(Original post from The Every Girl):
Fall is unanimously everyone’s favorite season, we finally get a reprieve from the sweltering Summer and a reintroduction to all things cozy, spooky, and pumpkin spicy. While you’re rotating all your sweaters and moto jackets to the front of your closet and digging your fall scented candles out of storage, it’s also time to consider prepping something else for the shifting season – your skin.
The dry air beauty struggles can be mitigated with a few simple steps and new additions to your existing routine, here are the five easiest ways to make the transition into fall a smooth one.
1. Incorporate More Moisture, Sooner.
We all know that dry air means trouble for our skin, but we often forget that central heating indoors also causes a lot of drama as well. In other words, Fall might be our favorite season – but our skin isn’t nearly as excited about the fact that, for lack of better words, Winter is Coming. In the months leading up to the real cold it’s important to focus on the problems you will have then, now.
For every month following August and leading into the depth of Winter, you need to incorporate an additional moisturizing agent into your skincare routine. This might sound overwhelming, but hear me out. Moisture is absorbed into the skin through a variety of different molecular structures, meaning that different formulations will penetrate the various layers of your skin differently to deliver their moisturizing benefits.
If you’ve yet to incorporate a moisturizing toner into your routine, Fall is an excellent place to start. After cleansing, press a layer of pH balancing and hydrating toner into your skin and allow to dry before proceeding, repeat up to 3 or 4 times as you see fit.
A moisture dense serum applied before bedtime and makeup application is an absolute must in order to keep skin balanced and hydrated.
Invest in a cream moisturizer or sleeping mask to lock in essential moisture overnight while your skin undergoes its critical regenerative processes.
Stock up on moisturizing sheet masks to use 2-3 times a week. Drugstores in the US are finally catching on the the trend, making sheet masks readily available and very affordable.
2. Focus on Exfoliation
Dry air leads to dry skin which leads to flaking, discomfort, and uneven makeup application. If you wait until it’s too late before you go to work on the excess of dead skin that develops in colder months, you’ll be playing a never ending game of catch up for the rest of the season.
If you have dry skin already, opting for a gentle glycolic acid solution will help to disrupt the bindings in dead skin cells while avoiding irritation from more intense Alpha Hydroxy Acid exfoliators.
Glycolic acid will be beneficial for normal, combo, and oily skin types as well – but perhaps not effective enough. A weekly at home peel with AHAs/BHAs will help combat dry skin as well as the breakouts that can occur due to the sudden imbalance of dead skin cells and oil production.
3. Be Mindful of Water Temperature
It’s hard enough to leave the toasty heaven that is your bed to face the bitter cold of the outside world during Fall and Winter, and it’s even harder to do it without a long hot shower as a rewarding incentive. Hot water is unfortunately really stressful on your skin, especially your face. Overly hot water increases circulation to your face which disrupts your natural oil balance, causing dehydration AND your oil production to kick in to overdrive which can lead to breakouts.
Taking a super hot shower for short time intervals is admissible every few days for your body skin, but be sure to cleanse your face at the sink before stepping into your steam room and never allow the hot water to run over your face.
Replenish the natural oils you strip from your skin in shower with a lightweight body oil to avoid dry patches on your skin below the neck.
4. Supplement Your Lack of Sunshine
Unlike every other vitamin that our bodies benefits from, Vitamin D does not exist in the food we eat. Your body synthesizes Vitamin D through sun exposure which becomes increasingly difficult during Fall and leading into Winter.
Vitamin D benefits a plethora of bodily functions, everything from mood stabilization to the health and vibrancy of your skin. Vitamin D Supports your skin’s ability to deflect free radicals thanks to the antioxidant present in its chemical structure and is also a powerful anti-inflammatory.
Supplementing with Vitamin D can help combat dryness induced breakouts, keep your hair growing healthily, and even stave off the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
5. Don’t Forget About Your Hair
The damage that a season of dry air does to your hair will unfortunately linger long after the first blooms of Spring come out of hiding. Brittle strands and busted ends can be easily avoided with a few inexpensive fixes.
Olive oil is packed with Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin E and is an excellent oil to apply as a mask to porous strands that will struggle to retain their moisture in cold seasons. The next time you’re out grabbing your groceries, pick up a bottle (make sure the only ingredient is olive oil of course) to keep on hand for a weekly mask.
Layer on a milky leave-in treatment for extra protection before drying and reserve your stickier and stiffer styling products for after you’ve heat styled rather than applying them before. A cool water rinse, despite how terrible it might sound when it’s cold out, is especially important to seal your hair follicles and keep moisture locked in.