Don’t let smooth summer skin turn into fall flakes
Leaves are turning, days are shortening, and a brisk chill is in the air each morning. All that can mean only one thing: your skin is getting hella dry.
Fall might be a season of pumpkin spice and cozy sweaters, but it should also be a season of updating your skincare routine. That’s why 614NOW spoke to Diana Wang, owner of clean beauty and wellness shop Fine Feather, about how to keep your skin glowing and smooth this autumn.
Fine Feather focuses on providing clean beauty products for your face, body, and hair, ranging from makeup to serums to fragrances. Wang carefully researches the products they provide to ensure they don’t contain any known or suspected toxins–such as petrochemicals, sulfates, parabens, or phthalates–something she said is rare in the beauty industry.
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Snakeskin is so last year
Wang said one of the most common concerns she hears from customers in the fall is about dry skin. Oily skin gets drier, and dry skin can turn almost scaly. She said this is due to the cooler temperatures and drier air.
“Almost everybody will go through a noticeable shift in their skin right about this time, no matter what skin type they have,” said Wang.
Although the changes are complex and multifaceted, she said it primarily comes down to a disruption of the skin’s moisture barrier function.
Wang compares many moisturizing products to licking your lips when they’re chapped; it might feel better in the moment, but it will only cause more harm down the line. She recommends using products that contain natural emollients such as shea, cocoa, or mango butter to create a protective barrier that traps in moisture. She warned against petroleum jellies like Vaseline, which can seriously harm the skin.
Another common cause of flaky, dry, or scaly skin is a pH imbalance. Cleansing with alkaline products such as bar soap can mess with the natural microbiome of healthy bacteria on the skin. Wang said the best way to maintain good pH is with a slightly acidic toner.
Sunscreen: Not just for the beach
Generally, Wang doesn’t think a skincare routine has to have 10 steps or a dozen products to keep skin healthy. She said most of her customers aren’t looking for a complex process, anyway.
One step she insists is essential, however, is sunscreen. Yes, even in the colder months.
Sunscreens protect from UVA and UVB light, which are both components of natural sunlight. Wang said UVA causes long-term damage that is commonly associated with aging, while UVB causes short-term damage like sunburn.
Although you might not be getting a blistering sunburn in late October, UVA light is a year-round concern. One overlooked source of aging light is electronic devices.
“If you use a screen–whether it’s your phone or your laptop, TV, whatever–we’re exposed to a lot of blue light all the time,” said Wang.
Wang said blue light can have effects very similar to the UVA that is emitted by the sun. So even if you spend your entire day inside, sunscreen will protect you from the harmful light of your phone.