Fall is in full swing and winter is on its way. Any change in seasons is a reminder to check in with your skin – and your skincare specialist – to see if your current skincare routine is adequate.
While winter might see its fair share of rain – it’s actually a dry season, and this can take people by surprise. White flakes, dry skin, tight-feeling skin, red patches, breakouts, flare-ups of eczema or psoriasis – all are examples of the way changes in seasons can affect the skin.
How Does Fall Weather Affect the Skin?
Fall is a bit tricky because it can feel like summer and winter all in the same day. Here are some of the things to be aware of as we move through fall and into the winter months.
Your skin is getting drier
When temperatures drop, so do humidity levels. Fall’s wonky thermometer readings can cause repetitive shifts in humidity – from dry, to moist and back to dry again. Your skin care line may need to be expanded or changed accordingly – adding a heavier, nighttime moisturizer into the routine, while keeping a lighter, daytime moisturizer at the ready for warmer days.
- Call or visit your esthetician to get the skin once-over and discuss recommended changes in skincare products or routine
- Keep hydrated – don’t let those cooler temperatures trick you into thinking you need less water.
- Avoid products with “fragrance” or other products that may cause additional drying.
The sun still shines – even through the clouds
Most people are great about donning sunscreen regularly when the sun is out, but they grow lazy about it when it’s cloudy or cooler. In fact, the sun’s rays are still a threat to your skin regardless of the season. Do continue to use a moisturizer with sunscreen – or a sunscreen specifically for sensitive facial skin – whenever you plan to be outside for more than a few minutes at a time.
Former skin issues may flare up
Changes in humidity, wardrobe, moisture and so on can cause your skin to become unbalanced. When this happens, you might find that former skin issues or irritations flare back up again. Rather than tackle them yourself, check-in with a skin care professional to make sure you’re taking the right approach to calm things back to a healthy norm again. Using the wrong products – or changing your skincare routine too drastically – could actually make things worse.
Protect Your Skin in Colder, Drier Weather
Here are some suggestions for protecting your skin from colder, drier weather.
- Pay attention. Look closely at your skin in a magnifying mirror. Do you see white, red and/or rough patches? What about tiny little bumps (called keratosis pilaris) that feel a bit rough but aren’t white/blackheads? Does your skin feel or look tight – maybe even a bit shiny or stretched tight over the facial structure? All of these are signs your skin is dry.
- Change to a creamier cleanser. Unless you have oily skin or work closely with an aesthetician already, fall/winter are a time to switch your skincare products. Mild foaming or gel-like cleansers should be switched out for creamy, milkier versions. These will still do the trick when it comes to removing make-up and dirt, without removing your skin’s natural oils.
- Use a gentle exfoliator. Those dry skin flakes will dull skin and can trap dirt, oil, sweat and other pollutants. A gentle exfoliator will do the trick, reducing dryness and the signs of aging while keeping your skin hydrated.
- Up the moisturizing ante. Look for a moisturizer that is emollient rich, using natural, earth-friendly products that are good for both your skin and the planet (we can assure you – if it’s not eco-friendly, it’s not good for your living skin!)
- Use a moisturizing mask at least once a week. For those with dry skin, or who will be spending extended time on the slopes our outside in the wind and cold, a weekly or twice-weekly moisturizing mask is in order. Worn anywhere from 10 minutes to overnight, these masks really hydrate and lock in moisture, creating a proactive moisturizing routine to protect skin when you’re back outside.
- Use a whole-home humidifier. Our skin – and our homes – like to live in a climate with humidity levels of around 40% to 50%. A whole-home humidifier will help with this, helping to keep your skin and your body hydrated even when the exterior humidity levels drop much lower than that.
- Avoid excessively hot baths and showers. As much as a nice hot bath/shower feels good in the winter, it actually dries out your skin. Try to keep temperatures more moderate, particularly if you’re planning to soak for a long period of time. Better to heat up the room you’re in and keep water to a warm – but not hot – temp. If you do soak for a long time, follow it up with a luxurious body lotion rubdown to replenish dry skin cells.
Have recent weather changes caused your skin to dry up or misbehave? Schedule a consult with the experienced aestheticians here at Skin Deep. We’ll take a good look and determine the best products to nourish your skin through this fall and winter season.