How to Transition Your Skincare Routine from Summer to Fall

The skin’s hydration level varies with the change of seasons, and many skin conditions are linked with temperature and humidity, according to dermatologists.

You likely have your skin care routine and products that you’ve been using for as long as you can remember. But as the seasons change, your skin does too.

In summer, humidity often increases the skin’s moisture level. Increased oil and sweat in the summer require lighter products as well as increased exfoliation to prevent clogged pores.

Autumn brings cooler weather (sweater weather!), wind and a drop in humidity, which makes for dry, stale air and even drier skin. Mix this with dry heat from radiators, and it’s a setup for skin disasters like eczema and dry, itchy skin.

The same way you trade in your summer flip flops for boots in the fall, you need to modify your skin care routine and products.

Thankfully, putting together a routine of fall skin care products doesn’t have to be too daunting of a task. Just consult our skin care tips below to help transition your skin care routine from summer to fall.

Swap out your summer cleanser

That lightweight foam cleanser you’ve been using all summer might do the trick at keeping oily skin at bay during the hazy and humid months. But with frigid temperatures around the corner, you need to be looking for products that can lock-in that moisture and cleanse your skin without stripping it of those necessary protective oils.

Swap that, try this: nix foam cleansers and avoid products that contain a high acid content — salicylic acid and glycol acid are red-flag ingredients for cold-weather products, because while effective for other uses, they tend to be too harsh on the skin in colder months. Look for moisture-rich cream cleansers that will be gentle and ultra-hydrating on your skin.

Resist excessive hot showers

We get it. There’s nothing more comforting than starting (or ending) your day with a long, hot shower. But while it may feel good in the moment, those long and super-hot showers aren’t doing your skin (or your hair, for that matter) any favors.

The scalding water is harsh on your skin and despite what you may think, the water is not adding any moisture to your skin, but instead, repelling necessary natural oils.

Swap that, try this: give your skin a break and limit your hot-shower time, using gentle moisture-rich cleansing products.

Remember to pat-dry with your towel afterward – harsh rubbing with the towel can really irritate your skin.

Switch to a thicker moisturizer

When the air is dry during the cooler months, you may notice that your skin feels drier, too. In that case, say goodbye to the lightweight, oil-free moisturizer you’ve been slathering on all summer. It’s time to bulk up with a heftier hydrator.

They recommend a heavy cream made with ceramides, which are the essential and healthy fatty acids that occur naturally in the skin but need to be replenished during the colder months.

And remember to apply it morning and night. According to The American Academy of Dermatology, the best time to apply a hydrating cream or balm is immediately after washing, when your skin is able to lock in the most moisture.

Add an overnight mask to your routine

Another way to help hydrate (and pamper!) your skin this fall is by upgrading your nighttime beauty routine.

Dryness, redness and sensitivity can irritate your skin as the season changes, especially if it’s been exposed to sun, chlorine and salt during the summer. Give your skin some extra care with a cream facemask containing moisturizing oils to help hydrate it as the temperature drops.

Before bed, reach for an overnight face mask. Overnight face masks are different than traditional face masks in that you leave them on your skin.

Immediately, skin feels hydrated and looks more radiant. Every evening, apply it prior to sleep on cleansed skin. Use alone or as the last step after your eye cream or serum. Smooth it over your face, neck, and jawline until absorbed and leave on overnight to see results.

Apply a serum or facial oil

Once you turn on the central heating, your daily moisturizer may not be enough to combat very dry skin. Come fall, you may find that an oil is exactly what your skin is craving.

If you think your complexion could use an extra dose of nourishment, smooth a facial oil on before your moisturizer. Or, if you like to get a little crafty with your skin care, mix a few drops of the oil with a dollop of your moisturizer for an extra surge of hydration.

Serums contain smaller molecules than moisturizers, so their moisture-boosting properties can penetrate deeper into the skin. Choose one with active vitamins and minerals to tackle aging, dullness and dryness.

That’s it! Now, you’re ready for fall.

If you know you have extremely oily or dramatically dry skin, choose your must-haves with care, as not every product suits everyone's unique skin types. For the most part, though, the above crash-course in autumnal skincare should have you living your best, most hydrated, radiant life. Hello, fall!

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