Happy Fall Ya’ll! (sorry, had to say it)
Welp, summer went fast. Or wait, did we even have a Summer? Did we have a Spring? Do we live on planet Earth? What’s happening right now?!?! I talk about it constantly - why does time go so fast as we get older? I’m always referring back to the line in the Rod Stewart song ‘Ooh La La’ “I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger.” Such a good song. And, the 8 year old me hears my mother saying, “Emily, one day you’re going to regret it if you don’t wear sunscreen.” Moms are always right. Anyhow, I’m not here to get all deep on you or to talk about Rod Stewart, BUT I will say, with the summer ending it is time to change your skincare routine to prep for the cooler/drier months to come.
I seriously love everything about the Fall, and because I’m a skincare nerd, I love Fall/cold weather skincare. To me there’s nothing better than the feeling of putting on a thick, luxurious night cream before I go to bed. Swoon.
I know there’s a lot of confusion about how to transition your products according to the season, especially if you’re acneic and hesitant about adding things to your regime that are heavier. And, there is always a question around the order of which your products are applied.
To start, my first piece of advice is to come in for a facial. It’s always good to receive a nice deep cleansing and exfoliation to start off a new season, especially going from Summer to Fall. You’ve been wearing a lot of sunscreen, and/or sunless tanner, and this summer you’ve been locking it all in with your mask. So, come on into SkinQ - we'll get you fixed up!
For your everyday routine consider these changes:
Switch your cleanser: You may be using a foaming cleanser that helps to control oil and breakouts. Normally these cleansers contain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, which can sometimes strip your skin of oil. Instead swap for something more gentle and creamy. You can also go with an oil-to-cream cleanser. I always love a cleanser like this as a first step for removing my makeup. The oil works to break things down, and then you add a dab of water and massage it until it turns to a cream. Magic! When you rinse, your skin is then properly prepped for cleansing.
Exfoliants: Exfoliating is a must for your skin to be healthy and functional (all year round). Your skin cells turn over every 30-ish days, but because your skin becomes drier in the winter, cell turnover becomes sluggish. Not only will exfoliating speed up the turnover process, but it will help your serums and moisturizer absorb better, making them more efficient. Exfoliate with a physical (granule) exfoliant (ex. PCA's Pore Refining Treatment) two times a week, and use an enzyme (ex. fruit acids) or retinol a couple of times a week. If your skin is resilient, I say to hit it from all angles with a physical, chemical and a retinol, but space the days out, allowing some recovery time in between. However, on the flipside, sometimes your skin will become more sensitive during the cooler month, so if you’re experiencing sensitivity (stinging or burning when applying products) or if your skin is red, then skip exfoliation until your skin is feeling back on the up-and-up.
Toner: The ONLY toner to use this time of year is PCA’s Nutrient Toner. This pumpkin wine based toner is chock-full with nutritious ingredients to gently exfoliate, hydrate and make your skin glow - and it smells heavenly. Not only that, but using a toner will bring your pH to a normal level and it will prep your skin for serums.
Serum: Serums are the superheroes of your skincare routine. They’re the products that work hard to correct problems like fine lines and wrinkles, breakouts, hyperpigmentation, etc. If you’re not already, the Fall/Winter is a perfect time to incorporate hyaluronic acid (HA) into your routine. We have naturally occurring HA in our bodies, but just like time, the older we get, the faster it goes. When you apply HA topically it’s like your skin has taken a big drink of water. HA is a humectant, so it seals moisture to the surface of the skin, helping not only to hydrate, but to also plump and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles (you can attribute aging skin, in part, to dryness and dehydration).
Moisturizer: A light lotion or a tinted moisturizer may be enough during the summer, but as the humidity levels drop, so does the oil production. We’re also turning the heat on in our houses and taking hot showers, which can also contribute to your skin drying out. Try adding a heavier cream or an oil into your regime, like The Everything Oil by Carter + Jane.
Side note: When people hear the words “dry skin” and “try an oil” for some reason they walk right to their kitchen cupboards and pull out the coconut oil. Why?!? No. No, no, NO! Coconut oil belongs in baked goods, or, I suppose you can use it on your body, but it’s not a good facial moisturizer. It’s too heavy and it will clog your pores, among other things. If you’re using coconut oil on your face, just stop it.
However, some oils are biocompatible with the skin's natural oil, and can work wonders for not only dry skin, but oily skin types, as well. Examples of face-safe oils are: jojoba, prickly pear seed, neroli, and tamanu.
At this point for all of the acne and oily folks out there, you may be thinking, “What about us? We’re not about to put extra oil on our skin.” A lot of the times people with oily skin go overboard with all of the degreasing products, especially during the dog days of summer, and their pores are left fighting. When your moisture barrier is compromised, it will start to overproduce oil, which will lead to breakouts. The right oil can also help reduce inflammation and can be naturally antibacterial. I feel like a lot of my acne clients are worse with breakouts during the winter because they’re dry, so finding balance will work wonders. Hyaluronic Acid is also amazing for dehydrated, acneic skin.
And last but certainly not least, sunscreen. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean that you don’t have to wear it. Put sunscreen on even if the sun isn’t out. Sorry, not sorry.
So there you have it - your cold weather skincare advice. Thanks for reading, you guys!
Peace, pumpkins & hydrated skin,
Speaking of sunscreen, if you’re working from home and you’re sitting near a window, guess what, you’re still getting UV rays, so SPF is still necessary.
For those who have a hard time remembering which order to apply their products, think of layering your skincare the same way you would layer your clothing - thinnest to thickest.
After you wash your face, pat it dry, and then apply your serums and moisturizer while your skin is still damp. The products penetrate a little further into the skin and will make you super glowy, leaving you feeling and looking a little extra.
Hyaluronic Acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water! What does that even mean?!? ... Serious hydration!
If your hands are dry, slather them with an emollient lotion (even Aquaphor), put plastic baggies over them, and then stick your hands in socks, sit for 20-30 minutes, and then remove. Ta-da, no more dry hands!
DIY dry hand and lip exfoliant recipe:
2 Tbsp. of coffee grounds or brown sugar
1 Tbsp. of oil (yes, you can use coconut)
Mix together, scrub, rub, and rinse.