Fall isn’t just lovely for its beautiful foliage and perfectly crisp temperatures—it also provides ample time for us to prepare for the impending chilly turmoil. (If you’re a winter person, our hyperbolic thinking need not apply.)
Maybe summer’s activities left your complexion a little worse for the wear, but the beauty of this time of year is that before diving headlong into the heavy moisturizers and balms that winter requires, we still have some warm days left to get things in order: repairing and rebooting, yes, but also preparing for those cooler days by swapping in some key products. It’s actually an easy transition, and we’re here to remove any guesswork.
Before diving into our fall regimen, we have to assess summer’s mark on our skin. “Vitamin C helps to repair any summer skin damage, such as dark skin and uneven skin tone,” says Ling Chan, founder of cult-fave facial destination Ling Skincare in NYC. “Adding a vitamin C–rich formula helps treat fine lines and wrinkles, as well as the appearance of sun-stressed skin, and protects skin from free radical environmental damage."
Don’t you dare! While it’s definitely wise to reapply and slather on more product during the summer months, proper sun protection is a yearlong deal. Your only change might be choosing something a bit more lightweight since you’ll be rotating heavier moisturizers and other formulas into your regimen (more on that later). But regardless, make sure you don’t skimp on that SPF number.
This is important for a few reasons. “Our skin goes through a cycle of shedding and renewal,” says Chan, adding that while this cycle happens every 28 days, it’s aggravated more by seasonal changes. Aside from giving your complexion a deep cleansing and comprehensive reboot, an expert can also provide some personalized insight on how to deal with specific issues as the temps drop.
Out with the old and in with the new, as the saying goes. In this case, the “old” is months of sweat, oil, and SPF. You’re probably in the clear if you’re already exfoliating on a regular basis, but if not, it’s not a bad time to start giving yourself a weekly (gentle) scrub-down.
Start moisturizing more, but don’t bring in the heavyweights just yet
You don’t want to do too much too soon—otherwise, what the heck are you going to use in January when there’s a polar vortex going on and Snowpocalypse in the forecast? Your skin definitely needs a little more moisture now that the temperatures are falling again, but stick with something relatively lightweight—like a serum rather than a heavy-duty cream—for the time being.
That delicate skin around your eyes is the first to feel the impact of the changing seasons, which can manifest in puffiness or fine lines. Smoothing on a light eye cream or gel before bed should do the trick.
It’s never too early to start preparing… because this is a transition, yes, but also because time seems to hurtle along when we’re trying to hold onto warmth as long as possible.