You've heard the skincare rule: As it gets cooler, swap out your lightweight creams in favor of rich moisturizers and oils. But, is it really necessary to make the big switch? Before you make a special trip to the beauty counter for a total skincare overhaul, see what a top dermatologist has to say.
What really happens to skin: Besides being the harbinger of all things pumpkin spice, fall is also the official kickoff for sweater weather. An that cooler weather can affect skin. "In the fall and winter, dry skin has lost its ability to stay hydrated without a little help," says Dr. Howard Sobel, NYC dermatologist and Founder of DDF Skincare. And although you don't lose a ton of moisture in winter as opposed to summer, your skin might feel like it has thanks to other factors such as increased heat indoors and the lack of humidity, explains Dr. Sobel. And, if you're prone to dryness or eczema, things are even more enhanced in winter.
How to fix it: The fix? You guessed it. Extra-moisturizing products. But thankfully, dry skin doesn't necessarily mean buying more products. Rather, it means paying attention to the ingredients in your skincare products to make the transition a little easier. And chances are, many of your products have these skin-soothing ingredients!
For super dry skin: "If your skin becomes significantly drier during the winter, try switching to a moisturizer with coconut oil in it," says Dr. Sobel. "Coconut oil is nourishing and contains essential fatty acids to restore moisture to parched skin."
For acne-prone skin: Unfortunately, even acne-prone skin can get dry during winter. But, according to Dr. Sobel, the goal here is balance. "I like my patients to use a salicylic wash—no more than two percent—and then apply acne treatment only to the blemish prone areas of skin," he says. "A possible alternative is a glycolic gel that will help minimize oil and acne breakouts, but be careful to apply just a small amount and keep away from your eyes." A glycolic gel can be used in place of a heavy moisturizer if you prefer.
When to moisturize: It can be tricky to know the exact time to lotion up. Do you apply to damp skin or dry skin? (It's a heated debate among the beauty world, for sure!) But according to Dr. Sobel, the best time to moisturize both the face and body is directly after you shower. "The goal is to lock in the moisture; applying moisturizer immediately post shower is key to sealing water in the skin." Another good way to avoid dry skin: apply a hand cream after each time you wash your hands to avoid cracking and flaking!
What to use:
Look for products with coconut oil in them to comfort overly dry skin. This version from RMS is 100 percent natural, raw coconut oil and is so nourishing it can be used as a makeup remover, cleanser, and moisturizer!
Glycolic gel is a great option for fighting acne and oil in the winter. This one from Mario Badescu boasts a brighter complexion, reduced blackheads, and improved skin texture.
This BHA and algae extract wash contains one percent salicylic acid to help control oil and reduce redness. It's great to reduce irritation and breakouts that can come with the changing of the seasons.
Eucerin Eczema Relief Body Creme ($11.99)
Those with severely dry skin or eczema will benefit from this classic. Eucerin contains dry-skin-soothing oatmeal, licochalcone, and ceramides and is fragrance, dye, and steroid free.
Keep your hands from feelings dry or scaly with an oil-rich hand cream. This one from Korres is one of our favorites because of its nourishing almond oil and antioxidant-rich calendula, which leave hands feeling relieved and cared for. Plus, there's no oily residue!
What products do you count on for fall? Let us know your top cool-weather beauty products!