The climate can impact our skin and alter our skincare needs. Read more...
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What are the basic do's and don'ts of skincare changes for the fall?
The basic do's and don'ts of skincare changes for the fall are based on the changes in temperature, humidity, and increasing use of indoor heat. Each of these factors will affect your skin in ways that you may need to adapt your routine.
The basic do's of fall skincare include:
Moisturize your face
Apply a moisturizer after each time you wash your hands
The basic don'ts of fall skincare include:
Don’t stop using sunscreen
Don’t take excessively hot showers
Let's discuss the do's. Why do we need to moisturize in the fall?
As the weather starts to cool down, it's time to tweak your routine. As the cooler weather moves in during the fall and into the winter our skin can start to feel much drier. The lack of moisture in the air can strip our skin of natural oils and hydration. It’s even common for people to develop more acne as the winter approaches.
Keeping our skin well hydrated with a noncomedogenic moisturizer is key. Remember to use the moisturizer twice daily, in the morning and in the evening. The morning will allow your skin to stay protected throughout the course of the day. The evening will give your skin a chance to repair itself overnight.
It may also help to switch from moisturizing lotions to moisturizing creams in the fall. Creams are a bit thicker and can create a barrier while still moisturizing more effectively.
What can humidifiers do to help our skin?
If your skin is particularly prone to dryness, it helps to use a humidifier in your bedroom in the winter. During the day, there is a decrease in moisture in the air. Even though using a moisturizer during the day and overnight will help, we also start to turn the heat up indoors. As we turn the heat up indoors, the air can start to feel drier. A humidifier is a great way to add moisture back to the air.
Does our choice of cleanser make a difference?
Use a gentle cleanser as you transition to fall and winter. This will help avoid over-drying the skin with harsh irritating ingredients. Remember that the pH of soap can impact how drying it may be. Switching from bar soap to liquid soap in the cooler months can help reduce dryness.
My hands start to dry out as soon as the fall comes around. How can I avoid this?
Every time we wash our hands to remove dirt and debris, we also strip moisture from our skin. In the summer, with moisture in the air, this is less consequential. As soon as it cools down outside, this lack of moisture will start to lead to dry cracked, and chapped hands. The skin will start to crack like concrete and lead to open sensitive fissures.
Apply a moisturizer after each time you wash your hands. One of the most common issues to see patients for in the fall and winter is hand eczema. I understand the need to wash our hands however our skin can not tolerate excess hand washing when the air is cold and dry outside. Placing a bottle of moisturizer right next to your hand soap on the counter will help you remember this important step.
Now for the don'ts for fall skincare. What are some of the most common issues you come across?
Even though the summer is over, we should be using sunscreen year-round. It is common for people to think it is no longer necessary, however, the UV is still present and can vary in intensity based on location, altitude, and even increase intensity when reflecting off of snow. Staying in the habit as your transition to fall will help you remember to use it.
Are there any skincare rituals that may be too harsh with cold weather?
When our skin is dry and flaky, some people feel the need to exfoliate more to try to remove the scaly skin. I recommend attempting to hydrate your skin instead. Exfoliating occasionally is perfectly ok to do. However, if you do this too much, your skin will start to feel raw and sensitive.
If you have trouble with excess flaking that does not respond to moisturizers, consider seeing your dermatologist as you may have other skin conditions contributing to your symptoms such as seborrhea. This is common with season changes, especially into the fall, and may require a prescription cream to help clear.
I love to take hot showers when it is cold out. Is this still ok?
As the temperatures start to cool, try to avoid warming up with a hot shower. The hotter the shower, the more your skin will dry out. To avoid overdrying in the shower consider:
Lowering the water temperature to lukewarm or warm
Switch to liquid soap
Apply a moisturizer as soon as your shower is over
Try keeping a bottle of moisturizer in the shower and applying it as soon as your shower is over. Using a moisturizer before getting dressed will make it easier to apply generously to your skin all over and also be less apt to forget to use it. If you are more likely to use it and it will be more effective to trap the moisture from the shower on your skin.