AutumnCFall is my absolute favourite time of year.   While all of the seasons  have their own distinct charm, I honestly believe the coziness of autumn makes it the most perfect of them all.  A continuous canvas of red, orange and yellow trees, the sweet aroma of wet earth and leaves, cozy sweaters, wool socks, warm boots, hot drinks, hearty soups and pumpkin everything, all lend to the nostalgia of slowly winding down and settling into routines at home, work and in the natural world.  

This year, we had such beautiful September weather that it didn’t occur to me fall had actually arrived!  But even though it is already upon us, there’s still plenty of time to shift your natural skin care regimen to something a little more attentive and more deeply nourishing, for the cooler months to come.  Here are a few tips and guidelines to help you nurture and prepare your skin for the transition.

  1. Consider Your Cleanser.  It’s always important to remove makeup and impurities at the end of each day, but during the dry, harsher months it’s a good idea to switch to a gentle cleanser that moisturizes and protects the skins natural oils while it purifies.  The best options are the creamier, milk, lotion and oil cleansers.

  2. Use Only Hydrating Toners.  Toners are often an over-looked step in a skin care regimen and are commonly misunderstood.  The issue is that many toners contain alcohol, which are very drying and irritating to the skin when used on a daily basis.  Using alcohol-free, nutrient-rich toners are a perfect way to give your skin an extra boost of hydration during the cooler months.

  3. Switch From Lotion To Cream.  Creams have a heavier oil-base than regular lotions and offer much more hydration and protection when the weather is cold and dry.  Be sure to find one that is non-clogging and formulated for your skin.  Use at least once a day, twice if your skin allows.  Also, be willing to try serums and facial oils if you find that creams just aren’t quite enough – keeping your skin consistently moisturized is the key here.

  4. Exfoliate.  Exfoliation is the foundation to glowing skin.  Be gentle, especially with your face, and use mildly acidic, natural formulations (like oatmeal) that serve to slough off dead skin while supporting the skin for better absorption of nutrients from creams and serums.  This is a very important aspect of the fall regimen, to help nourish your summer-kissed skin and should be done 1-2 times per week.

  5. Don’t Forget The Rest Of Your Body.  Remember to keep ALL of your skin hydrated – including elbows, knees, lips, hands and feet.  Once again, switch to the richer, more emollient body butters and creams for your thirsty skin.  Always apply immediately following your shower and repeat as often as necessary, to stay moisturized.   Use salt and sugar scrubs with oil bases, (for body only) to help slough off the dead skin and allow for more effective hydration from your moisturizer.  Your skin will thank you!

Following the above suggestions will go a long way to help keep your skin from drying out during the colder weather.  But don’t forget that the healthier you are, the healthier your skin will be.  It’s important to make a few diet and lifestyle shifts as well:

  • Eat a balanced diet including plenty of vegetables, fruits (especially seasonal ones) and healthy oils, and consider warming them up more often – less salads, more soups and stews

  • Be sure to get plenty of exercise.

  • Try to get more natural vitamin D by spending more time outdoors

  • Even though you may feel less thirsty, it’s still important to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day

  • Put a greater emphasis on sleep.  A good nights sleep is one of the best ways to achieve a glowing, radiant complexion

Autumn represents a perfect time for your skin to renew, rejuvenate, and recover from the summer elements while preparing for the harsher weather to come.  Enjoy the gorgeousness of fall and prepare to fall in love with your skin again!