Does your wardrobe change with the seasons?
If your answer is yes…
Then your skin care needs to change too.
Your skin’s needs in the summer are different to those in the winter, making fall an important season for transitioning your skin into the colder months.
How can you do this?
Here are a few tips:
Switch to a Thicker Moisturizer
Your skin will naturally produce more sebum in warmer temperatures, which is why many people find themselves with oilier skin, and even random breakouts, during the summer months.
While the excess oil can be frustrating, it is also fantastic for keeping your skin moisturized, while giving your skin an extra layer of protection from the environment.
This means that, during the summer, you will likely only need to use a light lotion when it comes to moisturizing.
However, this will all change once summer comes to a close…
Your skin’s oil production will slow down, leaving your skin naturally drier.
Not only that, but the colder temperatures, as well as harsh winds, strip your skin of its natural moisture.
The dry air also sucks this moisture out of your skin, leaving it parched and flaky.
What can you do about this?
Switch to a moisturizer that is rich, thick, and packed with hydrating ingredients.
The thick texture of the moisturizer is important, because this provides a denser barrier between your skin and the harsh winter weather.
When it comes to hydrating ingredients, here are a few of the best:
- Ceramides – naturally found in the skin, these strengthen your skin’s natural protective barrier, giving it extra protection while helping it to retain moisture
- Hyaluronic Acid – a humectant that draws moisture from the air into the skin, hydrating it and plumping it up
- Essential Oils – many can be incredibly moisturizing, such as macadamia, avocado, jojoba, and rosehip
- Vitamins C and E – work together to regenerate and moisturize the skin
Of course, the weather in the fall months can be temperamental…
If you are experiencing a warmer spell, you may want to alternate between your lighter summertime lotion and your thicker winter cream.
Stop Using a Foaming Cleanser
Foaming cleansers can be quite satisfying, giving you a sense of accomplishment as you lather up a face full of suds.
Ever wondered what causes that foam?
It all comes down to specific cleansing ingredients, usually sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES).
These two ingredients are used in quite a high concentration in foaming cleansers, but can be quite detrimental to your skin.
Due to the way in which they strip your skin of its natural oils, ceramides and more.
This then disrupts your skin’s pH and probiotic balance, while also leading to dehydration and dryness.
Your skin may be just about able to cope with this during the summer, thanks to the fact that it is already producing more oils.
However, it needs its oils in the winter months, meaning that a foaming cleanser will just be far too harsh for it, especially since this is a product that you will be using on a daily basis.
So, what should you use instead?
That depends on your skin type…
- Oily Skin – try a gel or a clay cleanser. A cleansing cloth or sponge could also be good, but don’t use these during any acne breakouts, as you may only end up spreading the acne-causing bacteria across your face
- Dry Skin – a creamy or oil cleanser will be most nourishing, while a micellar cleanser will also work
- Sensitive Skin – micellar cleansers, as well as powder cleansers, are extremely gentle
It is important to keep your skin regularly cleansed, preferably doing this at night so that you can clear away all of the dirt, germs, oil and other impurities that build up on the skin throughout the day.
Bring Exfoliation Back Into Your Routine
While some people continue to exfoliate during the summer months, others stop, because the skin can sometimes seem able to cope just fine without it.
However, now that fall is here, it is time to bring exfoliation back into your routine.
Because you will experience a larger amount of dried skin cells during the winter, and these quickly build up on the surface of the skin. Not only will this clog up your pores, but it will also give your skin a rough, dull and uneven texture.
How should you exfoliate?
You have two main options:
- Physical Exfoliation – this makes use of an abrasive substance, such as a scrub or a sponge, to physically scrub dead skin cells off the skin
- Chemical Exfoliation – this makes use of chemicals, many of them naturally-derived, to dissolve the glue-like substance that holds dead skin cells onto the surface of the skin
Which one is better?
Everybody will have their own preference.
While scrubs can sometimes be quicker and more convenient, they can be too harsh for dry or sensitive skin, while chemical exfoliation pretty much suits all skin types.
How often should you exfoliate?
If you are exfoliating for the first time, or are re-introducing exfoliation back into your routine after the summer, aim to exfoliate once a week for a couple of weeks. After this, you can exfoliate twice a week.
Tempted to exfoliate more?
While some people may be able to tolerate exfoliating three times a week, over-exfoliating can lead to more problems than not exfoliating at all.
What makes this worse is that symptoms usually take quite a while to appear, making it difficult to pinpoint the source of your new skin issues to the fact that you are exfoliating too much.
What are the symptoms of over-exfoliating?
