Yes! Experts likely advise you to get your skin ready for the summer and winter, but what about the fall? Your skin is just as susceptible to environmental damage during autumn as it is during other notoriously harsher times of year. It’s critical that you learn how your skin reacts to certain environmental conditions and how to better protect it.
1. Always wear sunscreen
It’s crucial you wear sunscreen in the fall – in fact, you really should be wearing it all winter long. We get it – in the summer, you’re more likely to get burnt because the sun is higher in the sky and thus UV exposure is greater – but that doesn’t mean the sun goes away when summer fades into fall!
“People need to protect themselves from direct and reflected rays when there’s snow.”
If you’re located in an area of the U.S. that frequently sees snowfall during autumn, such as northern areas of the country, sun damage can be especially dangerous. People need to protect themselves from direct and reflected rays. The latter are reflected by snow and can be just as damaging as direct rays.
To protect your skin, Sun Safety Alliance suggests that you stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., applying 1 ounce of a broad spectrum sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes prior to going out in the sun. The sunscreen should be water resistant, protect you from UVA and UVB rays and have a minimum grade no less than 30 SPF.
2. Have your skin analyzed
People love to spend time outdoors during the summer, which is exactly why they need to have their skin analyzed by a dermatologist, spa facialist or skin therapist. Many people don’t know if their skin is damaged because it could be hard to see. Perhaps they don’t know the telltale warning signs of future damage. However, professionals have a trained eye to look for these health problems. We recommend visiting a skin specialist at least once a season, but if you decide to go more frequently, that’s even better!
3. Apply moisturizer
In many parts of the U.S., cooler weather arrives with autumn, meaning skin is more prone to drying out. Like sunscreen, we suggest using moisturizer all year, but it’s critical that you at least begin to use it when the weather becomes cold.
If you’ve never used moisturizer, here are some tips:
- Apply it after you wash your face or body, such as after each shower.
- Apply it before you apply sunscreen, unless you use a moisturizer product with SPF protection.
- If you have oily or sensitive skin, we can understand why you may not want to use moisturizer. It can make your skin feel uncomfortable. However, did you know there are moisturizing products with SPF protection made specifically for people with dry and sensitive skin? This can prevent acne outbreaks as well as other dermatological problems.
For those still hesitant about purchasing certain products, don’t be afraid to contact your skin care professional. He or she can either prescribe you moisturizing products or recommend over the counter ones.
4. Drink water
Just because the weather cools doesn’t mean you should stop keeping your body well hydrated. Sure, you may sweat more in the summer, but it’s important that you drink water to prevent sleep deprivation, which can cause other skin issues. The amount of water you drink is person-dependent. On average, FamilyDoctor.org notes that many people likely heard it’s best to drink at minimum eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. However, they make a great point noting that this depends on the person. Some may need to drink more, while others can drink less.
“Serums have become a popular way to add nutrients to your skin.”.
5. Use a serum
Serums have become a popular way to add nutrients, such as Vitamin C, to your skin. The main difference between serums and traditional moisturizers is how they act when the sun contacts them. Serums penetrate deep beneath the skin’s surface while moisturizers lay on top to provide a protective barrier and help make the skin feel smooth and soft.
Apply serum before you apply moisturizer.
6. Don’t use bar soap
Your face is delicate and bar soap is anything but. You might as well be using sandpaper – an antibacterial one that is – to cleanse yourself because it’s incredibly harsh on your skin. Dr. Jami Miller, assistant professor of medicine in the department of dermatology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said that soaps don’t provide much, if anything, in the form of nutrients. Instead, they take precious material away.
“Most soaps and body washes remove the oils that keep skin soft and naturally moisturized. Removing that oil makes your skin dryer,” Miller said, according to Everyday Health. “Many body washes leave a layer of moisturizer on the skin that helps to replenish the oils removed.”
If your skin is already damaged, think about contacting dual-board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Marotta of Marotta Plastic Surgery Specialists. Depending on the level of skin damage, you may be a great candidate for laser and skin resurfacing, which helps rejuvenate wrinkled or sun-damaged skin, vertical wrinkles around the mouth, “crow’s feet,” brown spots and blotchy skin, to name a few.