Autumn skincare swaps to make now

Autumn beauty products
Cassie Steer,-Beauty Editor

Update your skincare routine with these products to seamlessly transition through the seasons

It’s that transitional time between bare legs and sundowners, cosy cardis and spiced, well, anything really. But autumn is also the time to give your skincare regime a little cool weather overhaul in order to start prepping it for the winter months ahead.

Heralding the start of a new academic year as well as one of the most prominent dates in the fashion calendar, think of this time of year as your marker for a seasonal skincare swap, phasing out lightweight summer staples for something a little more cosseting (the only product exempt from a new-season switch up being SPF which should be worn year round). 

Notebooks at the ready, we’re here to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Come clean

As the thermometer drops, sensitivity and dryness become common skin complaints so start by switching your cleanser from a foaming or gel texture to a gentler, milk or balm version. Cleanser is often bought as an afterthought, but matching your cleanser to your skin’s changing needs can make a huge difference to how it looks and feels throughout the year.

Just be mindful of water temperature. As tempting as it may be to crank up the red tap when it’s blowing a gale outside, washing your face in water that’s too warm will strip the skin of its natural oils and can even break the blood vessels leading to redness. 

Buff love

Autumn is prime time to step up your exfoliation regime in order to rid the skin of built-up sebum, grime and dead skin cells from a hot and humid summer. As our skin generally craves hydration in the winter months, sloughing off this barrier will also help your skincare to absorb effectively. But be warned, over-exfoliation can cause more irritation and flaking, so swap abrasive scrubs for gentler chemical exfoliants which break down the bonds between the dead skin cells to gently lift them away. While glycolic acid is an expert dead skin remover, lactic acid is your ideal autumnal AHA as it hydrates as it exfoliates. Or look for exfoliators containing fruit enzymes which have a similar effect.

Get active(s)

If there was ever a time to get serious about serums this is it. Summer can leave its mark in the form of pigmentation so trade lightweight lotions and purifying products for something a little more targeted. Vitamin C is your go-to for post-summer brightening while incorporating a retinol in your regime makes a great glow-giving update if you don’t already use one. We recommend this A-star active all year round for its unrivalled ability to kick-start collagen production and increase cellular turnover which tends to become more sluggish during winter. And as retinol makes skin sensitive to UV light, autumn is the perfect time to start getting your skin used to it.

Hard-hitting hydrators

Dryness is the hallmark of winter skin so embark on a hydration crusade now by swapping oil-free or gel moisturisers for creams and lotions. Oilier skin types which may have sailed through summer with just a serum may find that they need something a touch more heavy duty. Hyaluronic acid is your year-round hydrator and is adept at attracting and retaining moisture molecules in the skin, but moving towards winter, it’s time to introduce some barrier-bolstering ceramides too – crucial in keeping your skin healthy while helping it to hold on to moisture.

Still feeling dry? Supplement with regular hydrating masks, invest in a nourishing face oil (tis the season of skincare layering after all) and leave a couple of bowls of water on the tops of your radiators to release moisture back into the air and prevent your skin from drying out.

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