The weather is changing and your skin is, too. Crisp air and dry weather have the potential to wreak havoc on your complexion, which is highly sensitive to climatic change. During transitional seasons such as spring and fall, your skin works harder to adapt. Follow these ten simple steps to nurture your skin from previous sun exposure and prepare for upcoming colder temperatures.
Change Your Moisturizer
As fall approaches, humidity levels tend to drop. When the air gets dryer, it sucks more moisture from your skin. This dehydration results in increased dryness and flakiness and means that it’s time to switch from your lightweight summer moisturizer to a heavy-duty face cream. Richer, more emollient creams and moisturizing face masks—especially when used at night—will keep the skin lubricated and elastic. To keep dry skin at bay, it’s essential to moisturize daily. The best time to apply lotion to your face and body is after showering—this seals in the moisture it has already absorbed.
Reassess Your Cleanser
An effective way to keep up with moisturizing is to do so while you cleanse. Creamier, non-clogging cleansers are excellent products to protect against environmental aggressors. As the seasons change, put the shower gels away and bring out the sudsy body wash. Find a wash that’s soap-free and hydrating to protect your skin.
Summer might have left a cellular build up on the skin’s surface. Dead skin cells and clogged oil are the leading causes of blackheads. To safely and effectively remove dead skin cells, be extra cautious and gentle when exfoliating. For best results, exfoliate frequently with mildly acidic, natural formulas. After exfoliating, follow with a soap-free cleanser that won’t strip your freshly scrubbed skin. Invigorating scrubs are great for when skin loses its tone to combat a lackluster, parched appearance. These skin-sloughing agents treat flaky skin by stimulating its natural oil production. Find a scrub that’s oil-based to receive the benefits of exfoliation with an added bonus of hydrating properties.
Weekly treatments are great for repairing summer damage and adding a little indulgence to your beauty regimen. A little-known trick? Topically apply seasonal fresh fruits to counteract dull, photo-aged skin, while also stimulating cell renewal. Other great options include pH-balancing toners or active charcoal masks.
Organize your routine
With the added steps of moisturizers, masks, and exfoliants, it can be difficult to keep your regimen straight—and to remember when you applied what. Try sticking to a schedule to give your skin the constant benefits it needs. For example, moisturize every day, use a mask once a week and choose two days for exfoliating.
Don’t Forget Sunscreen
Just because you’re not lying in the sun doesn’t mean you don’t have to wear sunscreen. A minimum of SPF 15 is a daily necessity, even during snowy days in February. Reapply throughout the day as necessary.
Keep a Good Lip Balm on Hand
Autumn days are often chilly, and the cold, dry air can result in chapped lips. Be sure to avoid petroleum-based products and instead look for ingredients that actually nourish and protect your skin, such as Shea butter.
Invest in Cuticle Oil
Dry cuticles are the tell-tale sign of colder weather on its way. Your typical hand cream probably isn’t tough enough to tackle dry cuticles and prevent cracked skin. Simply apply the oil onto your cuticles a couple times a week to avoid this painful condition.
Nutrition goes a long way in your skin’s appearance and vitality. Drinking at least eight cups of water per day is critical for eliminating toxins and staying hydrated. Resist cold weather comfort eating to avoid breakouts caused by food, and try to eat things rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids and antioxidants. These nutrients will boost the skin’s immune system to prepare it for winter while restoring its natural glow. Opt for leafy greens that are rich in vitamins and detoxifying fiber.
Materials Matter, Too
As the weather turns cooler and brisker, we start to bundle up in warm layers. If not washed and sanitized, beanies, scarves and hats can cause breakouts. Even if properly cleaned, harsh materials can act as an irritant resulting in rashes, and heavy layers can cause perspiration. Seek out more-breathable fabrics when possible and be sure not to exclude your favorite accessories on laundry day.