We know that the summer days have just begun settling in, but that doesn’t mean we can’t think about adapting our skincare routines for the upcoming autumn season!
After all, summers always do seem to pass faster than other times of the year, and the imminent seasonal shift is the perfect opportunity to step away from the sun-soaked glow of self-tan, and turn your attention to nurturing and reviving your skin.
After all, our skin’s needs vary with each season, and autumn is no exception. With dropping temperatures and fluctuating humidity levels on the horizon, these factors can significantly affect the condition of your skin, making it crucial to adjust your skincare routine.
But fear not – we’ve got you covered with our top tips for achieving flawless autumn skincare. Let’s take a look!
Do I Need To Change My Skincare Routine Based on the Season?
The answer to this question is a definitive yes! Much like your wardrobe, your skincare routine should adapt to the changing seasons.
During the warmer summer months, your skin may be exposed to the potentially damaging effects of prolonged sun exposure, and the use of sun cream, bronzers, and self-tanners may have taken precedence to achieve that sought-after summer glow.
However, as we transition into autumn, the focus needs to shift to rejuvenating and repairing your skin.
Our skin is an incredibly reactive organ, and seasonal changes can alter its balance. In summer, it might have been battling sweat, oil build-up, and potentially, sun damage.
But as we move into the cooler, windier autumn months, your skin may begin to face a whole new set of challenges, including dryness and increased sensitivity, and these changes require different skincare strategies.
Why is My Skin Worse in Autumn and Winter?
First of all – have you ever wondered why your skin just doesn’t “pop” as much during the colder months?
As the seasons change from autumn to winter, many of us notice a significant shift in the condition of our skin; it’s duller, drier, and just doesn’t have that summer-holiday glow anymore.
There’s a simple explanation: the colder temperatures, lower humidity levels, and habit changes during this time of the year can contribute to worsened skin conditions:
Dry Air and Reduced Humidity
During autumn and winter, the air tends to be drier, both outdoors and indoors. This lack of moisture in the air can cause your skin to become dehydrated and more prone to dryness, flakiness, and irritation. Additionally, indoor heating systems further exacerbate the issue by reducing the humidity levels in your environment.
Changes in Habits
With the arrival of colder weather, you may inadvertently make changes to your daily routine: for instance, you might be tempted to take hot showers or baths to warm up, but hot water can strip away the skin’s natural oils and disrupt its moisture barrier, leaving your skin lacking that all-important moisture.
Inadequate Hydration and Nutrition
Colder weather may affect your hydration levels, as people tend to drink less water when temperatures are cooler. Dehydration can impact your skin’s health and appearance.
Additionally, seasonal dietary changes, such as consuming less fresh fruits and vegetables, can result in a deficiency of essential vitamins and antioxidants that support skin health.
Stress and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Autumn and winter can bring about increased stress levels and, for some individuals, this can manifest as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression associated with the change in seasons. Stress and SAD can affect your hormonal balance, leading to skin issues like acne breakouts and increased inflammation.
10 Ways to Change Your Skincare Routine for Autumn
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate:
As the air becomes drier with the arrival of autumn, it’s essential to amp up the hydration in your skincare routine.
Switch to a richer moisturiser that provides deep hydration and locks in moisture, and look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides, which help to replenish and retain moisture in the skin.
Consider using a hydrating serum or facial oil as well to give your skin an extra boost of nourishment.
While thorough cleansing is always important, it’s crucial to avoid stripping your skin of its natural oils during the transition from summer to autumn.
Opt for a gentle, pH-balanced cleanser that effectively removes dirt, sweat, and excess oil without leaving your skin feeling dry and tight.
Look for ingredients like chamomile or aloe vera, which have soothing properties to calm any inflammation or redness.
Exfoliation is key to removing dead skin cells and revealing a fresh, glowing complexion, but exfoliating can make your skin more sun-sensitive.
This is why it’s during the autumn months that you should crack out your most potent exfoliating powerhouses – yes, we’re talking about the AHA and BHAs! Rather than using harsh scrubs that are going to dry out your skin even further, take advantage of the cooler weather and opt for chemical exfoliants such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs).
These gentle yet powerful acids help to slough off dead skin cells, unclog pores, and promote cell turnover, leaving your skin smoother and brighter. Aim to exfoliate 2-3 times a week to maintain a healthy skin texture, and don’t forget your SPF afterwards.
Boost with Antioxidants:
Autumn brings a shift in environmental factors that can contribute to increased free radical damage.
But don’t worry – you can counteract this by incorporating antioxidants into your skincare routine. Look for products containing vitamins C and E, green tea extract, or resveratrol, which help neutralise free radicals and protect your skin from oxidative stress.
Antioxidants also assist in brightening the complexion and promoting an even skin tone, which can help if you’ve experienced hyperpigmentation or other forms of sun damage during the summer.
Although the sun may not feel as intense as it did in summer, harmful UV rays can still damage your skin, even on cloudy days.
Make sure to continue wearing sunscreen with at least SPF 30 or higher throughout autumn, and opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
Apply it generously on all exposed areas of your skin, including your face, neck, and hands, to prevent premature ageing and maintain a youthful appearance.
Retinol, a form of vitamin A, is a powerhouse ingredient that helps to improve skin texture, stimulate collagen production, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Like chemical exfoliants, retinol also increases your sun sensitivity, so as the cooler weather sets in, it’s an ideal time to introduce retinol into your skincare routine. Start with a low concentration and gradually increase over time to minimise any potential irritation, and try to ensure that you only apply retinol at night, to avoid sun damage.
Remember to always use a moisturiser and sunscreen in conjunction with retinol to ‘buffer’ its effects on the skin, especially if you’re a beginner.
Lip and Body Care:
Don’t forget to give extra attention to your lips and the rest of your body during autumn – cooler temperatures and lower humidity can lead to dry, chapped lips.
Use a lip balm with nourishing ingredients like shea butter or coconut oil to keep your lips soft and hydrated, and consider switching to a more emollient body moisturiser to combat dryness and maintain supple skin throughout the season – your body will thank you for it!
Don’t Neglect Your Eyes:
The delicate skin around your eyes requires special attention, especially during seasonal transitions: autumn can bring about increased dryness and sensitivity in this area, which can make any imperfections appear more pronounced.
Incorporate a rich eye cream into your skincare routine to hydrate and protect the skin around your eyes, and look for eye creams that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid or peptides to plump and moisturise the skin, which will in turn reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Additionally, consider using a gentle makeup remover specifically formulated for the eyes to avoid any unnecessary irritation or rubbing.
Nourish from Within with a Healthy Diet:
Skincare isn’t just about external products; it also starts from within.
During autumn, focus on nourishing your skin by following a healthy diet rich in skin-loving nutrients. Include foods that are high in antioxidants, such as berries, leafy greens, and colourful vegetables, to help combat oxidative stress and promote a radiant complexion.
And don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day; hydration from within will help maintain the moisture balance in your skin during humidity fluctuations, keeping it plump and supple.
Adjust Your Makeup Routine:
Just as you switch up your skincare routine, it can also be helpful to make adjustments to your makeup routine as well.
With the changing weather and potential fluctuations in your skin’s texture and tone, opt for lightweight and breathable makeup products.
Consider using a tinted moisturiser or a BB cream instead of heavy foundations to allow your skin to breathe, while providing natural-looking coverage.
While it might seem like just an unfortunate side-effect of the season, your skin doesn’t *have* to get worse during the colder months.
By focusing on adequate hydration, using gentle skincare products, and following the other steps outlined above, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a radiant complexion all-year-round!