Saying goodbye to summer isn’t all bad. Think about it: Are you going to miss hot sticky weather that causes you to sweat profusely and cause breakouts? Probably not. Now that it’s getting cooler and fall is officially here, it’s time to start thinking about that post-summer skin care routine.
Fall is the perfect time for a skin reset. Just as it welcomes new makeup looks, it is also a time to adjust how you take care of your complexion. “As the weather changes, so should your routine,” makeup artist Kirin Bhatty tells Bustle. “This is a great time to update your skin care to go along with skin care concerns that show up. As the cold begins, skin and lips tend to be dryer at this time, especially with people running the heat at this time of year.”
That doesn’t mean that you need to completely overhaul of your routine. Instead, you can make tiny little tweaks to make sure your skin stays hydrated and healthy. Investing in a humidifier, avoiding scolding hot showers, and staying diligent about your daily SPF — these fall skin care tips are seriously so easy to incorporate.
To get a complete breakdown, Bhatty, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Mamina Turegano, board-certified dermatologist at Derma di Colore and co-founder of 4.5.6 Skin Dr. Carlos Charles, and board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and Mohs surgeon at the Shafer Clinic Dr. Dendy Engelman shared their expert advice for seamlessly transitioning your summer skin care to something more fall-time appropriate.
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Don’t Ditch Your Sunscreen
You may be spending less time outdoors, but that doesn’t mean that your sun protection should go into hibernation mode. It’s important to stay covered every single day. “I think it’s easy to forget about sunscreen when the weather transitions, but the sun is up every day and so is UV exposure,” says Bhatty. “Incorporating a foundation that has sunscreen in it is a convenient way to safeguard yourself daily. I love Tower 28’s new tinted sunscreens for this very reason: You get a natural finish, SPF 30, and a clean formula that comes in an array of shades.”
Invest In A Humidifier
“In colder months, there is less moisture in the air, which causes our skin to dry out faster, and makes it more difficult for our skin’s natural oils to protect us from the elements,” explains Engelman. “In less-than-optimal humidity (which is 40 to 60 percent), the environment actually pulls moisture out of your skin. Using a humidifier keeps the air at an ideal humidity level and supports your body in maintaining a healthy skin barrier.”
While Engelman says you can run your humidifier 24/7, it’s especially great to switch one on while you snooze. “When we sleep, our skin switches from “protect mode” (which it’s in during the day) to “self care” mode, during which levels of melatonin and human growth hormone (HGH) increase and allow skin to rebuild, repair and recover from damage,” she says. “During this time, we are especially vulnerable to losing moisture through our skin — a phenomenon called transepidermal water loss — and we can’t replenish it by drinking water or applying product while we’re asleep.” A humidifier is a great solution, she says, as it keeps the humidity at an ideal level and helps maintain skin’s hydration and health, with zero additional effort for you.
Her pick? The one above, which she says “is designed with proprietary technology and embedded UV lights that prevent mold, bacteria, fungus and other unhealthy substances from growing in your unit so you don’t have to worry about contaminated air or cleaning an icky device.”
Reach For Extra Hydration
If your face feels tight or dry after cleansing, consider switching to a different formula. “Cream-based cleansers tend to be ideal as we transition into the fall,” Charles tells Bustle. “Gel and foam-based cleansers are typically intended to decrease oil production and increase cell turnover which may be overly drying and strip away much of the essential and innate protection of the skin as we move into the fall months,” he says. “Opting for ceramide-containing moisturizers and cleansers can also be helpful during this time of year.”
Charles also recommends opting for a cream-based moisturizer as opposed to a lotion. “Cream-based moisturizers are heavier, and therefore, more effective in locking in moisture content in the skin. Lotions are lighter with more water content and less oil, whereas creams have more oil content and less water.”
Avoid Super Hot Showers
Don’t neglect the skin below your chin. “As the seasons shift, patients may experience flares of conditions such as eczema and other problems that are associated with moisture loss in the skin,” says Charles. As amazing as super steamy showers feel, hot water can exacerbate dry skin. “You can begin to counteract these changes by taking some initial easy steps such as turning down the water temperature to lukewarm when bathing, starting to choose more emollient soaps, and changing to heavier moisturizers.”
Exfoliation is a great way to boost your glow. “I recommend using a product with a lower strength alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and starting just once or twice a week,” says Turegano. “If the skin tolerates it well after the first two weeks, then I recommend using it every other night. If there are no issues using it every other night for two weeks, then can go to every night.”
Just be careful not to overdo it. “The biggest misconception about exfoliating is that you can actually physically exfoliate away imperfections in the skin such as rough patches or areas of hyperpigmentation,” Charles says. “While this may be true to a small degree, oftentimes people over-exfoliate the skin and end up doing more harm than good.” Charles notes that this can especially be true in patients with melanin-rich skin too much exfoliation can lead to inflammation and persistent hyperpigmentation. “In the fall and winter, it is particularly important to be conservative with the exfoliating routine to minimize any additional harm to the skin’s innate protective barrier.”
Turegano says to be cautious when using AHAs with other ingredients, like retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, or other acids (other AHAs or salicylic acid). One of her favorite exfoliators: “I’m a huge fan of philosophy microdelivery resurfacing solution, which has just 4% AHA along with hydrating and soothing ingredients like cica, peptides, and hyaluronic acid.”
Makeup artist Kirin Bhatty
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Mamina Turegano
Board-certified dermatologist at Derma di Colore and co-founder of 4.5.6 Skin Dr. Carlos Charles
Board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and Mohs surgeon at the Shafer Clinic Dr. Dendy Engelman