How To Adapt Your Skincare Routine For Autumn
Here we review how the Autumn weather impact our skin, and how we can tweak our routine to help
It seems as if overnight, the UK has shifted into Autumn. With a full week of rain on the cards, and the nights drawing in, what better time to indulge in a little self-care with a revamp of your skincare routine?
Here we explain what the seasonal changes brought by the autumn months mean for our skin, and how we can adapt our skincare routine to help.
Colder Weather + Indoor Heating = Moisture Loss In The Skin
In the warmer months, the skin produces more sebum, which naturally helps to retain moisture levels in the skin. As the temperature drops into autumn, the level of natural oil (sebum) produced by the skin decreases.
On top of this, autumn winds and indoor heating both increase the level of water lost through the skin, known as trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). TEWL is a normal process which a healthy skin barrier regulates, but when the rate increases, this can dry out the skin.
Moisture Loss In The Skin = Compromised Skin Barrier
The skin barrier is the outer layer of our skin, and its role is to form a protective layer to keep the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. As the skin loses moisture, both through TEWL and a reduction in natural oil production, tiny cracks form in the barrier.
These cracks result in further water being lost through the skin, which in turn dries the skin out further, and leads to more cracks forming, creating a vicious cycle for dryness and sensitivity.
A Compromised Barrier = Increased Irritation and Sensitivity
When the barrier is compromised, not only can extra water be lost, but unwanted ingredients can also get in. For example, ingredients that may not be irritating to your skin normally, can penetrate the skin further when the barrier is compromised, which may lead to irritation and sensitivity.
If you have ever had very dry hands in the winter, you may notice them stinging slightly after washing. This is due to the ingredients in the hand wash getting in through the cracks in the skin barrier, and causing irritation. This heightened irritation can occur from many skincare ingredients, so if you notice a product causing any stinging or uncomfortable sensation which usually doesn't, it might be a good idea to park that product and focus on repairing your skin barrier before re-introducing it into your routine.
Increased Irritation = A Worsening of Inflammatory Conditions
If your skin is prone to rosacea, acne or other inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, you may find your symptoms worsen during the shift into colder months.
This is all down to the skin barrier being compromised, leading to an increase in irritation and inflammation in the skin, which then aggravates the condition and worsens its symptoms.
So, How Can You Keep Your Skin Barrier Healthy As The Season Changes?
To keep your skin at it’s best as we move into autumn, it’s essential to keep your barrier healthy. Below are our top three ways you can tweak your routine to do this.
- Switch to a more hydrating cleanser. If you had opted for an exfoliating cleanser during the summer months, you may choose to switch to a more gentle, barrier supporting option for the cooler months.
- Add hydrating ingredients in your routine. Most skin could also benefit from including an additional daily hydrating step such as a serum or toner with humectant ingredients like Hyaluronic acid, Panthenol and Glycerin. You may also like to add a weekly hydration mask to keep skin plump and healthy.
- Ensure your moisturiser includes barrier-supporting ingredients. Drier skin can opt for richer textures in their moisturiser, while oilier skins might prefer to keep textures light, but include formulas with natural lipids such as Ceramides and Cholesterol, to reinforce the skin barrier without adding heaviness.
If you’d like support from one of our licensed pro’s to get your skin looking and feeling it’s best this autumn, you can start your skin consultation here.