6 Easy Ways to Prep Your Skin for Fall
The morning air has turned crisp and a few over-eager leaves have begun to change, which means fall is right around the corner. Here at Better Living, we’re all for sweater-weather, pumpkin-spice everything, and ordering all of the moisturizing skincare products we can get our hands on. But we know selecting new products can be overwhelming, which is why we’re sharing six easy ways to prepare your skin for the looming cooler months.
Swap Out Your Cleanser: Taking care of your skin’s natural moisture barrier is the best way to protect your skin against winter weather. Unfortunately, many cleansers are so effective at washing away impurities that they strip away your moisture barrier along with it. So, how do you protect your skin while also keeping it clean? Swap out your heavy-duty foaming cleanser for a cream or oil-based alternative that is gentler on your skin and avoid over-washing. When it comes to winter cleansers, the creamier (or oilier) the better.
Upgrade your Moisturizer: As we transition from summer to fall, it’s also important to upgrade our moisturizing game. In the summer months, most of us can get by with a light lotion and sunscreen since our skin is generally more hydrated and oilier. Winter is when you want to bring in the thicker and more luxurious creams that are jam-packed with nourishing oils. These oils trap moisture in and physically protect your skin from the elements. For those with particularly dry skin, you may also want to layer your cream with an oil such as squalene to really lock in the moisture. Just think of each product as an additional layer of armor that protects your skin from the cold, dry weather.
Avoid Over-Exfoliating: This one is a bit tricky. While you want to continue exfoliating to slough off dry, dead skin cells, it’s important to avoid overdoing it. When it comes to exfoliating, everyone is different. Some skin types can withstand daily exfoliation, while others can only tolerate it weekly. The key is to keep track of when you exfoliate and how your skin reacts over the next two to three days. If your skin looks extra dry or irritated, then you’re overdoing it.
Reduce Retinol Use: Retinol is a powerful exfoliant that has become the holy grail in anti-aging. While its potency is desirable for those looking to shed dead skin cells to reveal healthy skin underneath, it can irritate and damage your moisture barrier. A good rule of thumb is to reduce retinol use in dryer months if your skin type is on the dryer side. However, acne-prone and oilier skin types can often tolerate retinol well into the winter months. As with all skincare, figuring out the best routine for you requires a bit of trial and error – proceed with caution.
Invest in a Humidifier: Here we go again, talking about moisture – but it really is the most important aspect of your fall/winter skincare routine. Products like Hyaluronic Acid hydrate your skin by pulling moisture out of the air and into your skin. Sounds cool, until you realize that this process can also work in reverse. Yes, in very dry climates the air can actually pull moisture from your skin. Pretty annoying, right? Fortunately, you can pump up the moisture in your home by investing in a humidifier. Run it any time the heat is on and place it in the areas you spend the most time.
Layer Up: The easiest way to conceptualize your new fall skincare routine is to equate it to your fall wardrobe. Just as you layer up your clothing to go outside, you want to layer on products that will moisturize and protect your skin. Of course, this will look different for different skin types but our go-to daytime layering includes Vitamin C serum, Hyaluronic Acid, Moisturizer, Sunscreen. Then for nighttime, skip the Vitamin C and replace your sunscreen step with an oil such as squalene to really lock in the moisture overnight.
While cooler months can certainly lead to dryer skin, with the right skincare routine, that doesn’t have to be the case. Plump, moisturized, and glowing skin can follow you well into the winter months as long as you focus on moisturizing and protecting that beautiful face.