Swinging Into Fall With My Updated Skincare Routine

Labor Day has come and gone, and my beach days are over for the season. As I pack up my bathing suits and broad brimmed hats, I have to admit I am excited to break out my sweaters as the weather gets cooler. And just as I transition my wardrobe, my skincare routine has gotten an update also as we move into fall.

My goal over the next few months is to undo the damage I experiened over the past few months. I am happy to report no sunburns on my face this summer, but despite my best efforts, I still see some brown spots that weren’t there before. The big challenge during the fall is that you need to keep your skin protected and hydrated as the weatehr gets colder.

Face Wash

The first big switch I made was my face wash.  The heat and humidity of the summer always leaves my skin feeling heavy and oily, which is why I use a foaming cleanser. But the same cleanser I used to love inevitably dries me out as the seasons change. So, instead I’ve switched over my cleanser to a hydrating one. You don't need to spend a fortune for a good cleanser, and I have been using the Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, which is inexpensive (around $8) and even removes light makeup.

Night Time Exfoliation

I am attacking my dark spots by steping up my night time exfoliation game.  I stayed away from exfoliators and retinol during the summer because they make you sensitive to the sun.  But, now that I am not outdoors all day, I reintroduced them to my routine. With regular use, they definitely help shed the pigment from the surface of the skin. I’ve been using Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 ($67). I started out using it every other night to ease my skin into it, and bumped it up to every night after 2 weeks since I did not develop any irritation.  The mix of gentle hydroxy acids, including glycolic acid, has already helped brighten my complexion and made my skin look more radiant.   

My goal over the next few weeks is to add prescription Retin-A back to my routine as well.  I am waiting for my skin to fully adjust to the P50 first, so I don't get irritated.  Retinoids help stimulate collagen to strengthen the skin and help shed dead cells from the surface of the skin.  The downside is that it can be irritating, so at least for now, I will wait.

Mornings are for Protection

My morning routine is not much different in the fall versus to the summer. The big difference is just the products that I use.  My goal in the morning is to protect the skin from damage from the environment, so I apply an antioxidant serum along with sunscreen. The combination of Vitamin C and Vitamin E prevents free radical damage caused by UV light and pollution.  At the same time, they can help brighten the skin and lighten dark spots.  My go-to serum is Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Serum. It is pricey at $166 (and a bit smelly), but has proven benefits.

As for sunscreen, the sun may not be as strong in the fall as the summer, but even low levels of sun exposure add up over time.  So daily SPF is one step I never skip. The big difference is that in the fall, I make sure use a moisturizer with SPF that contains ceramides. As my dermatologist husband tells me, “Ceramides are like mortar that seal in cracks between skin cell bricks.” I have been using the La Roche Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer SPF 30 ($20), which moisturizes well without feeling heavy. Another favorite, is the ceramide containing CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30 ($16)

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I miss the summer already, and I am not mentally ready to swing into fall just yet, but at least my skincare routine is! So this updated skincare routine for fall is #TheDermWifeApproved. 

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