Things I love about fall weather: a month of cool, dry weather after an always-too-humid summer; comfy, bulky sweaters; endless cups of tea; and long walks down country roads. But for those of us in the northern hemisphere, where autumn means pulling out woolens, scarves, and booties—we would do well to update our skincare routine along with our wardrobes. Why? 

Because the change from summer to autumn weather can wreak havoc with your skin type. What used to work for your skin during the summer, may no longer cut it in the coming months. Case in point: I have oily skin in the summer and dry skin troubles as soon as the humidity clears out.

Want to know how to smoothly switch out your summer beauty products for a solid autumn skincare routine? Here is what to do.

Your moisturizer

One of the most common problems—when the weather changes from hot and humid to cool and dry—is the loss of hydration to one’s skin. Focusing on getting your moisturizing step right will go far in preventing tight and/or flaky skin issues. This is where your light summer moisturizer won’t cut it.

Experiment with something cream or oil based. Naturally, not many people enjoy the feeling of cream sitting on the surface of one’s skin. And if you fear this might happen to you based on a past experience, it could simply be that you were trying on a cream-based formula during the summer, or when your skin was already moisturized. But your skin will thank you for the extra protection when faced with windy fall days that are coming right up.

Your cleanser

During the summer, what with all the sweating and the excess sebum production, cleansers need to focus on heavy-duty deep cleansing, which often calls for a strong, clarifying cleanser. But in the fall, such cleansers can be too harsh on skin that needs moisture added at each step, versus it being stripped bare.

Choose a cleanser that is gentle on the skin and that contains hydrating ingredients. An oil-based cleanser works well for almost all skin types during fall and winter. If you have never used an oil cleanser before, now is the perfect time to try it out. You will know you chose right when you find your skin feels soft and hydrated after washing.

Your toners and lotions

Check to see if they are doing the job they are meant to do. Primarily, your toner or lotion primes the skin for the next step in your skincare routine. Many girls I know skip this step during the hotter days of summer when layering anything sounds too hot for fun. No judgment here. I am guilty of the same.

But autumn weather is the right time for layering, from clothes to skin care products. Brush up on your knowledge of acids so you can shop with confidence and choose one that your skin actually needs, versus grabbing something off the shelf and hoping and praying it does a miracle number on your skin needs.

Your exfoliator

Yes, you still need to exfoliate during the fall, although you might be able to get away with less frequency. But if you are the type who forgets to exfoliate unless it is a part of your daily routine, switch to an exfoliator that is gentle enough to use daily. This will make sure you are getting this step in, but the gentle ingredients will prevent you from stripping your skin of its natural oils.

To play it safe, look at exfoliating products safe for dry skin types and you will find something gentle enough for fall weather, while still effectively sloughing away dead skin cells. 

—Tomoko Matsuoka

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