How To Switch Up Your Skincare Routine For Autumn/Winter

Just as you switch up your wardrobe every few months, it’s important to do the same for your beauty routine – especially as summer gives way to autumn. Noticed your skin breaking out and looking dull recently? The change in seasons is probably to blame – the changing climate can lead to dead skin cell buildup, which in turn results in trapped oil and bacteria beneath the surface, and increased breakouts – and on top of this, it’s likely that you’re spending more time indoors and have ramped up the central heating, so skin will require more hydration.  

To find out just which steps are the most important to take when switching up our routines at this time of year, we reached out to aesthetic nurse Vanessa Charest of London Real Skin for her advice. 

Scroll down for seven simple tweaks you can make to your routine as autumn kicks in.  

Reduce acids and retinols to their gentler forms

“Skin becomes drier and more sensitive during the winter” explains Vanessa. You might think that exfoliation would worsen dryness, but it’s important to keep at it – just tone down the strength a little to avoid potential irritation as your skin’s sensitivity changes. Rather than a scrub, a chemical exfoliant will help both to treat tight, flaky skin and to improve moisture retention. Try the gentlest AHA available, mandelic acid (which will also help to hide evidence of summer skin sins by targeting sun spots).  

Beauty editor recommends: Allies Of Skin Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum 

Introduce oils

Switching temperatures constantly (OTT central heating, cold commutes, hot showers) disrupts the skin’s moisture balance, meaning skin can become a lot flakier and drier in the autumn months. Introducing an oil into your routine will not only nourish skin in the short-term but will also help your skin to improve moisture retention in the long haul. Look for multi-oil blends that draw upon the benefits of different ingredients.  

Beauty editor recommends: PSA Skin Midnight Courage Rosehip & Bakuchiol Retinol Night Oil 

...and vitamin C

To maintain your summer glow into the colder months, vitamin C will help to brighten and boost skin, stimulating collagen production so skin can better retain moisture, and helping to protect it from external aggressors. What’s more it will also help skin to repair any potential long-term damage. “During the summer months, our skin is exposed to harmful UV rays which can result in photo damage and premature ageing of the skin” explains Vanessa. “The use of vitamin C will help to correct and reverse the damage and assist with maintaining an even skin tone and texture and enhancing the skin’s natural glow.” 

Beauty editor recommends: Skincare By BEAUTY BAY SkinHit Brightening Serum 

Switch your cleanser to an oil or balm

If you’ve been using a gel-textured or foaming cleanser throughout summer, switch it out for a cream or oil-based formula once temperatures start to drop. Your skin will be producing less oil so It’s important to wash your skin gently to prevent oil from being stripped. Creams, oils, and balms will still do an effective job of removing makeup and deep pore cleansing without disrupting oil balance.  

Beauty editor recommends: Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil 

Use more hydrating masks

Unless your skin is super oily or breakout-prone, reduce the amount of clay-based and exfoliating masks you’re using and consider using hydrating masks 2-3 days a week instead. As autumn gives way to winter, you’re likely to feel even more dryness, so now’s a good time to add extra moisture to the skin in preparation for the big freeze. Most hydrating masks don’t need to be rinsed off so you can even leave them on overnight for an added boost.  

Beauty editor recommends: Dr Jart+ Ceramidin Facial Barrier Mask 

Invest in a thicker moisturiser

A lightweight moisturiser will have been enough for most skin types in the summer, but cooling temperatures and central heating kicking in are signs that you need to reach for a slightly more hydrating moisturiser. Even if you prefer oil-free creams or are using an oil elsewhere in your routine, skin can benefit from something with a thicker consistency to seal in hydration (think of it as the skincare equivalent of your winter coat).  

Beauty editor recommends: Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Cell Revitalise Night Moisturiser 

Don't forget SPF

There is one element that pros like Vanessa insist we use no matter what. “It is imperative that an SPF is part of our skincare regime during the winter as the sun’s UV rays are just as harmful at this time of year,” she says.  “The radiation from the sun can penetrate through windows”. Proof that come rain or shine, it’s vital to apply sunscreen to your face and other exposed areas of skin like your neck, ears, and hands, daily.  

Beauty editor recommends: Gruum SPF50 Face Sunscreen