Transitioning from Summer to Fall
When the weather transitions, our skin has to adjust, and sometimes the results aren’t pretty. A sudden drop in humidity can cause dryness, breakouts, and general dullness.
You may think, “Breakouts, really? But summer is the oily season!” But breakouts, yes—because the dry air creates layers of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, trapping bacteria beneath the surface.
To target the dead skin cells, you’ll need to exfoliate gently and often. Exfoliating has the added bonus of evening skin tone (goodbye hyper-pigmentation and acne scars) and making your skin softer and brighter.
We recommend Eminence Organics Monoi Age Corrective Exfoliating Cleanser, which you can pick up from our office. It’s an easy way to combine two steps (cleansing and exfoliating!), and it contains coconut oil for moisturizing, a natural retinol alternative to target hyperpigmentation, fruit extracts for dissolving dead cells, and antioxidants to fight aging and free radicals.
So you probably already know that you need to step up your moisture game in cooler months, but did you know you should switch cleansers, as well? Often the gel and foaming cleansers that offer a deep clean for warmer months will aggravate dry skin in cooler months.
If you love that squeaky clean feeling or have oily skin, you may still be able to use your gel or foam cleanser in the morning, but you’ll need to switch to a cream or oil-based choice at night.
Retinol makes your skin more sensitive to the sun, so sometimes it works well to take a break during the summer months. But if fall and winter mean more time indoors, you may be able to safely reintroduce retinol into your skincare regiment. Retinol is a great ingredient to tackle hyperpigmentation—an unwelcome side effect of all that summer sun. But it can also dry your already vulnerable winter skin, so it’s not the best option for everyone. A gentler option is glycolic acid, which is available in many OTC products.
Toning after cleansing is especially important to prevent that post-wash tightness that gives way to lingering dryness. Tone as soon as you’ve washed your face and immediately apply moisturizer. (If you haven’t already realized this, at Elizabeth Adams MD, we loooove Eminence Organics products. In fact, it’s what Dr. Adams uses on her own skin. For a soothing toner, try Eminence’s Red Currant Mattifying Mist.)
During fall and winter months, you may want to use a hydrating mask. (We like the Eminence Pumpkin Latte Hydration.) You can go with a gel-based mask if you have acne-prone skin. But if your skin is itchy, flaky and scaly, a cream mask is the way to go.
You’ll probably also want to switch your gel-based moisturizer to a cream or oil-based option or add an additional moisturizer after your usual serum. (Eminence’s Monoi Age Corrective Night Cream, with it’s a combination of nourishing oils and plant-based stem cells, can get the job done.)
Don’t forget the rest of your body! Dry, itchy skin is common in cooler months, so turn down the temp on your bath or shower, and be sure to exfoliate and moisturize your body. (Hand lotion and cuticle oil are fall friends!)
Combat moisture-zapping central heating with a humidifier for your bedroom or just leave your bathwater in the tub, to evaporate and saturate the air in your house.
And don’t skimp on the sunscreen, even if it seems like mother nature is skimping on the sun. UV rays can permeate windows. While the UVB rays that cause sunburn may not be as strong, the UVA rays that cause premature aging and cancer haven’t diminished one bit. And don’t just put sunscreen on your face! Apply it to your neck and hands (hands are one of the first parts of our body to show aging) and exposed arms or collarbones.
Happy moisturizing and happy pumpkin latte season!
Posted in: Elizabeth Adams MD, Seasonal Skin Care, Skin Health