can focus on the cozy boots and sweaters instead of irritated skin.
1. HYDRATE TO SAVE AND PROTECT YOUR SKIN
I know, I know, you hear it allllll of the time! But, girl, you gotta stay hydrated!
No matter your skin type, skin appreciates summer humidity for its natural hydration and protection of the skin barrier and kind of hates colder temps outside and dry air from our heaters inside.
To get around the sensitivity and irritation caused by these drying factors, using hydrating ingredients as part of your skincare routine is a must. Making simple swaps for hydration will be the easiest and best thing you can do to keep the disruption to the skin barrier minimized.
SUPER SIMPLE SWAPS FOR HYDRATING SKIN IN THE FALL
CHECK YOUR MOISTURIZER
An easy (and important) swap is your moisturizer. Many of us can get away with using a light moisturizer in the summer, but as the air changes indoors and outdoors, this probably won’t give our skin the moisture and protection it needs. Our skin can play tricky games. Since we produce less oil as a reaction to the drop in temps and humidity levels, if we let our skin dry out it can overcompensate by actually producing MORE oil to try to fix the problem. It is a dangerous game for the oily types out there.
Try switching to a moisturizer with essential ingredients like ceramides and fatty acids. These ingredients are part of our skin barrier so using them will replenish your skin as the change in season tries to damage it.
A couple of great Fall moisturizers with ceramides:
- CereVe Daily Moisturizing lotion (budget fave)
- First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream (cult fave)
- Paula’s Choice Ceramide Enriched Firming Moisturizer (your nighttime hero)
Starting to use a more hydrating moisturizer now will also help our skin prepare for winter. AKA the most
wonderful drying time of the year.
REVISIT YOUR CLEANSER
Consider switching out your cleanser for something gentle with a creamy or milk like texture rather than a foam. This may be especially important for dry skin as foams can be harsh and more stripping than a creamy cleanser. My favorite cleansers that will not leave your skin feeling dry:
- Tula Purifying face wash: This is a gel based cleanser, but so gentle! It is formulated with pre- and probiotics to keep skin balanced and nourished and never leaves your skin feeling stripped.
- CereVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser: a lotion texture that includes ceramides and Hyaluronic acid
- Farmacy Green Clean: this is my absolute favorite cleansing balm for your nighttime double cleanse
2. CONTINUE TO USE ANTIOXIDANTS IN YOUR FALL SKINCARE ROUTINE
A true skincare ingredient rockstar: antioxidants. Antioxidants are a skincare dream, providing your skin with protection from nasty free radicals that cause skin damage and aging.
Free radicals are produced by our body to protect from things like bacteria or viruses, but they are also found floating around outside from things like pollution, smoke, or other chemicals. Since our skin barrier may become weaker in the Fall months, our skin is at higher risk for environmental damage. Too much exposure to free radicals can cause skin to get irritated and even produce fine lines and wrinkles we work so hard to avoid.
Antioxidants like vitamin C and resveratrol (to name a couple of powerhouses) will help to protect our skin from free radical invasion while working to brighten and even skin tone. That is a win-win sitch right there.
Using antioxidants as part of your fall skincare routine will not only keep you protected, but also help you repair summer damage like hyperpigmentation, unwanted dark spots, and inflammation. This will leave you with bright, glowing skin that will stay protected all year long.
HOW SHOULD I USE ANTIOXIDANTS IN MY SKINCARE ROUTINE?
You can (and should!) use an antioxidant as part of your everyday skincare routine. I love to use a vitamin C serum as part of my morning routine (current fave is Paula’s Choice C15 Boost) to give my skin a daily pick me up and keep me bright all day long.
If you are newer to vitamin C or any antioxidant, it is best to introduce these ingredients to your skin slowly until your skin has adjusted. Start by using an antioxidant 3 days a week and build up to every other or everyday. If you choose vitamin C (highly encourage), consider a lower strength form to start out with, like The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%.
3. EXFOLIATE FOR GLOWING FALL SKIN
Summer fun may leave our skin feeling a little worn out. For me, the time spent in the sun mixed with the sweat and use of thicker sunscreens results in clogged pores and dullness.
