Fall is unanimously everyone’s favorite season. We finally get a reprieve from the sweltering summer and a reintroduction to all things cozy, spooky, and pumpkin spice. While you’re rotating all your sweaters and moto jackets to the front of your closet and digging your fall-scented candles out of storage, it’s also time to consider prepping something else for the shifting season: your beauty routine.
The beauty woes we experience thanks to fall’s dry air can be mitigated with a few simple steps and new additions to your existing routine. Here are the five easiest ways to transition your beauty routine this fall:
1. Incorporate More Moisture
We all know that dry air means trouble for our skin, but we often forget that central heating indoors also causes a lot of drama as well. In other words, fall might be our favorite season, but our skin isn’t nearly as excited about the fact that, for lack of better words, winter is coming. In the months leading up to the real cold, it’s important to focus on the problems you will have then, now.
For every month following August and leading into the depths of winter, you need to incorporate an additional moisturizing agent into your skincare routine. This might sound overwhelming, but hear me out. Moisture is absorbed into the skin through a variety of different molecular structures, meaning that different formulations will penetrate the various layers of your skin differently to deliver their moisturizing benefits.
2. Focus on Exfoliation
Dry air leads to dry skin, which leads to flaking, discomfort, and uneven makeup application. If you wait until it’s too late to work on the excess of dead skin that develops in colder months, you’ll be playing a never-ending game of catch-up for the rest of the season. Opt for a mix of chemical and physical exfoliations to bring dead skin to the surface and slough it off.
Glycolic acid is beneficial for normal, combo, and oily skin types as well, but if you want something a little stronger, a weekly at-home peel with AHAs and BHAs will help combat dry skin as well as the breakouts that can occur due to the sudden imbalance of dead skin cells and oil production.
A physical exfoliator that can slough away dead skin doesn't have to be harsh and irritating (*cough cough* St. Ives). This exfoliator has superfine, biodegradable crystals that are safe for sensitive and acne-prone skin and will leave you soft and glowy.
3. Be Mindful of Water Temperature
It’s hard enough to leave the toasty heaven that is your bed to face the bitter cold of the outside world during fall and winter, and it’s even harder to do it without a long hot shower as a rewarding incentive. Hot water is unfortunately really stressful on your skin, especially your face. Overly hot water increases circulation to your face, which disrupts your natural oil balance, causing dehydration and your oil production to kick into overdrive, which can lead to breakouts. If you want to keep up the natural moisture of your skin a little longer, turn down the temp a little bit.
Taking a super hot shower for short time intervals is admissible every few days for your body skin, but be sure to cleanse your face at the sink before stepping into your steam room and avoid the hot water on your face as much as possible.
4. Supplement Your Lack of Sunshine
Unlike every other vitamin that our bodies benefit from, vitamin D does not exist in the food we eat. Your body synthesizes vitamin D through sun exposure, which becomes increasingly difficult during fall and leading into winter.
Vitamin D benefits a plethora of bodily functions—everything from mood stabilization to the health and vibrancy of your skin. Vitamin D supports your skin’s ability to deflect free radicals thanks to the antioxidants present in its chemical structure and is also a powerful anti-inflammatory.
5. Keep Your Hair Moisturized
The damage that a season of dry air does to your hair will, unfortunately, linger long after the first blooms of spring come out of hiding. Brittle strands and busted ends can be easily avoided with a few inexpensive fixes. Make sure you’re clarifying your scalp once a week and deep conditioning as often as your hair needs it.
Layer on a leave-in treatment for extra protection before drying and reserve your stickier and stiffer styling products for after you’ve heat styled instead of applying them before. A cool water rinse, despite how terrible it might sound when it’s cold out, is especially important to seal your hair follicles and keep moisture locked in.