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Your Fall Skincare Starter Pack

The tips and tricks to transitioning your skincare routine for the upcoming season.

Your Fall Skincare Starter Pack
Photo: Getty Images

As we say goodbye to our summer glow, it’s time to start transitioning our lifestyles for fall. Cue the sweaters, pumpkin spice, and extra hydrating serums. It’s nothing new that cooler months require a different approach to our products. But the question is what exactly does that mean for our skin?

While we completely understand you’ve mastered the perfect order to your routine, experts suggest making a few adjustments. “With each season comes different climates. These fluctuations may cause a change in your skin, such as dryness in the winter or [excess] oil in the summer. It’s important to then accommodate these changes through your skin-care routine,” says Connecticut-based dermatologist Dr. Mona Gohara. Certain times of the year may even trigger different sensitivities according to board certified dermatologist Dr. Anthony Rossi. “If you're someone who's prone to have any inflammatory conditions, they can get triggered by UV exposure, heat, or dryness,” he explains. This does not mean you need to swap out all of the formulas you keep in rotation, but a few key modifications will make it easier to combat seasonal stressors.

So where should you start? Gohara and Rossi share their top skin tips for fall below.

Treat Your Moisture Barrier

“The good thing about summer is that when the air is humid, all that moisture lays on the skin and helps to create an epidermal water barrier. But when we get into the cooler and drier months, we end up not having as much moisture in our skin,” explains Rossi. He recommends using a richer night cream or overnight mask.

The Night Synthesis

Dr. Rossi Derm MD

Triple Lipid Restore


Sleep Mask

Summer Fridays

Opt For Cream Cleansers

“Because your skin will produce less oil during the transition [from summer to fall], it’s best to replace lightweight cleansers with a cream-based formula,” says Gohara. Not only is this a more gentle approach but it also helps to lock in moisture.

Use Hyaluronic Acid

“It is important to incorporate more hydrating products into your daily fall routine,” says Gohara. She recommends using serums with hyaluronic acid, a star ingredient that helps skin retain water.

Keep Using SPF

Both experts made a point to note the importance of applying sunscreen year round. “We're still getting hit with UVA, even when it's cloudy,” says Rossi. “Chronic UV exposure is gonna cause collagen loss and the potential for skin cancer down the line.”

Despite our best efforts, some of us will be walking to fall with a little extra irritation or discoloration from the sun. That’s where niacinamide comes in. “Niacinamide is always nice because it has an anti-inflammatory effect,” explains Rossi. “It’s also going to help with any [excess] pigment that you've accumulated over the summer.”

Go Easy On Exfoliants

“Come fall I always tell people to take a step back from retinol or AHAs because they'll get drier or more chafed. You can still use them, but I’d cut down the frequency to two times a week,” says Rossi.

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