- Increased breakouts
- Dryness, flaking, roughness or peeling
- A tight feeling
- Excess oil
Basically, over-exfoliating damages your skin’s natural barrier, leading to such a wide range of problems.
Repair Summer Skin Damage
No matter how hard you may have tried to keep your skin protected during the summer months, chances are that your skin still experienced some damage.
The sun’s UV rays are so powerful, and, unfortunately, people often tend to either forget to apply or reapply sunscreen. When they do remember, research shows that the layer of sunscreen applied is so thin that it only provides about 40% of the SPF factor declared on the label.
Now that summer is over and you are likely spending more time indoors again, it is time to focus on repairing the damage that was caused to your skin over the past few months.
How can you do this?
There are certain ingredients out there that are able to target and repair sun damage.
- Retinol – fights free radicals, which are caused by sun exposure, while boosting collagen production, which is destroyed by sun exposure
- Peptides – help to promote collagen and elastin production
- Hyaluronic Acid – diminishes fine lines and wrinkles caused by the sun, while hydrating the skin at the same time
- Green Tea – contains potent antioxidant properties that can reduce the effects of sun damage
If you have noticed any dark spots on your face…
This is known as hyperpigmentation, and is caused by sun exposure.
How does the sun cause this?
Well, when your skin is exposed to the sun, it produces more melanin. This is the pigment that gives your skin its color, and is the reason for your skin turning darker in the sun.
Melanin protects the skin from sun damage, but, sometimes, the skin produces too much melanin. These melanin clusters end up gathering under certain parts of the skin, leading to the skin in that area turning a darker color.
Fortunately, this can be treated, although it will take a bit of time…
To begin with, make sure that you are using a sunscreen every single day. The sun’s UV rays will only make your dark spots darker, while triggering more to appear, meaning that there is no point trying to fade dark spots unless you are committed to properly wearing sunscreen.
Next, give some of these ingredients a try:
- Glycolic Acid – exfoliates the skin, encouraging dark spots to fade faster, while also boosting collagen production
- Hydroquinone – inhibits the production of melanin, while increasing the production of melanocytes, which kills off the cells that produce melanin
- Kojic Acid – works in a similar way to hydroquinone, but is a more natural alternative
- Vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant that lightens dark spots while leaving other areas of the skin alone
- Niacinamide – also known as vitamin B3, it fades dark spots and brightens the skin
Consider Using a Facial Oil
If you know that your skin usually suffers from the onslaught that the winter months can throw at it, you may want to consider adding a facial oil into your skin care routine.
Because a facial oil gives your skin an extra dose of nourishment and hydration. It also provides an extra layer on the outside of your skin, meaning that your skin will be able to better retain moisture, while also being better protected from the environment around it.
Never used a facial oil before?
Many products will contain blends of different oils, but you need to ensure that the oils used are compatible with your skin type.
Here is a quick guide:
- Dry Skin – olive, shea, avocado, argan
- Oily Skin – jojoba, flaxseed, pumpkin seed, rosehip
- Mature Skin – rosehip, passionfruit, pomegranate seed
- Sensitive Skin – sweet almond, jojoba, sunflower
When should you use a facial oil?
You are best off applying this right at the end of your skin care routine, meaning after you have applied your moisturizer.
Why can’t you apply it before?
Because, as you likely already know, oil and water do not mix.
Most moisturizers will contain some water-based ingredients, meaning that if you apply these over the top of an oil, the oil will block them and prevent them from entering into your skin.
Bring Out the Humidifier
You don’t really need a humidifier in the summer months, but this all changes in the winter, making fall the perfect time to bring this out and start using it occasionally.
How does a humidifier make a difference to your skin?
Well, as fall progresses, the air will just get drier and drier. This means that more moisture will end up evaporating from your skin into the air, leaving your skin dry and dull.
A humidifier counters this by adding moisture back into the air, meaning that less moisture evaporates from your skin.
What makes this even better is that you can use essential oils in many humidifiers, giving your room a beautiful natural fragrance at the same time. This can also have added skin benefits, as so many essential oils are able to soothe the mind and calm anxieties, which, in turn, reduces the levels of cortisol in the body and keeps the skin happier.
Which essential oils are the most calming?
Give one of these a try:
- Ylang Ylang
Don’t have a humidifier?
Fall is the perfect time of year to buy one.
There is such a wide variety out there, but make sure that you purchase a relatively large one if you are wanting to add enough moisture back into an entire room.
There are so many environmental changes that take place in the fall months, and your skin really does need some extra help when it comes to dealing with all of this. From switching to a thicker moisturizer to repairing the damage caused by the summer sun, taking some time to transition your skin care will pay off big time in the long run, rewarding you with a healthy and happy complexion.