With the air turning crisp and cozy sweaters out, it’s to rethink your skin care. One of the biggest changes between summer and fall is the drop in humidity. For this reason, we see more eczema and skin irritation in the fall and winter than any other time of year. What’s more, lack of humidity means that people who found they could skip moisturiser in the summer suddenly need to start using one now, or step up to a heavier one. The biggest adjustment in your beauty routine is likely be to your moisturising routine, no matter your skin type.
Since fall is a season of new beginnings, this can be a great time for a skin reset. Don’t forget that your skin thrives when you treat your body well with healthy habits. Include fresh fruits and veggies in your diet and make hydration a priority.
For Oily Skin
Fall can be a great time for people with oilier skin. They are at a lower risk of a breakout than during spring and summer. It’s almost like the environment is appropriately medicating their skin. After washing with a gentle cleanser (one option is Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser), apply a moisturiser containing hyaluronic acid which acts as a humectant to attract water to skin, and can appropriately hydrate acne-prone complexions without prompting breakouts. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel with Hyaluronic Acid is great as a treatment for dry skin. It has a gel texture and is oil-free and noncomedogenic making it suitable for oily skin. Noncomedogenic means the product is unlikely to clog your pores and cause breakouts.
Many people think that once fall starts, they don’t need an SPF anymore, but the sun is still out and you still get a fair amount of incidental exposure.
You might view fall as a time where you can finally break free of sunscreen, but remember UV exposure can sneak up on you during the fall. Don’t forget that UVA rays penetrate window glass in cars and offices. UVA rays are those that cause wrinkles and discolouration. Switching from a sunscreen or a sunscreen-moisturiser to a powder with SPF is a great choice here, as it offers protection without causing breakouts, and sops up excess.
For Dry Skin
Dry skin can change from a nuisance to a disaster during the fall. As humidity levels drop, evaporation of water from the skin increases, and this can sneak up on people. Fall is ‘eczema season’ for this reason; dry skin cannot protect itself from factors causing inflammation, resulting in dry, cracked, irritated skin. Still, there are several tweaks you can make to your routine to preserve your skin’s barrier in the autumn. Make sure you are not damaging the epidermis (top layer) with your existing skin-care routine. If you are still using a facial brush or scrub to cleanse skin, give them up now. You should also make the switch to a thicker moisturizer, preferably an ointment like Aquaphor Healing Ointment for those troublesome dry areas like elbows and knees. Formulated with 41 percent petrolatum (petroleum jelly), this moisturiser is known as an “occlusive,” meaning it forms a thin film on skin to prevent water loss. An ointment is also the most heavy-duty hydrator you can find.
You might also consider setting up a humidifier, particularly as you start to turn on the heat in your home. Its real benefit is keeping mucous membranes — nose, mouth, eyes — moisturised, though a humidifier can make a small difference in skin. Nothing takes the place of actually applying a good moisturiser on the skin. Finally, scan your anti-aging products and look for the following ingredients: alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and retinoids. These are ingredients that exfoliate the surface layers of skin, and therefore can be potentially irritating for dry skin types.
For Combination Skin
Combination skin types often notice that they have an oily T-zone with drier cheeks. What seems like a complexion challenge is actually straightforward. Though your tendency may be to use a strong, medicated cleanser to control oiliness, instead wash with a mild cleanser in cool water so as not to exacerbate parched areas and trigger irritation. Next, simply treat the two areas – cheeks and T-zone – differently. For combination skin, you’ll need to reach for two levels of moisturiser. Now that drier fall weather is here, your T-zone might be far less oily than it was in the summer, and you may be more willing to moisturise. In the T-zone area, apply a lightweight moisturiser (these are lotion-based, not creams) labeled noncomedogenic. On cheeks, step up to a slightly stronger moisturiser. La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Light Hyaluronic Acid Moisturiser is designed for combination skin. Hyaluronic acid, a natural component of skin, is capable of drawing in and holding moisture, which is why it’s used as a topical skin hydrator. Clinical research on products that contain hyaluronic acid show that these can instantly increase skin hydration significantly, as well as improve texture and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles when used over six weeks.
For Signs of Aging
Retinoids and retinolas, vitamin. A derivatives, have been the gold-standard in preventing fine lines and wrinkles because they stimulate collagen production, the most commonly present protein in the skin that helps maintain its smooth texture. Bu remember retinoids exfoliate the top layer of skin, and are known to increase sun sensitivity. Many women choose to avoid using retinoids in the summer because of this sensitivity and then go right back to using them in the colder months. As long as your skin type allows (meaning: you don’t have exceptionally dry, eczema-prone skin), this is a good opportunity to bring back a retinoid in your nightly routine.
Using retinoid-AHA combo for 8 to 12 weeks is just as effective as a prescription-based retinoid in reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles and improving tone with less irritation which is a common retinoid side effect.
Continue to use sunscreen. This is true for everyone, but especially if you’re using retinoids or retinols again and are looking to prevent skin damage that leads to lines, wrinkles, and discolourations. Many people think that once fall starts, they don’t need an SPF anymore, but the sun is still out and you still get a fair amount of incidental exposure. A moisturiser with built-in sunscreen is the way to make life easy. Try Neutrogena Visibly Even Daily Moisturiser with Sunscreen which provides broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection. It also contains soy which is an ingredient that can help with post-summer pigmentation and even tone.