The changing season is a great time to refine or revise your beauty regimen. The colorful leaves, cozy layered looks, and the onset of pumpkin-spice-everything can each provide ample inspiration to switch things up.
As the air gets cooler and we turn on the heat in our homes, it’s also a good time to take preventative measures against dry winter hair and skin issues. Consider working these beauty practices into your routine throughout the season.
1. Focus on retaining moisture. Hydration is always important, and particularly so as we work to combat the effects of the drier months. Increase your water intake or more vigilantly track how much you’re drinking each day. A good rule of thumb is to consume about half your body weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 170 pounds, try to make sure you’re drinking 85 ounces.
In addition to hydrating internally, using a facial mist on your skin throughout the day can help you retain that dewy summer glow even in the colder seasons. At night, try setting up a humidifier near your bed to help counteract dryness in the respiratory system, such as the nose or throat, or dry eyes upon waking.
2. Get inspired by the changing colors. Earlier sunsets and colorful leaves are great palette inspiration for makeup, hair, and nails. Choose your favorite of these trending colors to work into your fall look.
- Deep amber
- Dark olive and forest green
- Pumpkin hues
- Golden brown with flecks of gold
3. Make your own pumpkin face mask. Rehydrate your skin and boost collagen with this yummy-smelling homemade mask. The naturally occurring vitamins in pumpkin puree can help restore elasticity and boost collagen, while honey can provide powerful hydration along with its soothing properties. The yogurt’s lactic acid is a gentle exfoliant that helps loosen dead skin cells so the mask can better penetrate your skin.
- 1/2 c. organic pumpkin purée
- 1/2 c. plain organic yogurt
- 1 tbs. raw honey
Use a spoon to mash all ingredients together in a small bowl until the mixture becomes paste-like. Then, smooth the mask onto clean, damp skin, avoiding the eye area. Relax for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse well with warm water and gently pat dry.
4. Update your skincare routine. Swap out lightweight summer staples for richer, more moisturizing versions, and choose soaps that won’t strip the skin of its natural oils. Look for cleansers without sulfates, parabens, alcohol, synthetic dyes, or fragrances.
Then, approach your fall and winter skincare like you would getting dressed for those seasons — in layers. After cleansing, exfoliate according to your skin type. If you have sensitive or naturally dry skin, exfoliate weekly.
If you have normal, combination, or oily skin, exfoliate up to twice weekly. Look for serums or masks containing around 5 percent lactic acid, a gentle, hydrating alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), that exfoliates and brightens skin and is milder than more potent AHAs like glycolic acid.
Before using lactic acid products on your face or body, do a small patch test on your inner elbow or underneath your chin to ensure you don’t have any allergies or irritation from the product. Start slowly and build your tolerance before using products that contain higher concentrations of lactic acid.
After you’ve cleansed and exfoliated, apply a serum with hyaluronic acid, a substance naturally produced by your body that helps skin retain moisture, followed by a moisturizer or facial oil to seal in the hydration and plump the skin.
Top off your skincare with a moisturizing eye cream and lip balm.
5. Treat your hair. Fall is the perfect time to darken your hair color, tone out summer brassiness, or replenish faded color. Try a moisturizing hair mask with color-boosting tints to help repair your hair, add shine, and enrich the color.
Blondes can look for purple-hued tints to tone out yellow, while brunettes and redheads can use products containing brown or red pigments to bring the richness back to their hair colors.
Fall’s lower humidity means you can let your hair down without worrying about frizz. It’s a great time to dabble in the latest hair trends, including sleek, low ponytails, glossy curls, and big volume.
While temperatures are still on the mild side, let your hair air dry after washing to help it retain moisture. Wrap hair in a microfiber towel or scrunchie, or try “plopping,” the latest social media trend involving wrapping your hair in a t-shirt to dry undisturbed and enhance wavy or curly textures.
If you’re interested in even more ways to combat dry skin and hair, check out these winter hair and skin tips.
6. Boost your nutrition. Choosing whole, nutrient-rich seasonal foods can benefit your hair and skin this season. Sweet potatoes and squash contain beta-carotene, which helps protect skin by preventing the degeneration of cells to slow aging.
Tomatoes are another great source of beta-carotene, and they also include vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps strengthen hair follicles and prevent breakage; it may also boost skin elasticity and collagen production.
7. Embrace the new sights and scents. Go for a walk in nature and enjoy the beauty of the leaves and crisp, refreshing temperatures. You’ll also gain the benefits of walking, including increased circulation, decreased stress, and improved sleep — all of which can help your skin appear clearer and more even toned.
You could also explore seasonal essential oil scents and their corresponding benefits, such as sandalwood for mental clarify, cedarwood for calm, or orange for help reducing anxiety.