It happens so quickly! The tan has long gone and we’re thinking coats. At this point we realise we’re facing a seriously long stretch of difficult skin weather – and probably need a whole new routine. Not so. With a few smart adjustments – and maybe a little expert intervention – you can take your post-summer skin into autumn and skip the usual chafing, chapping and breakouts.
The trickiest skin issue in autumn is changing humidity levels. Going from humid summer air to drier, colder autumn weather can play havoc with skin hydration. This is compounded by indoor heaters and radiators emitting dry heat – a double irritant, especially for dry or eczema-prone skin. Getting back to basics – that’s exfoliation and moisturising – can help ease the transition.
While any skin-damage acquired over summer will seem less obvious now, there may be underlying factors that are contributing to difficult autumn dryness. Sunburn fades but the resulting dead skin cells hang around a lot longer. Deep exfoliation can help remove any excess skin cells – ensuring the skin is smooth and even. (Moisturising is most effective when the skin surface is uniform and free from build-up.) At-home scrubs are good for daily maintenance, but a post-summer microdermabrasion session can get right down to the skin’s newer, fresher layers – ensuring a healthier skin barrier, more receptive to skincare products.
– If your skin would benefit from a further post-summer ‘overhaul’ – autumn is the perfect time to start, or get reacquainted with, acid-based treatments. Over summer acid peels and creams should be put on hold – but once autumn arrives there’s no better option for flakey, uneven or generally ‘difficult’ skin. Products containing glycolic acid (usually night creams) are a good place to start, but a professional skin peel can target dry and irritated skin while addressing any post-summer pigmentation issues.
The obvious remedy for drier skin is a change in moisturiser – but – rather than just grabbing a ‘thicker’ cream, think about what’s actually happening to your skin as the atmosphere changes. During summer you were probably taking steps to keep your skin hydrated and able to withstand the harsh effects of the sun. Lighter moisturisers and serums, often rich in hyaluronic acid, are popular in summer – and should not be shown the door once autumn arrives. When your face and hands begin to show signs of dryness don’t abandon your hydrating routine, but think about adding a protective and ideally ceramide-rich layer on top. Choosing a product can be difficult – too rich and you risk break-outs, not rich enough and you don’t solve the problem. If you don’t have an autumn/winter plan – talk to a skincare expert.
Another tip – which may have wellness benefits beyond skincare – is investing in a humidifier. By keeping your home at a steady humidity level, especially while you sleep, you can reduce skin stress and dryness. The hours you spend at home are significant (even if it doesn’t feel like it) – and it is one environment you are able to control.