Change Up Your Skincare Routine For Fall

It's time to swap out your lightweight, summer staples for smart skin ingredients and a hefty dose of hydration 


Believe it or not, fall has arrived. And “fall” doesn’t just mean falling leaves, but also falling temperatures and humidity levels. But sweater weather means more than just swapping out your wardrobe—your skin care routine requires a switch, too.

Cooler, drier air generally leads to drier skin because of limited humidity, while use of indoor heaters and other environmental irritants can all disrupt the skin’s lipid barrier: wind can ‘wick’ moisture away from the skin, while central heating and hot showers can leave skin feeling irritated and tight. Unfortunately, dry skin isn’t the only by-product of cold weather, as seasonal  transition issues can include everything from breakouts (due to changes in oil production) to dullness (as cell turnover slows down). 

Fortunately, with just a few hero ingredients and routine tweaks, the adjustment can be seamless.

Here 4 seasonal skincare swaps to autumn-proof your skin


Switch out your foaming cleanser for a balm, oil, or cream formula.

As we approach fall, it’s imperative that we preserve the natural oils in our skin (the key to barrier function) to prevent dryness and irritation. To cleanse your skin while maintaining moisture, we recommend swapping out your foaming formula for a gentler balm, oil, or milk. What’s the difference? Cleansing balms are solid, buttery-like cleansers that emulsify and melt onto the skin once applied. Cleansing oils are formulated with lightweight, natural oils that bond to impurities without stripping skin of its natural oils; and cleansing milks (named for their milky appearance and consistency) are an even lighter emulsion of oil and water. Whichever formula you choose, rest assured it will remove dirt, oil and makeup, and also hydrate to boot. You could also always do a double cleanse for double the clean and the hydration.

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Add retinol back into your routine.

Doctors and dermatologists recommend leaving retinol out of your routine if you are spending prolonged periods of time in the sun, so fall is the perfect time to reintroduce it into your routine, especially since this hero ingredient targets the effects of sun damage (think hyperpigmentation, photoaging, and collagen degradation). For those seeking a gentler version of this vitamin A derivative, naturally derived bakuchiol (extracted from the seeds and leaves of the babchi plant) has been shown to have the same results as retinol but without the irritation.

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Bring brightness back into your skin with vitamin C.

Most of us load up on vitamin C during the fall and winter months to help our immune systems fight colds and the flu, but this potent antioxidant also packs a punch as a skincare ingredient this time of year. Vitamin C not only shields your skin from environmental stressors by neutralizing free radical damage, but also plays an important role in collagen synthesis, and inhibits the melanin production that leads to hyperpigmentation. For all around healthier, brighter, smoother skin, this preventative and reparative multitasker should be in everyone’s routine.

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Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate–from head to toe.

Fall is the time to say goodbye to those lightweight, oil-free moisturizers that are better suited to hot and humid summer months and make the switch to a heftier hydrator. Key ingredients to look for are lipids such as shea butter, ceramides and squalane, which all reinforce your skin's barrier, protect the skin from environmental stressors, increase hydration, and lock in moisture. Sun exposure over the summer can impact the skin’s ceramide levels, compromising the skin barrier function and contributing to dry skin. Meanwhile, environmental changes can trigger a change in the skin’s oil production. Squalane, a biomimetic version of the emollient squalene (one of the skin’s most important lipids) delivers intense hydration to the skin and balances skin oil production.

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