In the world of your wardrobe, not all seasons are created equal (um, crop tops in November? Not so much). And the same can be said for your skin care: Those light gel moisturizers and purifying cleansers you hoarded all summer just won’t cut it during the colder months. So, along with the inevitable closet switch come fall, give your skin care routine an overhaul (because, dry skin people!). Here are the subtle changes to make in colder weather to have perfect skin.
1. Layer up on moisturizer.
Thanks to cool, windy temps and indoor heating, the moisture can be sucked right out of your skin, leaving it dry and dehydrated, and there’s no way that lightweight formula you’ve been using since June is enough to combat it. “For those that have especially dry skin, layering two types of hydrators — like a few drops of a facial oil, like Olay Regenerist Luminous Facial Oil with a moisturizing cream, such as Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream Moisturizer — can make a huge difference in how your skin looks and feels,” says Marta I. Rendon, M.D., founder of the Rendon Center in Boca Raton, Florida
2. Change the air.
Humidifiers (you know, that device you’ve always been meaning to buy) can add mega amounts of moisture into the atmosphere indoors. Plus, they help produce fresh oxygen as you sleep. So even though the dry heat is pumping, you’ll wake up looking fresh-faced. Basically, if you don’t already own a humidifier, hopefully those are reasons enough to pick one up. You can also fill a bowl with water, keep it in your bedroom, and let it evaporate to also fill the air with more moisture.
Another way to hydrate: Drink up. Even though you may not feel as thirsty in the fall as you do in the summer, “increasing your water intake helps you stay hydrated so your skin stays healthy from the inside out,” says Dr. Rendon.
3. Feed your face.
Comfort food (à la mac ‘n’ cheese) may be your hibernation go-to, but adding good-for-skin foods into your diet can also help hydrate you from the inside out. Not to mention eating a healthy diet keeps your skin clearer, which makes a huge impact on your skin’s baseline appearance (as in you won’t need to load on concealer or use an Insta filter). So, what should you load up on? Foods like nuts and oils, such as walnuts and EVOO, contain omega-3s to keep skin naturally moist, while silica is a key mineral for promoting naturally soft and smooth skin, which you can get from veggies like cucumbers and celery.
4. Power up your shower.
If you’ve heard that showering can be drying, but don’t know why, here’s the low down: Tap water can contain low levels of copper, magnesium, and iron that might irritate and dehydrate skin. Plus, most showers deliver hard water, which means it’s high in minerals that can leave behind a residue and cause breakouts, eczema, or a general itchiness. If you have dry or sensitive skin, no matter how much moisturizer you slather on, adding a shower filter (think: Brita) could lower exposure to potential irritants and help reduce dehydrated skin. Temperature matters too. “Hot water dilates blood vessels, making skin look more red as well as dry,” explains Dr. Rendon, who says to keep it lukewarm, not scalding.
5. Swap out your cleanser.
When you want to wash away icky sweat and grime after a day in the summer heat, nothing feels better than a gel or purifying cleanser. But by the time November rolls around and humidity plummets, so do your skin’s moisture and oil levels, and the aforementioned formulas can strip away your skin’s natural (and necessary) oils, leaving it parched. “Natural oils protect your skin as well keep it hydrated,” says Omar Torres, M.D., founder of DermGroupNYC, who suggests sudsing up with a cream or soapless cleanser; both help balance natural oils, yet still cleanse your skin. (Try Olay Luminous Brightening Foaming Cleanser).