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As the seasons shift, so does your skin. If you’ve ever experienced dry, cracking skin in the fall and winter, there’s a reason (and a fix) for that. These are our top tips and tricks for maintaining healthy, glowing skin no matter how low the temps dip.
The Science of Seasonal Skin Shifts
When summer fades into fall, the cooler weather combined with a sharp decline in humidity levels causes major skin freak-outs. Dry, autumn air and high winds wear down the skin’s critical barrier, leaving the outer layer of skin incapable of maintaining essential moisture.
The seasonal barrage on skin continues indoors, too. When the central heat is cranked up, indoor air becomes arid, accelerating skin’s moisture evaporation. To make matters worse, when our capillaries try to adapt to the extreme range in temps we experience indoors vs. outdoors, they rapidly expand and contract, eventually breaking and causing additional redness.
Faced with extreme temperatures and a lack of humidity, skin is more susceptible to inflammation and irritation during the fall and winter. But the good news is, with the right fall skincare routine, cracks in the barrier layer, loss of hydration and the onset of inflammation can all be prevented.
How Should I Adjust My Skincare Routine for Fall?
Like a fave winter coat, a dense facial cream is an essential for the season. A deeply hydrating, barrier protection cream helps to fortify skin’s lipids (good skin fats) so they don’t break down in cold weather. When skin lipids are protected, the barrier layer is strengthened, and hydration levels are maintained.
While a rich face cream and eye cream are critical, face oils can maximize a cream’s benefits. Face creams sink deep down into skin to hydrate the inner layer of the dermis, and face oils sit on top to seal in the hydration. Together, oil and moisturizer target different layers of the skin to create a protective barrier against debris and free radicals.
Depending on the facial cream and oil combo you’re using, try playing around with the application order to compare results. Generally, the order is moisturizer then oil, but another logical skincare rule to abide by is apply from thinnest consistency to thickest consistency. Translation: If you’re using a light oil and a heavy moisturizer, apply the oil first so it can sink in before capping it off with face cream. Most importantly, apply your skincare within 60 seconds of washing your face, when skin is still slightly damp to lock in post-shower hydration. We always use a pH balancing cleanser so skin feels comfortable (not dry or tight) even before moisturizer comes into play.
Maximize Your Skin Health Through the Season
Hardworking skincare is a good start, but there are a number of other supporting elements that will help keep skin in tip-top condition through the fall. First, invest in a home humidifier to keep the air slightly moist. It’s especially important to have a humidifier in the bedroom, so skin isn’t exposed to dry air during its nightly rejuvenation process. We also like to put a portable humidifier on our desks so skin feels comfortably hydrated when the central heat is on high.
Next, drink lots of water – it’s critical to maintaining skin’s hydration level. While it’s tempting to go for a piping hot PSL or something equally festive and fun during the fall, caffeine and sugar can play a major role in dehydrating skin. If you’re not drinking enough water, the lack of hydration manifests in dry, tight, flaky skin.
Lastly, limit hot showers. Hot water is known to irritate skin. While a hot bath after a long day is a hard habit to shake, hot water damages keratin cells located on the outer layer of the epidermis. When these cells are disrupted, they’re unable to lock in moisture leading to extra dry skin.
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