Apple picking. Football. Sweaters. Boots. Pumpkin-friggin’-everything. Does that excite you? Not me. I can’t eat apples, I don’t understand football, sweaters are itchy, closed-toed shoes feel constricting and I don’t get the hype about pumpkins. To me, fall means the days get colder, there is less daylight and winter is up next. My glass is half full in the spring, half empty in the fall.
Even though I am an autumn pessimist, I know that the change in seasons dictates a change in my skincare routine. I, like many women in the 20-40 age range, have combination skin. I shine (bright like a diamond) in the warmer months and flake (every time plans are made, like a shitty friend) in the cooler months. I notice the change from healthy–and we’ll call it “glowy” skin–as soon as the temperature starts dropping. If you don’t relate to this, you either a) Have very oily skin b) Never look in the mirror or touch your face or c) Live in an area that has perpetual summer. If it’s the last one, I applaud your intelligent choice of residence. I hope to follow in your footsteps soon.
So let’s say you’re like me. You’re out enjoying a morning at the apple orchard before the big game one Sunday. You catch a glimpse of yourself in the rearview mirror while you are driving the scenic route home to get in some leaf peeping. You notice some peeling on your chin and see that your makeup has caked up. You take a sip of your pumpkin spice latte and think about this. You recall that your skin has been looking dull lately. When you put on your new jewel-toned sweater this morning (so soft!) and tried an oxblood colored lipstick to play off it, you discovered your lips were dry and peeling. Well, at least I get to go on a haunted hayride this week! you say to yourself, jumping up and clicking the heels of your camel colored boots together.
The humidity goes away in the fall (“What does that mean?,” asks every Floridian) when the air is cooler and more dry. This causes the water in your skin to evaporate up to 25% quicker than in the warmer, kinder months. If the heat is on in your home or workplace, it dries out the mucous membranes (gross gross gross) which can cause chapped lips. A lot of people take hotter showers in the fall and winter to warm up a little, but the hot water temps strip your skin of the oils that keep it naturally moisturized.
So, what do you do? Read on, my little caramel apple loving friend.
- Erase, Replace, Embrace New Face…Moisturizer. If your skin is feeling dry and you have been using an oil-free moisturizer, it’s time to switch over to something more hydrating. I recommend Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre, CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion and Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream.
- Be Your Own Esthetician. I like to really massage my moisturizer in during the fall and winter because that helps rev up circulation. If you have ever had a facial, you know that facial massage is a big part of it. I do a light version every day when I apply my moisturizer, and also a longer facial massage with a face oil like Nude Pro Genius Omega Treatment Oil every week or two.
- Exfoliate Your Face Off. Well, not literally. But if you are experiencing dry, flaky or dull skin, exfoliation–which removes the dead skin cells that are sometimes visible and can cause makeup to cake up–makes a huge difference. Do it 2-3 times a week (but not if you are on prescription retinol or anything else that would contraindicate it). My favorites are Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant and Kate Somerville ExfoliKate.
- Lip Balm It Up. If you find yourself reaching for matte lipsticks often, like any good fall trends makeup follower does, you’ll find that they exacerbate chapped lip issues. I swear by Aquaphor Lip Repair. Some lip exfoliation, even just with a damp washcloth, can help too.
- Mask Your Feelings. Or maybe don’t. But definitely mask your face. There are a million hydrating and moisturizing face masks on the market and you can make some at home too. If you like your masks already made, try La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Masque or Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque. Some moisturizing ingredients to consider if you are making a mask at home are banana, coconut, honey and full fat yogurt. Or just make yourself a snack out of those things while your pre-made mask is on. I don’t care what you do with your time 😉
- Get Out of the Shower, Girl. Long, hot showers strip oil from your skin, as I mentioned. If you want be environmentally friendly, conscious of your water bill and considerate of your skin, stop that shit already.
With a little effort, the battle against cold weather face can be won. I can’t help you if your hands and feet are in perma-cold mode until May like mine are, but I can hopefully help you not resemble a dried out, dull-skinned, chapped-lipped zombie. That’s a look that only really works on October 31.
Have a beautiful day 🙂