Getting Ready for Fall: New Skin Care Routine + Products for each skin type

Fall is by far my favourite season. I love wearing comfy clothing and not sweating my butt off everyday, but I don’t love the dry skin that usually follows. Fall means I have to protect my skin a little more, and in different ways than I would for summer. As the weather gets colder our skin needs different things to keep it from drying out and becoming damaged. There are some active ingredients you may want to think about adding to your routine, like Vitamin C, Collagen and Hyaluronic acid. But I will touch more on what actives and products you should try this fall based on your skin type.

Note: I am not a professional, this is based off of my own research and knowledge. I always recommend going to a dermatologist if you have any concerns with your skin or need help with a routine for your skin type.

Why do I need to change my routine?

As humidity levels and temperature change from Summer to Fall, it is important to add or swap out some products to avoid dry and itchy skin. During the summer it was all about sunscreen and protecting your skin from UVA/UVB rays. Now it’s about locking in more moisture and keeping up with antioxidants and nutrients we lose as the seasons change. Sensitive skin can have an extra difficult time during season changes, it could make skin conditions — like eczema — more aggravated. I will try to suggest products for all skin types and share what I am adding to my routine.

Do I need to get a whole new routine?

No, I don’t think you need to ever but depends on what you were using in the summer. You might just need to add some thicker moisturizers or some new serums. Creating a whole new routine could actually throw off your skin and create reactions that you don’t want. I am keeping majority of my products and adding a couple extras to help my skin stay hydrated.

What you should have with fall routine:

1. Thicker moisturizer

For many this might be common sense for fall, but when the weather starts to drop that means it’s time to add a thicker moisturizer and get rid of the light summer one. During the summer I use the Graydon Green Cream, which is a light gel and works perfectly with my oily skin on hot days. But during the winter I need something that will protect my skin from harsh wind and dry air. Moisturizers with Ceramides are really nice because they help to repair the skin barrier and lock in moisture (CeraVe is known for always having Ceramides in their creams). I would recommend staying away from anything that has intense acne treatments for a day cream, as it can be extra drying. Salicylic acid and retinoids can be very rough on dry skin, so try to find thicker creams or oils that might have those active mixed in to ensure it doesn’t strip the skin. If you need these treatments to help your skin then no worries, just ensure you’re stepping it up with your moisturizer. Let’s look at some moisturizers I would recommend based on skin type.

For dry/mature skin:
Graydon Berry Rich Cream

For sensitive/dry skin/Acne-prone:
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream or Graydon The Putty Cream

For normal skin:
Indie Lee Daily Skin Nutrition Cream or CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

For oily/congested/combo:
Yon-Ka PHYTO-58 Cream or Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask (as a daily cream)

For my fall routine, I added the Yon-Ka PHYTO-58 Cream (beware the strong Vapour Rub smell, not sure if I can get over it), KORA Organics Glow Sleeping mask and a Caudalie Vinopure Cleanser with a small amount of Salicylic Acid in it (helps with the “Mascne”). All of these are hydrating and focus on protecting and repairing the skins barrier which is important for cooler months.

2. Oils and Serums

I absolutely love oils and serums! I think they are so fun to add and play around with, and they can really help your routine. Unless you have super acne-prone skin, I always recommend an oil for fall because it will help increase hydration and provide the skin with lots of antioxidants that it might lose during fall/winter. Many oils are full of fatty acids that will seal in moisture, last thing we want is our products to go to waste because it’s not locked in! I love the Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil or Daily Vitamin Infusion for easy and clean-ingredient oils. Either of these facial oils could work for oily or dry skin, and the Daily Vitamin Infusion is nice for sensitive skin.

Serums are also jam packed with awesome actives and vitamins we need to keep our skin radiant and healthy. This is where you could add in actives like retinol, glycolic acid, hylauronic acid, niacinamide, AHA/BHA, etc. But like I said before, many actives can be very drying so ensure you either go for hydrating actives (like Hylauronic Acid and Niacinamide) or use a thicker cream afterwards. Some of my favourite serums to use for fall are Vitamin C, Hylauronic Acid and Bakuchiol (a more gentle and natural retinol). This year I added a tiny amount of Salicylic Acid to help with blemishes, but I usually don’t use it for long or a lot of it. I limit the more drying actives to once or twice a week, similar to using a mask.

Some good serums/oils to try (all linked):
Origins GinZing Into the Glow Brightening Serum
Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Hyaluronate Serum (Highly recommend)
Graydon Fullmoon Serum (literally amazing for gentle anti-aging)
Shomei Vitamin C Serum

3. Cleanser

This is the time of the year where using a balm, oil or cream cleanser could be best (depending on skin type). For the summer, foaming and gel cleansers work great because they help with oil production and deeply clean the skin. But when the temperature drops, it could be a good idea to try a cream cleanser since the air is dryer and there is not as much moisture in the air to create healthy oil on your skin. Plus cream cleansers are ultra-gentle and that means our already sensitive, wind chapped skin won’t get more angry with us. Balm and oil cleansers are amazing for fall/winter as well! I have very oily skin so I try to keep one gel cleanser with an active in it for when I get bad breakouts and an oil/balm cleanser for when I feel a little dry. Even better…get a balm, oil or cream cleanser to use in your double cleanse! But, try to focus more on whatever is hydrating and not stripping.

Some cleansers I would recommend trying are (linked):
Graydon Aloe Milk Cleanser (great for dry, sensitive and mature skin)
Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm (All skin types)
Skinfix Barrier+ foaming Oil Cleanser (Dry skin)
KORA Organics Gentle Cleanser (Sensitive skin)

What to take out or limit?

For the fall, it’s important to limit drying retinol and physical exfoliants. Chemicals exfoliants could be okay for your night routine, but this is the time to really examine your skin. Take note of when your skin feels dry or tight and what could be causing that. If you are going to add new products into your routine, I recommend adding one at a time and just using that for a week before adding more.

Something super important is hydrating your skin from within! Make sure you’re drinking as much water as possible. Caffeine, sugar and salt (all of the good things in this world) are super dehydrating, so step up your water game!

I would also recommend limiting or shortening super hot showers as that is drying for the entire body. Have a warm shower but don’t stand there in scorching hot water for half an hour (sadly, my favourite thing to do during winter). Also, when washing your face be careful with the water temperature. Our skin has a sensitive PH balance that can easily be disturbed, so don’t use super hot or super cold water on your face because it will shock the skin. Warm or “room temp” is always best for skin.


More resources and tips for fall skin care:

Photo by Vie Studio from Pexels