While I love what summer humidity does for the skin’s hydration levels, all that summer sun exposure can also cause our skin to be reactive to exfoliating treatments.
Exfoliated skin does NOT love the sun. When you exfoliate, you are removing a layer of dead so that beautiful skin can emerge. This is great for our glow, but when our skin barrier has been stripped down, even just a little, it is more exposed to the sun damage and irritation from the environment that exfoliation is working to repair. So while we still can and should exfoliate in the summer, it is a process that requires some extra planning and should not be done frequently.
Fall is the perfect time for exfoliation to help get rid of that dead skin cell build up so you can maintain a healthy glow.
HOW TO EXFOLIATE DURING A CHANGE IN SEASON
The key to exfoliation in any skincare routine is to keep it gentle.
My favorite form of exfoliation is chemical (rather than physical scrubbing) by using plant-derived alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). The word acid may sound intense, but when used properly AHAs bring your skin life!
AHAs work on the skin’s surface to remove built up dead skin that we are not shedding ourselves (a really fun perk of aging). AHAs are great for surface exfoliation and work hard to keep skin glowing and fight fine lines and wrinkles. They also contain some naturally hydrating properties making them a powerful exfoliant that won’t leave you with a diminished skin barrier.
Use an AHA like a glycolic or lactic acid as part of your routine 1 – 3 times a week. Frequency depends on the AHA concentration and your skin sensitivity levels and experience with exfoliation.
essential tip: anything with an AHA concentration above 5% should be used in your routine less frequently than an AHA concentration of 5% or below.
My favorite way to get an AHA is through a liquid exfoliant. A couple of my favorites –
- COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid – containing glycolic acid which is considered more powerful than lactic acid and other AHAs, but still formulated to be gentle on skin
- The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA – this is a gentler exfoliant, and great for beginners and pros alike
4. DO NOT STOP USING SUNSCREEN
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT stop using sunscreen. With less time outdoors and cooling temps, you may feel like your skin doesn’t need the protection it so desperately needs from the sun in the summer, but this could not be farther from the truth. Sunscreen is an essential part of any skincare routine and should not be left behind just because we hung up our bikinis.
Daily application and re-application is the key to beautiful skin and anti-aging. My current fave is the Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40. This sunscreen is super lightweight and protects against sunlight AND blue light emitted from our phone, tablet, and laptop screens.
essential tip: Whether you are spending time inside or outside, be sure to apply at least an SPF 30 as your final step in your morning skincare routine and be sure to reapply before you head back outside later in the day.
5. EASY LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO PROTECT SKIN IN THE FALL
While there are a lot of swaps we can make to our skincare routine to keep our faces fresh for Fall, there are also some easy things to do in our day to day.
- Consider keeping showers shorter and the water temperature cooler. Our skin all over our body is prone to dryness in the fall, so help it out by reducing exposure to harsh elements like a super hot shower and be sure to moisturize shortly after you step out.
- Use a humidifier to help replace some of the humidity we lost from summer. This an easy way to boost our skin’s happy levels by keeping the air less dry in your home.
- Drink water! While it has not really been proven that drinking water improves your skin, water is essential for keeping the body moving and getting rid of toxins in our bodies and skin. Not to mention, we have all seen how dehydration impacts our skin…so drink your 8 glasses! Keep a water bottle with you at all times and refill throughout the day. I prefer my water to stay nice and cold so I keep an insulated bottle (like this super cute Swell one) with me.
Let’s Glow for fall
Now that we know how to adjust our skincare routine for fall, we can go wash our faces and throw on our fave sweater and boots..all while glowing of course.
Remember that if your skin is new to things like exfoliation or antioxidants, it is best to slowly introduce these into your fall skincare routine. This will give your skin time to adjust and to avoid potential irritation.
So get out and glow, girl! I will be back soon to help prep and adjust your skin for winter (ew, I know) so we can all stay fresh all year long!
What are your must haves for the change in season? Comment below and let us know all your favorites!