This time of year, a natural drying out tends to take place. The air is dryer and cooler, we sweat less, and our skin is more sensitive to the temperature fluctuations indoors as well. I, personally, go from having dewy, glowing summer skin to having dull, dry skin in a matter of weeks once fall hits (that is, if I don’t follow my own advice below!).
Even though many of us on the coasts have been enjoying an autumnal heat wave, it’s not too soon to autumn and winter-proof your skincare routine, to prevent and treat dry skin before it get’s bad.
Here are my 5 steps and fave products to fight dry skin and keep it hydrated, glowing, and gorgeous, even as the temperature drops!
Step 1: Ditch the face wash!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Face wash is not your friend. It dries out your skin and can force your sebum production into overdrive, leading to clogged pores and breakouts (the reason behind that seasonal “combination skin” so many of us fall prey to. The solution? Switch to face cleansing oil! Oils deep clean your skin without drying it out, and leave your face hydrated and happy. How can an oil clean, you ask? Well, oil sticks to oil! It actually deep cleans your pores by drawing out the nasty, dirty, oiliness, and replaces it with happy, radiant skin. I’ve been using the oil face wash method for a few years now and managed to completely clear up my skin (no more pimples!), drive away dryness, and maintain a healthy, youthful glow year round. Seriously, this is a miraculous game-changer. It’s also great for acne or breakout prone skin, aging skin, rosacea, and more.
Fave product: Kindred Skincare Oil Cleanse
Step 2: Exfoliate twice a week
Over-exfoliating your skin can definitely cause problems, but not doing it enough leaves your skin dry and flaky. One to two times a week, in the shower, when skin is wet with pores steamed open is the perfect time to exfoliate. But say bye-bye to all those harsh, chemical scrubs or beads, which are awful for your skin and the environment. Instead, go for a natural sugar scrub that sloughs off dry, dull skin, without tearing up your face. The best sugar scrubs are simply a combination of raw sugar and oil (like coconut oil), which gives you some intense hydration in addition to the healing power of raw sugar. I’ve been loving the Earth’s Organics scrubs which are so simple (I actually feel guilty for not making them myself) and potent — unrefined sugar with hydrating oils make for the most glowing skin ever. I also love doing a sea salt body scrub in the shower once a week, focusing on parts of my body that get dry — hands, arms, thighs, elbows, and knees.
Step 3: Get heavier with nighttime hydration
Most of us can get away with a lightweight moisturizer or oil in the warmer months, but once the cooler months hit, it’s time to step up our game. In the morning, after a toning my skin, I use a lightweight oil under my BB cream. But at night, I go for much heavier hydration than I would ever dare to do in the summertime. After my oil face wash and antioxidant serum, I use a nighttime oil topped with a thick, luxurious moisturizer, filled with ingredients customized for my skin. It’s really important to choose the right night cream for your specific skin type, because if you go too heavy or too light, you risk breaking out or not sealing in enough moisture to make a difference. If you can read in Italian or French and don’t mind paying overseas shipping costs, you can create your own customized all-natural moisturizer with botanicals specifically chosen to suite your specific skin concerns and preferences. If you prefer something a bit more accessible, Eminence Organics has a whole lovely collection of super nourishing night creams that address the needs of different skin types — once you know your ideal formulation, you can pick it up on Amazon.
Step 4: Use the right masks
A weekly, super hydrating mask is an amazing tool for eradicating seasonal dry skin, but not all masks are created equal! Masks that are clay based without the addition of hydrating oils are going to dry out your skin even more. In the colder months, steer clear of masks labeled as clarifying, pore refining, or tightening if you have dry skin, unless they’re also labeled as hydrating. Instead, opt for masks with hydrating ingredients like baobab and avocado oils, shea butter, and alpha hydroxy acids, which slough off dead skin cells without over drying.
Fave products: Mychelle Hydrating Cactus Mask
Step 5: Stay hydrated from within
Lastly, your diet plays a HUGE role in your skin’s hydration. When I skimp on my water intake, the first place I notice it is on my skin. Make sure you’re drinking tons of water (at least half your bodyweight in ounces a day), and eating foods rich in healthy fats every day. Avocado, wild caught salmon, coconut oil, nuts and seeds, and organic bone broth from grass-fed cows or pasture-raised chickens. Probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut and kombucha are also very healing to the digestive tract, which helps keep skin functioning at its best. And of course, try to minimize dehydrating elements like caffeine, alcohol, and smoking (obvi!).
Fave products: Kettle & Fire Organic Grass-Fed Bone Broth