6 Must-Have Skin-Care Products For Fall

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
A skin-care regimen should change with the season, and fall is the perfect time to focus on repairing and caring for your skin, especially if you spent too much time at the beach this summer. If you haven't assessed your warm weather products and figured out what you need to be using as the temperature drops, it's a good idea to begin establishing that updated routine now.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Cleansing Lotion
If you have normal to dry skin, when temperatures cool down and your skin begins producing less oil, you'll need to be careful not to exacerbate that dryness. Incorporating a cleansing lotion is a smart way to handle this. A good rule of thumb is to use a non-drying, sulfate-free gel cleanser in the morning and switch to a lightweight, lotion-based cleanser at night.

A gel offers a deep pore cleansing (which still may be necessary for oilier, acne-prone skin types), while a cleansing lotion is a bit milder and more effective at dissolving makeup on the skin and lifting it from the pores. When using a cleansing lotion, remember to keep skin dry as you work it in to avoid diluting the lotion, then rinse well and follow up with a soft washcloth to remove any makeup residue. You won’t get a squeaky clean feeling with a cleansing lotion, but you can be sure this gentle form of cleansing leaves skin clean, calm, and balanced.

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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Moisturizer with SPF
A moisturizer with SPF should be a part of your routine no matter the season, so it's important not to stop daily application in spite of fewer sunny days. Just because you may not be spending as much time directly in the sun during the fall, you're still exposed to incidental exposure (through car windows, walking to and from work, at your desk). To keep skin protected and to keep wrinkles away, apply a moisturizer that contains SPF 30 each morning. Look for one that's hydrating yet lightweight. My favorite sunscreen ingredient is zinc oxide as this chemical-free ingredient will be gentle and lightweight enough for the most sensitive skin.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Physical exfoliation, like chemical exfoliation, is essential for sun damage repair, but it can also help create silky-smooth skin, which is why a facial scrub is a must. Not only will incorporating one into your routine lead to brighter skin, it may also reduce clogged pores. Look for a scrub that contains natural beads versus plastic beads as the former are better for the environment. Also, choose beads that are perfectly round (like jojoba beads) so they can gently roll across the skin. Avoid natural grain scrubs that can unnecessarily scratch and irritate the skin's surface. Use a scrub two to three times a week in the shower on both the face and neck for a radiant glow.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Hydrating Mask
After using an at-home exfoliating treatment such as a scrub or chemical peel, it’s essential to ensure that the new skin cells are nourished and hydrated. Look for a gel-based mask that will infuse moisture and soothe skin.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Exfoliating Serum
I can't stress enough the importance of exfoliation in the fall. Not only should you be using a scrub regularly, but you should also be using a serum with exfoliating properties. The reason is this: Breakouts increase in autumn because the oil flow in the skin that began in the hot summer months is still occurring, and when the cooler air creates layers of dead skin cell build-up, it results in trapped oil and bacteria beneath the skin's surface.

I recommend that clients who are acne-prone incorporate an exfoliating serum that contains lactic, glycolic, and/or salicylic acid into their routine come fall. This type of serum will clear clogged pores, help prevent blemishes, lift discoloration from acne scars, and reveal smoother, even-toned skin. Use an exfoliating serum for three nights on and three nights off.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
At-Home Chemical Skin Peel
If money or time is tight and you aren’t able to get a professional chemical peel, an at-home peel is an excellent alternative. Chemical peels help to lift skin discoloration (such as sun spots or acne scars), remove dull, tired skin, and encourage formation of fresher, plumper cells. Look for a peel that contains AHAs, BHAs, and enzymes.

Let the seasonal change be a reminder to examine the products in your daily and weekly skin-care regimen, replacing and adding products as necessary. Your skin will be better for it.