Your skincare routine should change at least twice a year – one routine for the warm and humid months and another for the cold and dry part of the year. If you’re not sure what changes to make, here are 11 expert tips for updating your skincare routines for colder months:
Cleansing can be one of the most stripping parts of a 3-step skincare routine, but it can also really nourish your skin if you pick the right products. When cold weather hits, it’s time to put away the harsh gel cleansers and makeup wipes you’ve been using during the summer. Instead, switch to a cleansing balm to remove makeup and follow it up with a gentle facial cleanser to remove the last dirt and impurities.
A lightweight gel lotion probably won’t be heavy enough to keep your face moisturized during fall and winter. Oily skin types should look at midweight lotions, while dry skin types will need an even heavier cream to lock in water to keep it from escaping from their skin. If your skin tends to get a little oily during the day, wear a lightweight anti-aging moisturizer in the morning and a heavier one at night.
Moisturizer isn’t the only line of defense that you have when it comes to protecting your skin from fall and winter weather. If your skin is very dry or you live somewhere with a harsh climate, then you might benefit from incorporating hydrating serums and facial oils into your routine. These extra steps can make a difference in keeping your skin smooth and supple during even the worst cold snap.
Exfoliating ingredients dry out your skin, so you’ll probably need to cut back on the frequency of your exfoliating sessions and possibly switch to some gentler products as well. Also, watch out for products that aren’t billed as exfoliators but still have an exfoliating effect, such as retinol. You might still be able to use these during the cold part of the year, but be careful not to overdo it and dry out your skin.
Sun exposure also contributes to dry skin, which is why it’s still really important to keep wearing sunscreen daily during the fall and winter, even if you’re not going outside as much. If you tend to wear mattifying sunscreens during the summer, try switching to a more moisturizing sunscreen that will help to keep your skin feeling bouncy and hydrated.
Your lips and hands are extra prone to dryness. All the food you eat and the beverages you drink mean that your lips are constantly exposed to irritants while washing your hands draws all the moisture right out of your skin. Once fall starts, it’s time to be vigilant about applying lip balm and hand cream multiple times throughout the day. Also, invest in some heavy-duty hand creams that you can wear at night to guard against moisture loss that happens while you sleep.
We love a long shower or soak in the tub as much as the next person, but unfortunately, all that hot water isn’t good for your skin. Prolonged contact with water is guaranteed to dry out your skin, and hot water will only exacerbate the effects. We know it’s hard, but try to keep your showers or baths as short as possible. Keeping the water temperature lukewarm or even cool will also help to stop your skin from drying out.
Your face may be the star of the show, but the skin on your body is also prone to dryness during the wintertime — especially your feet and elbows. In addition to your new facial cleanser, get a gentle and moisturizing body wash to use in the shower, and then immediately apply lotion to your entire body as soon as you get out of the tub to lock in the water’s moisture. You might also want to apply a thicker cream or even petroleum jelly to the areas that are most prone to dryness, such as your elbows.
The air in many regions tends to become less humid as the temperatures drop and fall weather moves in. Furthermore, most buildings use central heat to stay warm during the winter, which sucks even more moisture out of the indoor air. To help reverse these effects, get yourself an indoor humidifier that will put water back in the air. You might be surprised at what a big difference it makes for your skin!
Direct exposure to the sun, wind, and snow will dry your skin out like nothing else. When you have to go outside, we recommend bundling up as much as possible. Zip your coat up and use scarves, gloves, hats, and other cold-weather accessories to cover up as much of your skin as possible.
Many people travel a lot during the fall and winter to connect with family over the holidays. To make packing easiest on yourself, go ahead and grab some travel-size toiletry bottles and fill them with your essential cold-weather skincare products. Put them into a toiletry bag so you can grab them and go without having to worry about accidentally leaving behind your favorite moisturizer.
What are your other essential skincare tips for fall? Do you have any products or treatments that you love to use during the colder months? Let us know in the comments below!
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