Learn How to Update Your Skincare Routine
By Emma McNab
January 25, 2023
Falling leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, cozy evenings spent indoors – is there anything better than the beginning of the fall season?
While you’re busy enjoying the new season and launching that third re-watch of Gilmore Girls, don’t forget that your skincare routine needs a little adjustment as we move into the colder months.
In this guide, we’re going to give you our top tips for updating your skincare routine from summer to fall, with tips on how to increase your hydration, maintain sun protection, and protect your delicate skin from harsh weather. So let’s take a look!
Why do I need to change my summer skincare routine in the fall?
Put simply, our skin’s needs change season-to-season. During the summer months, you’ll typically need less hydration and instead, opt for products that cleanse and purify the skin. This is because the excess sebum that your skin produces during the summer months can easily clog the pores and create breakouts.
However, during the winter months, you’re more likely to need hydrating products; the harsher weather can end up stripping the skin of its natural oils, creating an imbalance in your skin pH that can cause dry skin, irritation, and flakiness.
There’s also the question of sun exposure – typically, harsher exfoliants (such as AHAs and BHAs) should be used sparingly during the summer, as they take off the top layer of your skin and increase your risk of sun damage. However, during the colder months, regular exfoliation helps keep those pesky dry patches at bay.
As you can see, our skin is very environmentally delicate, and its needs can be quite particular when it comes to the weather. The best way to keep your skin in tip-top condition is by adapting your routine according to the season. So, what are some top tips for the best fall skincare routine? Keep reading!
Switch up your cleanser
During the fall and winter months, your skin is going to be more prone to dryness and irritation than during the summer. This is because your skin produces less sebum when the temperatures drop, and your skin is more likely to be confronted with harsher elements like wind, rain, and cold temperatures.
In order to avoid drying out your skin further, we recommend using a non-stripping cleanser, such as a non-foaming creamy cleanser or gel cleanser. Foaming cleansers might work well during the hotter months, but they’re known to dry out the skin, especially if they contain sulfates or alcohol. Using a mild, gentle, non-foaming cleanser is the best way to cleanse your skin during fall and winter.
As mentioned above, your skin is going to be more vulnerable to dryness as the temperatures begin to drop. Dry skin can cause irritation, flaky patches, and can even cause acne breakouts – when your skin is deprived of moisture, your body will often over-compensate and overproduce sebum, leading to breakouts. So, what’s the best way to keep your skin hydrated? To keep your skin soft and supple, you can start by increasing the number of hydrating products in your skincare routine.
We find it best to use a heavier moisturizer during the fall and winter months, while also adding a hydrating serum to both my morning routine and nighttime routine. You can also use a moisturizer that protects the skin’s barrier during the day; this can help your skin retain its natural moisture when confronted with wind and cold temperatures. Some also switch up their usual moisturizer for an overnight hydrating mask; these tend to offer deeper hydration and help keep the skin’s barrier intact.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin and are wary about using thicker moisturizers, you can look into using hyaluronic-acid based face serums. Hyaluronic acid is a non-comedogenic hydrant (meaning that it won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts) and it can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water – perfect for keeping your skin hydrated without triggering any acne flare-ups or breakouts.
Similarly, if you love your current moisturizer and don’t want to switch it up, you can give it a boost by adding a hydrating oil to the mix. Natural face oils are weightless with lots of great antioxidant benefits for the skin, so they’re easy to incorporate into your skincare routine if you have normal to dry skin. When applying your usual face cream, all you need to do is add a couple of drops of any face oil at the same time, preferably a face oil with hydrating ingredients such as sweet almond oil or argan oil. This allows you to give your skin enhanced hydration, without having to give up your favorite moisturizer!
If you want to stay moisturized AND maintain your summer glow all year long, why not try Naru Organics self-tanner? It contains sweet almond oil which your skin will love in the fall and winter months!
Use retinol products
Now that the sun is less potent than it was during the summer, you can start using your retinol and other chemical exfoliants again. Many avoid using these types of products during the hottest months of the year, as chemical exfoliants (such as AHAs and BHAs, as well as retinols) make the skin super sensitive to the sun, where even a small amount of sun exposure can end up causing sun damage and even sunburn.
Now that fall approaches, you can think about adding these products back into your routine again. Chemical exfoliants can be a great way to keep your skin exfoliated and baby-soft if you experience dry patches in winter; just make sure to thoroughly moisturize afterwards and never forget the SPF!
Use more masks
As already mentioned, your skin is going to come into contact with a lot of harsher elements during the fall and winter period. One of the best ways to counteract the effects of the colder weather is to give your skin a little more pampering than usual – that means face masks!
Whether you opt for a hydrating sheet mask or an overnight nourishing mask, masking regularly can help keep your skin well-moisturized and healthy, and render it more able to face the harsher elements that can wreak havoc on your skin’s balance and pH. A good idea is to find a face mask that works for your skin type and use it frequently – around 2-3 times a week – to see the best results. If you have normal to dry skin, we recommend using a cream-based mask, as these are more hydrating for the skin. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, we recommend a cream-based or gel-based mask.
Don’t ditch your SPF!
Just because the sun isn’t out, it doesn’t mean you should ditch the SPF! In fact, you should be wearing an SPF all year round, even on those cold winter days. Wearing an SPF isn’t just to protect your skin against sunburn during the summer, it’s also there to protect your skin from all manners of sun damage, including dark spots, aging, and hyperpigmentation. Keep your SPF in your skincare routine all year round – but you can opt for a lighter SPF (such as an SPF30) during the fall-winter period if you wish.
Avoid hot showers
It might seem like counterproductive advice for the fall, but it’s a good idea to avoid taking scalding hot showers if you want to prevent dry skin. Hot water is notorious for its stripping effect on the skin, and when paired with the stripping effects of harsh weather, can wreak havoc on your skin’s natural moisture. Now don’t worry, that doesn’t mean switching to cold showers – warm showers are fine. Just make sure to use lukewarm water when washing your face, and try not to blast hot water on your complexion while showering.
The Bottom Line
Hydration, hydration, and some more hydration! Put simply, you’re going to need to give your skin that extra bit of TLC during the coming fall and winter months. Upgrade your moisturizer with a serum or hydrating oil, avoid washing your face with scorching hot water, and try your best to eliminate drying ingredients – like alcohol – from your beauty routine. With some extra nourishing masks, regular exfoliation and a gentle cleanser, you’ll enjoy baby-soft skin no matter how cold or windy it is outside.