Fall Is Here, Time To Change Skincare Products In Your Vanity

What I Wore: The Editor

Fall is finally here. It’s time to change the clothes in your wardrobe to knee-length pencil skirts, motorcycle leather jackets, and animal print handbags, says Vogue. It’s also time to change your skincare products, says @dermdoc.

Most of us associate changing seasons with changing wardrobes, but it’s also the time to evaluate your skincare routine. Humid, warm air will change to dry, cool air like greens to reds on maple trees. Your skin is a living organ and actively responds to these environmental changes.

  • Dry air means your skin will produce more oils to protect itself.
  • Cool air means that previously flushed skin will pale.
  • Less sun means that thick skin will shrink.
  • Less ultraviolet B light means that tanned skin will fade to allow for maximum vitamin D production.

When you start packing away your shorts and spaghetti strap dresses, remember that your skin needs you to pack away some of your summer products.

  • Dryer, thinner skin is more sensitive; consider exfoliating less frequently. Some scrubs or at-home microdermabrasions should be reduced to once every few days or week.
  • Some retinoids like Retin-A or Renova, can be reduced from every day to every other day to minimize irritation in fall and winter.
  • Listen to your skin. Is it increasingly red and stinging as the weather changes? You might have to stop some peels or toners completely until springtime.
  • Consider switching soapy facial washes to soothing or creamy facial cleansers.
  • Change from a lotion moisturizer to a cream moisturizer. If you haven’t moisturized every day, then you should start now.
  • Use a facial moisturizer, particularly if you’re prone to acne or have excessively dry facial skin.
  • Depending on how far north you live and on your skin tone, you might be able to cut back on sunscreen for winter. Although complete sun protection is the best way minimize all damage to your skin, wearing sunscreen year-round may not be necessary. If you’re not sure, talk to your dermatologist.
  • Remember that even in winter, at high altitudes and where the ground is covered with snow, ultraviolet light can be strong, more like summertime sun. So you always need sunblock when skiing or snowboarding.

Photo credit: FCC, Jessica Quirk

5 thoughts on “Fall Is Here, Time To Change Skincare Products In Your Vanity”

  1. Anything new on Vitiligo? When it was small spots it didn’t worry me much but my hands are completely white now and I’m so self conscious about it…

  2. This is very helpful, concise and nice guidance for changing skin care products as a seasonal ritual. In my derm practice we also ‘ramp up’ the anti aging products between summers because it’s best to use products like Retin A when a person is able to fully sun protect treated skin. Our fall and winter climate in N. California is mild enough to do this. Also, many of the anti aging laser and light procedures require sun protection so it’s a good time to think about them as well.

    Fall is actually the busiest time in my office, I call it ‘age spot and skin cancer’ season. I find that people often put off their skin exam during summer and I always have a bump in melanomas after the summer, thank goodness we catch them early.

    Cynthia Bailey MD, Dermatologist

  3. Great article on how we can modify our skin care routine with the seasons. Thanks, Dr. Benabio!

    In regards to the sunscreen, it can be tempting to neglect it during the winter months when there is less sunlight. However, although there is less direct sunlight the farther north you live, there is also likely to be more snow. The World Health Organization says that fresh snow can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s rays right back up at you. So while you may be getting less direct sun, you may be getting close to twice as much as you might think.

    Moral of the story is that you should cover up and/or apply some sunscreen whenever you go out on a bright day, even if it is winter!


  4. I agree with SkinDoc…sunscreen should always be worn no matter what latitude you live on. It is so easy to wear it these days…in moisturizer, makeup, etc…there really is no excuse not to.

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