Transitioning Your Skin Care This Fall
During the transition from summer to fall, the chill in the air is often accompanied by noticeable changes in the skin, like dryness and dehydration—a far cry from the oily-skinned days of summer.
The common denominator? Humidity—or lack thereof. During the summer months, humidity acts as a natural humectant that keeps the skin moist and supple. However, when faced with the onslaught of cold, dry air, the skin often reacts by becoming dry and tight. Indoor heaters also zap moisture from the air and can further exacerbate the problem.
The first step in alleviating dry skin is to incorporate a moisturizer into your routine. I believe in moisturizing all year, and a lightweight moisturizing sunscreen—SkinMedica’s oil-free, antioxidant-rich Daily Physical Defense™ SPF 30+ sunscreen is a favorite—often provides just enough hydration in the summer months.
As the temperature dips, I add a heavier moisturizer like SkinMedica’s Dermal Repair Cream. Like a multivitamin for the skin, it contains vitamins A, C and E along with hyaluronic acid, an ingredient known to draw moisture to the skin. I also love TNS Essential Serum®, which fights photodamage.
Replenishing moisture is key from head to toe. Don’t forget the feet and hands, the latter of which can become dry, cracked and irritated with too-frequent washing or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Because the skin tends to be oilier and more prone to breakouts in the summer, it can often tolerate more aggressive cleansers that exfoliate dead skin cells, such as those containing salicylic acid; however, these products tend to make already dry, flaky skin even worse. Save exfoliating cleansers, toners and scrubs for the summer months and switch to a mild cleanser in the winter.
Rain or shine, twelve months a year, regardless of ethnicity—sunscreen use is imperative. Aesthetically, sunscreen helps to prevent fine lines and wrinkles and promote smooth, even skin tone; more importantly, it plays a significant role in decreasing the risk of skin cancer—a disease with over 3.5 million cases each year, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
In-office procedures like lasers and Fraxel resurfacing can be performed year-round when patients follow proper post-procedure protocol. However, there is something to be said for targeting skin damage after the summer months. The skin often incurs more damage in the summer, when spending more time outdoors typically puts us in more frequent contact with UV rays.
Fall and winter are excellent times to concentrate on repairing the skin without fear of increased sun sensitivity. In-office procedures like the Fraxel re:pair and re:store fractional lasers work by attacking damaged skin and prompting the formation of new, healthy skin cells. Fraxel treatments have also been shown to decrease pre-cancerous lesions. Your dermatologist can suggest the best procedure to correct past sun damage and guide you in finding a new regimen to protect your skin in the future.
Skin Cancer Foundation