Fall is one of my favourite times of year! The air is crisp and fresh and there is a sense of new beginnings. But this season's change also comes with changes to our complexions. Between the shift to dry, dehydrating weather and stress from back-to-school/ back-to-work adjusting, our skin and bodies are easily devitalized. This is why so many of my facial clients experience skin imbalances during autumn such as dry patches, flakiness and eczema flare ups. Luckily, there are many ways to autumn-proof our skin that are both easy and natural!
Here are six ways to ease your skin through this seasonal transition and enjoy beautiful, glowing complexions all year round.
1. Get a Humidifier...Pronto!
One reason the fall is so taxing on our skin and bodies is because of the drop in humidity. This dryness gives way to dehydrated skin and inflammation. This is why eczema, rosacea and hypersensitivity can also flare up at this time of year. To protect your skin against this, create your own humidity by using a humidifier. Humidifiers infuse more moisture into our offices or home environments, giving our skin relief from the dry climate and increasing its hydration. One rosacea client of mine found that her humidifier not only made her skin feel more moist but also decreased her skin's redness during the cooler months and made it feel more supple and comfortable.
2. Oil Up!
Go ahead and slather on a nourishing, natural oil. During fall, this helps to maintain elasticity and prevents trans-epidermal water-loss. Along with this, applying oil to our skin can treat this busy season's stress breakouts (yes, I'm serious). While it may sound counter-intuitive, oiling blemished skin helps to clear it up. Lubrication loosens dried out sebum, which clogs pores and also helps to restore balance and sebaceous regularity. But it is important to choose an oil that this made up only of natural, vegetable-based ingredients such as jojoba, coconut or olive oil. Mineral oil (derived from petroleum) does not properly absorb and therefore further clogs our facial pores.
3. Hydrate your Diet
While, moisturizing and protecting our skin topically can help prevent dehydration, hydrating our tissues from the inside out is also excellent. An autumn-proofing diet includes increasing moisture-rich foods such as leafy greens, water-rich fruits, and healthy fats along with avoiding dehydrating substances such as alcohol, caffeine, dry meats and starches. Nourishing soups and stews are both nourishing and warming making them ideal fall meals. With this, boosting hydration is done by drinking more water and avoiding dehydrating substances such as caffeine and alcohol.
4. Peel Proactively
Exfoliating the face and body is a must during fall as it sloughs off dead skin cells and decongests our pores. Doing this as soon as the season starts is important because it allows oils and other moisturizing ingredients to penetrate properly, enabling them to fully feed and replenish the skin -- this will prevent pesky dry skin patches and other conditions related to dead skin build-up. But peeling is not only for renewal, it is also excellent for circulation, which keeps skin looking vibrant and youthful. While all-over exfoliation is beneficial, methods should be tailored to the needs and condition of each area. On the body, you can choose from an intense everyday scrub with a dry brush, whereas delicate facial skin calls for a gentler exfoliant or non-physical fruit peel. If unsure, consult a professional esthetician for guidance.
5. Bolster Blood Flow
Because the cold weather constricts our blood vessels (vasoconstriction), our circulation is often impeded this time of year. Poor circulation results in a dull and devitalized look to our skin because our blood nourishes it, bringing oxygen to our skin cells and transporting wastes away from them. Proper blood flow keeps our complexions healthy, detoxified and bright.
To stimulate circulation and combat pastiness, we should use skincare containing blood-invigorating ingredients. Natural additives such as ginseng, lemon oil, vitamin C and ginger are all excellent for encouraging circulation, and incorporating them into your beauty routine helps bring colour back to your complexion. You will find these active ingredients in many anti-aging products as increased circulation also promotes collagen production.
6. Indulge in a Skin-nurturing Treatment
The beginning of the autumn season is the perfect time to pamper yourself with a complexion-renewing facial treatment. Facials bolster the skin's health through pore-extraction, which purifies and decongests it, facial massage, which improves blood flow and skin-brightness, as well as masking treatments, which should be tailored to addresses specific beauty needs. These treatments are also excellent for relaxation, giving you time to unwind and harmonize the mind.
But what about if we have neither the time or money to be able to enjoy professional spa treatments? Even as someone who runs a small chain of spas, I often cannot make it in for a treatment booking. Instead, we can do a DIY Facial at home. Sometimes we have to take beauty into our own hands -- and during the fall transition, I try to do this as often as once a week.
These are my favourite recommendations to prep our skin for the wonderful but dehydrating autumn season but perhaps you have your own transitioning tips. How do you ready yourself for fall?
Before you can help your skin, you have to understand it. "The average person needs to be educated on how their skin works, what customized routine will work best for their skin type and condition and the products that maintain results," skin expert Holly Sherrard says. She recommends talking to a skincare professional.
The beauty rule is, "as long as there's daylight, you need sunscreen," says Robin White, director of international education and global press of Philosophy. If you skipped out on using an SPF moisturizer on your skin during the winter months, spring is the season to get back on track.
Even though skin exfoliation should be done throughout the year, spring is the season to give our skin the attention it deserves. "Dry body brushing can help to decrease dry skin and flakiness. Application of body oils will keep skin conditioned and smooth," says Sherrard.
Detox your beauty bag this spring. After you organize your makeup collection and get rid of unwanted junk, consider replacing outdated and old makeup with spring classics: a new shade of foundation, a bronzer and a new moisturizer with SPF.
Our skin changes with the seasons and tends to produce more oils during spring. "Professional skin therapists can recommend appropriate product changes according to what the skin needs are at that time," says Sherrard.
Our lips also go through changes from winter to spring. If you're experiencing dry or chapped lips, Sherrard suggests using protective lip balms with hydrating components.
Give you skin some pampering. Here is a recipe for a oatmeal face mask from Webmd.com: mix oatmeal with boiling water according to package instructions; let cool; apply to skin; let rest for 15 minutes; rinse well with warm water.
Over the winter, your hair can also develop damage through dry scalp, split ends and overall dry strands. For the spring, try moisturizing conditioners or oils to smooth hair and remove dryness.
It may also be time to switch up your lotions. "No matter how much oil skin produces, everyone must wear a moisturizer. Use oil-free mattifying moisturizers for oily skin or creamier versions with shea butter for dry skin," Sherrard says.
Here is a video explaining toners.
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