Learn how to transition your skincare routine from summer to fall and prepare your skin for colder temperatures.
From head to toe, your body will soon begin responding to cooler weather. What is it about fall and winter that needs us to change our ways when caring for our skin? It’s not only a change in temperature but a change in humidity and our personal habits that require new products and attention to this largest organ of the body.
While the heat of the summer months make us thirst for cool beverages (hopefully, mostly water), when things cool down it’s our skin that craves moisture. There are a number of factors that contribute to this drying of the skin. Lower humidity makes less water in the air available to our skin, so we have to compensate to keep soft and dewy. Dry winds on cooler days wick away moisture and the natural barriers our skin has to prevent drying. The changes of temperatures as we move from outdoor cold to indoor dry heat can be stressful for skin as it tries to adjust. Heavier fabrics (sweater-weather!) also pull moisture from skin and can cause some of those itchier moments we feel. And those comforting hot showers we love? They do feel wonderful, but that hot water also removes the natural oils our bodies produce to keep our skin soft.
Morning Skincare: Get Ready For The Day!
Working to hydrate our skin against all these odds calls for the right products to help, and a smart daily strategy. From wake-up to bedtime, there are times when our skin needs our attention, and we need to be ready. Let’s start with that morning shower. A great way to cleanse, polish and moisturize skin is with an oil-based scrub (sugar is gentler and best for face and décolleté, salt is coarser and best on thicker skin and rough spots) – some can be used daily and some just a couple times a week, pay attention to the label for directions. While the scrubbing particles clean dead skin away, the oil will be retained to keep your body soft. Apply a full body lotion right after shower while you are still a little damp. Your body is ready and receptive to the moisturizing ingredients that you slather on.
Mid-Day Skincare: Keep Your Skin Healthy Outside
Getting ready for the day before leaving the house should include a few essential skin care habits. Now is the season for face oils. Find a good natural oil (synthetic oil products can irritate and clog skin pores) and pat on each morning after cleansing. It will replenish your skin, but also help rebuild your natural barrier to wind and cool air that steals moisture away. While sunscreen is often synonymous with summer, it should be used year round, at least an SPF 15. The sun in winter is still sending lots of UVA and UVB rays down on you, so protection every day is important. Finish off with a lip balm that also has a light SPF (if possible). Licking dry lips only makes them worse, so stop doing that! Let a lovely moisturizing balm do the work for you.
Night-time Skincare: Time For Rest and Rejuvenation!
Your home may be the coziest place in the world, but during cooler months the heating system can make it not so comfortable for your skin. Dry air takes moisture from your skin, so it’s a great idea to invest in a humidifier to bring back some of the moist air it loved in the summer. To make it even more useful, include a few drops of essential oil to your humidifier to add a scent for relaxation (lavender), decongestion (eucalyptus), or clearer thinking (sandalwood). Before bed, cleanse your face and apply a heavier moisturizer than you were using for summer. Getting a good seven hours or more of sleep helps improve your metabolism, your brain power, and your overall skin health.
- Look into getting a pillowcase made of silk, satin or microfiber – these fabrics help retain moisture in your skin while sleeping (less absorbent than other common linen fabrics), and create less friction, helping stave off wrinkles.
- Vitamin C – add a serum with C to help battle UV light and also works to brighten and even skin tone.
- Cuticle oil – not only skin, but nails experience more drying in cooler months and can become brittle. Find a cuticle oil to dab on or save money by letting your face oil do double-duty.
- Collagen-infused face mask – while in the bath, add a face mask to your tub-soaking time. A 20-minute paper mask is like a spa day for your face.