Fall Skin Care 101

October 8th, 2011

Fall Skin Care 101

Fall has arrived, so get ready for turkeys, piles of leaves, and apple picking.  Even though summer may be behind us, skin care is more important than ever! After all, November is Healthy Skin Month.  So now’s the time for a refresher on the best ways to keep your skin protected throughout the fall.

Moisturizers

Moisturizing should always be part of our skin care routine but drier fall weather is the perfect reminder to apply moisturizer daily.  Most should look for a water-based moisturizer to protect sensitive skin, improve skin tone and texture, and mask imperfections. For those of us with drier skin, opt for an oil-based moisturizer. 

Sunscreens

The sun may be scarcer but your use of sunscreen should remain plentiful throughout the fall and winter.  Look for a “broad spectrum” sunscreen. Per new FDA regulations, only sunscreens that protect against UVA and UVB rays can be considered broad spectrum. In the past, many sunscreens only protected against UVB rays that cause sunburns.  Now, broad spectrum products also protect against UVA rays associated with skin cancer.

Soaps

Choose your soap or body wash carefully.  Fragrant washes often strip your skin of its natural oils, exacerbating the harmful effects of our fall climate.  Try a moisturizing body wash to keep skin healthy and hydrated.

Hydrate

Making sure you stay hydrated is as important for your skin as it is for any other part of your body.  Don’t let the cooler weather fool you. Fall is typically a drier season than summer.  Invest in a new water bottle or wear out that water cooler at work.  Either way, don’t forget to drink 8 or 9 cups of water a day.  Without proper dehydration, your skin loses elasticity and radiance.

Chapped Lips

The dry windy weather of fall can take a toll on your lips.  The best lip balms and oil-based lubricating creams contain beeswax or petrolatum.  These will form a protective layer between your smooth lips and the elements.  Other potential causes of chapped lips are dehydration, licking your lips, and allergic reactions.

Chemical Peels

Summer can be harsh on our skin, so consider seeing your dermatologist for a chemical peel.  Peels remove dead skin cells and help with acne, acne scars, fine lines, and wrinkles. Peels even stimulate new cell growth that will make your skin appear smoother and more even in texture and tone.

Melanoma

Lastly, I’m sure there are a few of us out there who forgot sunscreen or forgot to reapply at a long beautiful day at the beach this summer.  It’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist to check for melanoma, a form of skin cancer.  Seventy percent of cancerous melanoma begins with normal-appearing skin, so it’s best to consult a professional.  If a mole rapidly changes in shape, color, or diameter, consult a dermatologist right away.

 

Warren Howe is a writer for Torrey Pines Dermatology, a leader in San Diego dermatology.  Torrey Pines Dermatology specializes in chemical peels, skin renewal treatments, and acne treatments.

 

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