The last few rays of summer have finally given way and autumn has settled in. And as the weather begins to change, so should your skincare routine. Along with the cooler, crisper weather comes itchier, flakier skin, which has different needs than it did a few months ago. While there’s no need to rush out and do a dramatic overhaul of your beauty regimen, there are a few key adaptations you can make to stay your beautiful self during the changing seasons.
Hydrate. Just because you’ve finally retired your overworked box fan to storage is no excuse to skimp on the water! Drinking plenty of water year-round helps keep your skin hydrated and supple and your entire body working smoothly. It may be tempting to replace the H2O with pumpkin spice lattes and cozy warm tea, but make it a point to keep up with your daily water intake. I like to carry a large water bottle to the office and make it a goal to finish at least one a day.
Sunscreen. Along the same vein, keep up with your daily dose of SPF. Even if you live in a place that gets very little sun during the winter (hello, Oregon!) and the days are shorter, sun protection is crucial year-round, as harmful UV rays still penetrate the cloud cover. Furthermore, the glare bouncing off of snow is enough to give anyone a nasty burn (ever seen the infamous ski goggle tan? Not cute!) Although you may not need the same level of protection as you do during the summer, continue to incorporate an SPF of at least 15 into your daily skincare routine.
Moisturize. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Then when you’re done, moisturize again. With cold air outside and hot, dry air inside, your skin gets quickly sapped of moisture in the fall and winter. For the body, swap lighter summer body lotions for heavier creams and butters that contain ingredients like shea butter. For the face, look for ingredients that keep moisture locked in place. Evan Healy’s Whipped Patchouli Vanilla Shea Butter is made with shea, aged patchouli, coconut and olive oils and flower extracts for intense hydration and can be used as moisturizer or a mask.
Cleanse and Exfoliate. Avoid harsh, oil-stripping cleansers in the winter as they will only exacerbate tight, parched skin. Keep your face wash mild and gentle, and consider swapping a foam or gel formula to a more moisturizing cream-based one. If you suffer from dry or cracked skin in the colder months, try exfoliating with products containing 2% salicylic acid.
Lips. Your lips are particularly susceptible to the changing seasons and can easily become cracked and peeling. Keep them kissable all year round with a gentle lip scrub and heavy lip balm. Here’s an easy DIY tip for a cheap lip scrub: Combine a small amount of olive oil (or any edible oil of your choice) with brown sugar. Using a soft, clean toothbrush, gently scrub the grainy mixture onto your lips in small circles. When finished, rinse and apply balm.
Hands. The skin on your hands contain fewer oil glands than the rest of your body and they are constantly exposed to the elements. Not only that, but the frequent hand washing you do during the winter to avoid picking up nasty germs dry out your hands even further. Besides gloves, keep your hands smooth and soft by remembering to moisturize them frequently. In the morning, I like to take whatever facial moisturizer I have left on my palms and rub it into the backs of my hands.
Hair. Most people benefit from not washing their hair every day, especially during fall and winter. Brushing hair with natural bristle brushes keeps the scalp clean and moves the natural oils down to the ends of hair, keeping it soft. Make sure to do a nourishing hair mask once a week, and don’t leave the house with damp hair! It can literally freeze your hair and cause breakage.
Cool off. Everyone loves a scorching hot shower to escape the bitter cold outside, but unfortunately it’s one of the worst things you can do to your skin in the winter. Turn down the heat to avoid stripping the natural oils from your skin and hair.
Dumplings, what are your skincare tips for the changing seasons?
Also see: 5 Best Fall Skin Savers
Photo credit: Martinak15 via Flickr; Cerave