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Transitioning skin care to autumn

Tips for your fall skincare routine.

Stephanie Papanikolas Avatar
by Stephanie Papanikolas
Updated on Jul 6, 2023 • 4 min read
How To Transition from A Summer To Fall Skincare Routine
Stephanie Papanikolas Avatar
by Stephanie Papanikolas
Updated on Jul 6, 2023 • 4 min read
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

The autumn months are just around the corner, and I’m already feeling my the effects of all this hot and humid weather transitioning over to cool and dry temperatures.

As the weather changes, the way our skin reacts to the new temperatures changes. So I caught up with Curology’s dermatology providers to get some quick fall skincare tips so that Halloween is the only day I need a mask.

Fall lifestyle changes

There’s a lot to get excited about during fall, like back to school, back to the office, and back to cooler temps. All the change can create stress, which makes it easy to fall back into bad habits like picking at your blemishes or touching your face. Bad stress habits can lead to acne breakouts. So if your skin is freaking out now that you’re heading back to school, fall back on healthy stress management. And if you’re prone to dry skin, the onset of a dry, cold season might be enough to make you stress about your skin!

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Transitioning your skincare from summer to fall

Your everyday routine changes, and so should your skincare. It's time to switch out lightweight summer skincare for something more fall friendly.

  1. Simplify your skincare routine. The harsh ingredients in some skincare products can make dryness worse. Cleanse, treat, and moisturize⁠ to give your skin a break from extra products. And be sure that your skincare routine includes best sunscreen practices — UV damage is the worst.

  2. Try a thicker moisturizer. The best moisturizer for dry skin will have emollient (shea butter or mineral oil) and/or humectant (hyaluronic acid or glycerine) ingredients. Curology's moisturizers contain a combination of emollient, humectant, and occlusive moisturizing properties, which make either of them a great option in fall and winter.

  3. Add a body lotion to the mix. Every year, I know summer is ending when I need to start amping up my body lotion application. Personally, the skin on my hands gets especially dry as we transition into winter, but dry skin can happen on any part of the body, and it’s not cute or fun.

  4. Cut back on exfoliating. Cut back on anything that tends to dry or irritate your skin, like exfoliation (physical or chemical), over-the-counter products containing retinol, or prescription topicals containing retinoids. This would also not be the best time for treatments such as microdermabrasion or chemical peels.

Why does my skin get dry in the fall?

Dry skin on the face is typically caused by a lack of water retention in the skin. Harsh environmental factors can tamper with your skin’s natural moisture barrier, causing a dehydrated skin state. This gets worse in the fall and winter when a drop in humidity can exacerbate water loss.

Long story short: dry skin is typically treated by locking moisture back in. But if you think the answer to dry skin due to chilly weather is a hot, wet shower, think again! Taking your water temperature to the extreme can irritate your dry skin even more, leaving it cracked and irritated. Personally, I prefer cool or lukewarm showers that soothe my skin and make me feel invigorated; it turns out that temperate water is less likely to dry out the skin.

Extreme close-up of a woman's face, partially covered in powder

Treatments for dry skin

There are plenty of dry skin treatments — but which ones are right for you?

  1. Up the ante in your moisturizer. Using a heavier emollient cream (like a petrolatum-based moisturizer) will help reinforce the moisture barrier of your skin, helping to lock hydration in. The rich moisturizer by Curology is formulated with 6 research-backed ingredients to lock hydration back into the skin. Hyaluronic acid plumps the skin for a dewy, baby-soft face while shea butter fills in tiny cracks in the skin. The rich moisturizer is available when you sign up for the Curology set.

  2. Wear a hydrating mask. If you want to go incognito when it’s not Halloween, giving your skin an extra hydration boost once a week with a mask can help you get over the dry skin hump. There are a lot of options out there, but if you need inspiration, try Dr. Jart Water Replenishment sheet mask or GlamGlow ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment.

  3. Use a hydrating cleanser. This step is especially important if your skin doesn’t produce a lot of natural oils on its own — you want to make sure your cleanser isn’t stripping them away! Cerave and Neutrogena have good options, but obviously, I hope you’ll try the Curology cleanser, which has a gently hydrating formula with minimal ingredients.

  4. Run a humidifier. The benefit of a humidifier is that it adds water to the air, and your skin can grab onto that moisture. To maximize your skin benefits, apply your moisturizer before bed and let the humidifier run while you sleep (or at least 8 hours; you can also run a humidifier in a room you spend a lot of time in, like your office).

  5. SPF as sure as the sun. I know I always say this, but hear me out. The last thing you want is super hot UV rays beating onto your dry face. If you think that cooler temps and shorter days let you off the hook, think again — harmful UVA/UVB rays can damage your skin no matter the season. So, do yourself a favor and make sure you’re using best sunscreen practices.

Curology Free Trial Custom Formula for Acne Breakouts

The perfect complement to your fall look

If you’re suffering from common skin woes like acne, treatment doesn’t have to be complicated. You can have the expertise of board-certified dermatology providers at your fingertips with Curology.

Get your personalized skincare routine with Curology

Get your personalized skincare routine with Curology

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• • •

We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.

Empowering you with knowledge is our top priority. Our reviews of other brands’ products in this post are not paid endorsements—but they do meet our medically fact-checked standards for ingredients (at the time of publication).

Stephanie Papanikolas Avatar

Stephanie Papanikolas

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