How to Transition Skincare from Summer to Fall
As we transition into the cooler months, our skincare routine needs a bit of adjustment. Our skin is constantly changing, so if you *had* dry skin in high school, you might not have dry skin today. That's just a good tip for the long-term as skin is changing day to day, week to week, month to month. But it will definitely go through massive changes as the weather shifts out, so with each seasonal change it's important to understand that some of your products may need to be put to the side while new ones are introduced to hydrate. This is normal and should be expected. Nothing is wrong with you or your skin, but the change in temperature, pressure and the general environment (less A/C, more heat, more pollen, etc) is all going to have an effect. My skin definitely goes through the worst change as it colder in the desert, so I'm sharing a few tips for this transition.
In the summertime, we tend to sweat more and need more showering and washing. I also like to use a cleanser that's going to really get all the sweat, dirt and moisture off to get a really deep cleanse. With the change in seasons, I switch to more gentle cleansers that are less stripping and more hydrating. I also tend to wash the face less because cleansing can be stripping if your skin is feeling really dry so if you're cleansing 3 times a day, dial it back to 2. If you feel your skin is drying up even with 2 washes, dial it back to one and just use cold water on the skin in the morning and then do the deeper cleanse in the evening. This could help your skin get to a better hydration level before reincorporating the two cleanses per day.
I've been more methodical about incorporating cleaner skincare into the mix, but even more so focusing on less stripping ones. Ones that are overly foamy are going to really dry the skin out. Gel like cleansers or balms tend to be much more hydrating, and could be a nice change of pace if you're finding that your skin is really dried out.
As the seasons change, it's so important to exfoliate the skin to reveal that fresh skin underneath. Some great ways to exfoliate include:
Retinol, aka Vitamin A, helps to consistently exfoliate the skin. It is also the best serum to use for anti-aging properties, as well as smoother skin with appearance of fine lines and wrinkles being diminished over time.
Lactic acid or AHAs, have a similar effect as retinol (but not as strong.) They help exfoliate by loosening the bonds between dead skin cells to reveal fresh skin underneath. Also gives that smoother and finer appearance in the skin with prolonged use. If you follow along on Instagram, you've heard me talk about this mask ad nauseam but it is the best mask ever. And it just so happens to be a lactic acid mask. A lot of people have coined this mask "Botox in a jar" because it tightens, brightens and truly transforms your skin. After one application. Yep! Trust me on this one.
Mandelic acid, while a less commonly known exfoliator, is still very effective while being ideal for more sensitive skin. My favorite comes from Colleen Rothschild (linked in this blog post where I explain what mandelic acid is as well as all of its benefits.) It helps target dullness and brings out brightness in the skin.
And finally peel pads, like my absolute favorite ones from Dr Dennis Gross, are great exfoliators and skin brighteners.
During this transition to cooler months, my skin starts to really dry out. I notice more dry patches, especially around my mouth, but also on the edge of my face, forehead and chin. When I think about rehydrating the skin, I want to exfoliate that skin off first but also I want to seal moisture in and use something a bit thicker in consistency to do so. Think of how Aquaphor helps to not only hydrate skin, but it soothes too. We want to do that (not with Aquaphor) and use a moisturizer that is going to seal all the serums and hydration into the skin. A really great option is Skinceutical's Triple Lipid Restore (when purchasing from Dermstore you can get 15% off when you sign up for their newsletter.) We use this moisturizer on and off throughout the year, and the reason I transition away from it is because of course I'm testing others but it's a good one to come back to consistently. Another one that's even more of an investment, is the Augustinus Bader Rich Cream. Both of these will not only soothe the skin, but they will hydrate deep into the epidermis (top layer of skin.)
For years, I've loved hydrafacials. It is a specific facial, one that not every medical spa or skin salon is going to have access to because it is a proprietary machine that does the facial by a licensed aesthetician. I was first introduced to this facial a few years ago at Dr. Dennis Gross's 5th Avenue clinic (which was such a treat and I was a complete fangirl.) The before and after of my skin was so incredible, and the device blew my mind because it not only exfoliates on a deeper level but it also replenishes the skin's hydration on a deeper level with the use of the machine. With the change of seasons, and the need to get a professional extraction and exfoliation, this is perfect to kickstart the skin but also hydrate it as you notice peeling and drying.