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How to Take Care of Your Skin During the Fall and Winter Months

From stunning foliage to indulgent maple spice lattes, there’s a lot to love about the fall. As you trade your sundresses for cozy sweaters this year, don’t forget to rotate your cosmetics drawer along with your closet. Just like your wardrobe, your skincare routine should be seasonal in response to the change in weather. 

Your Skin and the Environment You’re In

With the season change comes shifts in temperature and humidity, both of which affect your skin. Moreover, the environment and pollution around you can damage your skin if you don’t take precautions. Here’s how the elements can take a toll on your skin: 

  • Humidity– High humidity can affect your skin’s texture and cause acne on oily skin or impact skin conditions, such as eczema. Conversely, dry air can leave your skin feeling dehydrated. 
  • Sun Exposure– UV rays are one of the most significant environmental elements that affect skin health. Overexposed or unprotected skin may face collagen loss, leading to premature aging, uneven skin tone, and wrinkles.
  • Pollution– The tiny particles in polluted air can infiltrate your skin’s barriers and cause buildup, inflammation, and acne. Free radicals also affect the skin’s elasticity, creating wrinkles. 
  • Wind– You may enjoy the feel of the wind on your face, but harsh conditions can wear down your skin barriers, which leads to dehydration that causes tightness and cracking.
  • What’s in the Water– Your water quality also plays a significant role in your skin’s health. “Rough” water contains high levels of alkaline that stays on the skin long and may contribute to irritation, dryness, and even eczema.

Skin Side Effects During Fall and Winter Weather

With a better understanding of how your environment impacts your skin, you can see how the shifts from summer to fall and fall to winter can alter skin conditions. 

  • Cracks and Dryness– These agitations occur when skin becomes too dry and irritated due to the sudden drop in temperature. Cracked skin that severely lacks moisture can lead to skin conditions, such as dermatitis.
  • Inflammation– Inflammation is a consequence of the sudden switch in temperatures and your body’s inability to provide adequate hydration to meet its needs. Inflamed skin may cause changes in pigmentation, dullness, and fine lines.
  • Irritation– Winter clothes often include harsh fabrics, such as wool, to provide warmth to the body. However, the rough material may irritate your skin and dry out your skin even further.
  • Stripped Skin– Although a hot shower may feel good during cold months, the sudden change to a hot temperature breaks the skin barrier, and once the water evaporates, your skin becomes even drier.
  • Subtle Sunburn– You may think that you don’t need sunscreen as long as the sun isn’t shining, but the harmful UV rays are ever-present. Your skin still gets damaged and experiences pigmentation and wrinkles, especially in winter, when snow reflects sunlight. 

Seasonal Skincare

Now that you know what your skin needs during the fall and winter months, it’s time to take action. Here are some of the ways to protect your skin during the colder seasons: 

  • Moisturize More– Since cold months are harsh on your skin, make sure that you moisturize more and use thicker creams or lotions.
  • Shower Correctly– Your showers in fall and winter shouldn’t last more than five to ten minutes, and you should use lukewarm water to prevent your skin from drying out afterward. 
  • Use Chapstick– Your lips don’t contain sebaceous glands like your skin and cannot produce natural oils to moisturize itself. Use a rich chapstick or lip balm during the fall and winter months to create a protective barrier. 
  • Take Supplements– You can consume health supplements to provide your skin with the nourishment it requires. Vitamins E and C are rich in antioxidants and can help protect and repair skin cells. You can also try collagen for skin to prevent signs of aging and hyperpigmentation and to promote supple skin.
  • Apply Sunscreen Daily– If you’re prone to sunburn, you should wear sunscreen daily regardless of the weather conditions and even if you’re indoors. The sun’s UV rays are still present even on cloudy days, and the glass used in homes, offices, and car windows do not block them entirely. 

Skincare That Changes with the Seasons

To best protect your skin, it helps to understand how the different seasons affect the skin in different ways. Create unique skin routines for each month or season and figure out how your skin reacts to each.