That chill in the night air isn’t just a signal to reach for a sweater or jacket on your way out the door; it’s also serving notice that it’s time to transition your skincare routine.
The combination of cooler temperatures and a much-appreciated drop in humidity makes for dry air, and even drier skin. Throw in the dry heat that’s coming out of radiators, baseboards, and vents, and we’re practically living in a moisture vacuum.
But dry, itchy skin doesn’t have to be the norm for the next few months if you transition your skincare routine from summer to fall (and winter). If you’ve never really thought about it that way, here are a couple of components you’ll want to home in on. Once you’ve got them down, feel free to experiment with other aspects if you feel it’s necessary.
Replace your skincare routine’s moisturizer
A lightweight, oil-free moisturizer is all you really need during the summer, when the air can feel as thick as honey. But you’ll need to bulk up with a thicker moisturizer for fall and winter.
Trying as the summertime humidity can be, it helps hydrate our skin. Now that there’s a lot less moisture in the air, our skin’s left feeling dry and itchy. The surest way to stop it? Hydrate your skin from head to toe. And you accomplish that with a thick moisturizer. Moisturizer draws hydration to the outer skin layer and provides a protective barrier over the skin, enabling it to better retain hydration. The thicker the moisturizer, the better it’s able to accomplish that.
While you’re shopping for a new moisturizer, look for one with hyaluronic acid. (It shouldn’t be hard to find.) Hyaluronic acid helps bind water to collagen, trapping it in the skin. Essentially, the collagen in our dermis forms the structure of the skin. Natural hyaluronic acid is bound to collagen on one side and it links to water molecules on the other. The effect is plumper-looking, more hydrated skin.
Scale back the exfoliation
You’ll also want to cut back on exfoliating. As a rule of thumb, try to minimize your use of robust ingredients, like retinoids and glycolic acid, as the weather gets colder. Use a mask no more than once a week to help remove any discoloration brought on by the summer sun, or try using glycolic treatment pads, which are milder.
Start from the inside out
And let’s not overlook the obvious: Any efforts to restore your skin’s hydration should start with making sure you’re drinking enough water. Take your bodyweight and divide it in half. That’s the number of ounces of water you should be aiming to drink on a daily basis. Hit your target consistently and you’ll begin to notice a difference not just in your skin’s hydration level but also in your face’s radiance.
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