Written by Chloe Burcham
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As summer ends and autumn arrives, our skincare routine is in need of an overhaul. Below top dermatologists reveal the nourishing saviours that’ll make the shift as easy as possible…
Given summer is mostly about keeping sweat and oil at bay while still maintaining glowing skin (the struggle is real), the arrival of autumn means it’s common for our skin to start playing up. With the colder climes come chapped lips, red noses and dry patches, not to mention the lack of glow as our SAD kicks in and we struggle to get up in the mornings.
While ‘switching up your skincare for every season’ sounds like a faff – it’s actually really helpful when it comes to tackling environmental aggressors head on. But don’t worry, you don’t need to go out and completely overhaul your skincare routine with a bunch of expensive autumn-specific products. Instead, it’s about using certain products (that you probably already own) a little more, while laying off others your skin might not be craving as much right now.
We spoke to some of the UK’s top dermatologists, doctors and skin experts to reveal the truth about seasonal skincare switches, plus the best products and ingredients to indulge your skin during this current change of season.
How does the change of season affect our skin?
“As we move from summer to autumn we often notice that skin has lost its glow. The most common reason for skin to start to become dull in the autumn months is the change in temperature,” explains Dr Justine Hextall, consultant dermatologist for La Roche Posay. “In summer we usually have balmy temperatures with little or no central heating or cold winds etc. As soon as temperatures drop and central heating is started we notice skin becomes dry and dull looking.”
“The change in humidity, colder weather and central heating all act as a further sap to our skin’s moisture levels,” explains Dr AJ Sturnham. “Fluctuating temperatures can also trigger inflammatory pathways in the skin. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that I see more cases of dry and sensitive skin conditions in clinic at this time of year.”
Should your skincare routine change with the seasons?
“As the seasons change, so should your skincare. I like to think of it in the same way you update your wardrobe, keeping those favourites items you use all year round but layering them with some additional key pieces that are going to give you that extra protection you need,” says Tiffany Salmon, founder of Scientia Beauty. “Colder weather, hotter showers, icy winds and central heating really do have an impact on your skin. Think: dryness, flakiness, redness, sensitivity and irritation. My advice would be to give your moisture barrier as much love and attention as possible with rich, nourishing formulas.”
The best cleansers for your autumn skincare routine
Autumn is the time to ditch harsh cleansers, opting for nourishing formulas that hydrate as they cleanse. “Cut back on stripping skincare regimens and avoid double cleansing or sulphate-based foaming cleansers,” suggests Dr Sturnham.
“Ensure you are cleansing with a calming, soothing rich cleanser which isn’t stripping the skin of its essential oils,” adds skincare expert Marie Reynolds.
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser at Boots
Shop CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser at Boots, £9.50
Marie Reynolds Goji Mallow Cleanse
Shop Marie Reynolds Goji Mallow Cleanse, £31.99
Oskia Rest Day Comforting Cleansing Milk
Shop Oskia Rest Day Comforting Cleansing Milk at Cult Beauty, £38
The best exfoliators for your autumn skincare routine
A gentle exfoliation to remove dead skin cells will help boost your skin’s radiance and regain its summertime glow. “Look for AHAs and BHAs in skincare that help give the skin a gentle exfoliation by giving the skin a very light peel,” suggests Dr Hextall. If your skin is sensitive, try looking for a PHA formula – which is less aggravating and more hydrating on the skin.
First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads
Shop First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads at Lookfantastic, £30
Scientia Pure Clarity Purifying PHA Skin Tonic
Shop Scientia Pure Clarity Purifying PHA Skin Tonic at Cult Beauty, £24
The Inkey List PHA Toner
Shop The Inkey List PHA Toner at Boots, £9.99
The best serums for your autumn skincare routine
“Hydration is the best thing to give to the skin as we enter the autumn/winter season,” suggests Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme, skin expert and CeraVe ambassador. “Adding in ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides and glycerin to your routine can improve the skin moisture helping your skin to look supple and giving a radiant glow.”
“Studies have identified reduced levels of ceramides within the very top layer of our skin during the colder months,” explains Dr Sturnham. “If we describe the top layer of our skin as being like a brick wall, the skin cells are the bricks and the lipids are the mortar. With reduced ceramides, the mortar levels are weakened and so moisture escapes more readily through the gaps.”
Look for serums that are rich in ceramides, squalane and fatty acids – which will help to support skin barrier function and stop this moisture-loss.
Decree Protect Elixir
Shop Decree Protect Elixir at Harvey Nichols, £110
La Roche-Posay HyaluB5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Shop La Roche-Posay HyaluB5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum at Boots, £38
The Skin W1 Renew Facial Oil
Shop The Skin W1 Renew Facial Oil, £75
Decléor Neroli Bigarade Aromessence Hydrating Serum
Shop Decléor Neroli Bigarade Aromessence Hydrating Serum at Lookfantastic, £52
The best moisturisers for your autumn skincare routine
“When it’s cold, apply a thicker moisturiser to seal and protect your hydration barriers,” suggests Dr Sturnham. “Try switching to a thicker textured moisturiser product, rich in humectant, emollient and occlusive ingredients to boost skin hydration.”
Elemis Superfood Midnight Facial
Shop Elemis Superfood Midnight Facial at ASOS, £40
Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture
Shop Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture at Cult Beauty, £65
Skingredients Skin Good Fats
Shop Skingredients Skin Good Fats at Cult Beauty, £44
Shani Darden Skincare Weightless Oil-Free Moisturiser
Shop Shani Darden Skincare Weightless Oil-Free Moisturiser at Cult Beauty, £36
The best masks for your autumn skincare routine
“In the winter, the air is drier and your skin produces less oil, so you need to give it a bit of extra TLC,” says Dr Howard Murad, dermatologist and founder of Murad. “Look for hydrating ingredients that will keep skin feeling healthy while combatting the cold and wind like avocado, sunflower and olive fruit oils for optimal hydration and liquorice extract to reduce redness and skin irritation.”
Dr Jart+ Ceramidin Facial Barrier Mask
Shop Dr Jart+ Ceramidin Facial Barrier Mask at Boots, £7
Caudalie Vinosource-Hydra Moisturising Mask
Shop Caudalie Vinosource-Hydra Moisturising Mask at Lookfantastic, £23
Tata Harper Radiance Mask
Shop Tata Harper Radiance Mask at Cult Beauty, £57
Main image: Getty
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