How to Transition Your Skincare Routine for Fall

09.23.2020 — The Frenshe Editors

Frenshes, we’re sure you’re just as excited about the fall season as we are, right? Right. While we certainly can’t believe autumn 2020 has officially arrived, we can’t contain our excitement for a new season and some new skincare of course. As a true Frenshe knows, with each season comes a new skincare routine, and if you didn’t already know so, listen up. We’ve kept our eyes peeled and ears wide open for all the fall beauty recommendations you could imagine, so we’ve tapped our expert friends to dish with you all. Have you been wanting to try a new cleanser, moisturizer, or treatment? Well, you’re in luck. And might we add that as the temperature drops and the sun becomes a bit shier, you shouldn’t ditch your go-to SPF—in fact, you should never do that.

For our official fall skincare guide, we spoke with New York-based board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Orit Markowitz, and celebrity esthetician and skin expert, Renée Rouleau. The good news is that you’ll get to stick to some of your favorite products this season, but in even better news, you can splurge on something little extra for yourself if needed (let’s face it we could all use some self-spoiling right now). Ahead you’ll learn about what to keep, what to toss, and what ingredients will work in your favor as the days get cooler. Take notes and enjoy these top fall picks!

What Stays

The good news is that you don’t have to overhaul your entire routine for fall. Dr. Markowitz explains that facial cleansers can stay the same as long as they’re not contributing to lower moisture levels. “A good rule of thumb is to use a cleanser that is sulfate-free and barely gives a lather when it’s being used,” says Rouleau. Minor adjustments are all that’s necessary for healthy and balanced skin throughout the new season. 

However, you should keep climate in mind when making any changes. “Humidity changes and dry/cold weather decreases our overall moisture balance in our skin so we need to recreate the ‘tropics’ in our vanity items,” says Markowitz. Yet, it’s nothing to stress about because a seasonal transition isn’t abrupt and gives our skin time to adjust properly.

A good rule of thumb is to use a cleanser that is sulfate-free and barely gives a lather when it’s being used.”

What Goes

If you’ve noticed a pattern here, you now know that moisture is, in fact, the key to having radiant skin later in the year. With that being said, any and all products that can strip the skin of its natural oils should be swapped. “Some gel and foaming cleansers may be a bit too much once temperatures cool and less oil is being produced,” says Rouleau. Opting for a cleanser that’s sulfate-free and doesn’t lather much is a good rule of thumb to follow. A creamy cleansing lotion is just as effective while providing the skin with a much-needed moisture boost. For those who still prefer a gel-like consistency, Rouleau suggests her signature Moisture Protecting Cleanser—a unique gel-to-milk formula that is extremely gentle. Those of you who are fans of toners don’t have to goodbye to them but make sure they’re alcohol-free if you’re keeping them around. Toners without alcohol can help the skin retain moisture, preparing it for the next products in your routine.

Since we’re talking all things moisture, your actual moisturizer is obviously important. While Markowitz advises against slathering on a thick SPF, she does encourage the use of a more emollient moisturizer. “Look for petrolatum, non-fragrant thick emollients, and soothing ingredients like black licorice found in Eucerine Redness Relief Night Cream,” she says. For those of you who are fans of face oils, you’re in luck. You can still customize your thicker moisturizer with a few drops of face oil, as needed of course. Rouleau says this is good practice for those days when you’re feeling extra dry. 


Dry Skin vs. Oily Skin vs. Combination Skin

It’s only right to get specific on what different skin types need this season. “For dry skin, I like sealant moisturizers like the Aquaphor spray to use after a shower and humectant creams like hydroxyls and/ or lotions for oily skin,” says Markowitz. Yes, oily skin types need moisture and hydration just as much as everyone else, but there are certain products to avoid. “While oily skin types do need the oil and shine to be broken down and removed by a cleanser, anything with sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, or ammonium laureth sulfate are not in alignment with your skin’s natural pH and will strip too much water out of the skin after every washing,” says Rouleau. “Dry skin types need moisturizers that deliver oil into the skin while oily skin types require a moisturizer that gives water,” she adds.

To have success with combination skin types throughout fall, you’ll need to combine the practices for dry skin and oily skin where you see fit—it’s more of a ‘trial and error’ process. If you have acne-prone skin, don’t cringe at the thought of using moisturizer day and night. The thought that moisturizers will clog your skin and cause more breakouts isn’t one to follow. ” Acne occurs when the cells that line the inner pores fail to fall off properly and the pore becomes clogged, and this happens whether you moisturize or not,” Rouleau explains. As noted before, if you have any products that you’ve learned to grow and love, you can continue using them as long as they don’t interfere with your skin’s moisture levels.

The Ingredients

Ingredients are the most important part of skincare, but they can get complex and confusing for beginners. Below is an index of some ingredients to look for in your skincare products this fall.

  • Hyaluronic Acid: Works as a humectant and attracts moisture from the air as well as from the lower layers of the skin to deliver it to the epidermis (surface of the skin). “This makes the face look and feel moist while increasing plumpness and elasticity,” says Rouleau. 
  • Glycerin: Also attracts moisture from the air to deliver it to the skin’s surface.
  • Niacinamide: Boosts ceramide levels in the skin, improving its ability to retain moisture. Rouleau notes that niacinamide is ideal for preventing dark spots and acne scars.
  • Non-Fragrant Emollients: According to Markowitz, these provide an ideal layer of moisture and protection throughout the fall.

All in all, these subtle changes will only benefit your skin during the new season and beyond. Swearing by a tailored skincare routine is just the tip of the iceberg, as a healthy lifestyle should always be your main priority. Getting enough sleep each night, drinking water every day, getting facials (when safe again!), and sleeping on clean pillowcases and sheets will all benefit your skin in the long haul.

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The Frenshe Editors