transition your skincare from summer to fall

Transition Your Skincare from Summer to Fall

Last updated on: 2022


It’s time to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall! With summer comes warm, sun-kissed skin along with a lightweight skincare routine to complement the heat of the season. As we transition from summer to fall, your wardrobe isn’t the only thing that requires a revamp – your daily skincare lineup will be desperate for a refresh too! Now that the leaves are changing color and the air is getting colder, it is time to swap out your summer essentials for fall must-haves.

Here’s some of our tips on how to transition your skincare from summer to fall!


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How Fall Weather Impacts Your Skin 

As fun as pumpkin season may be, your skin may not love it as much if you don’t take care of it properly. According to board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Jordana Herschthal, our skin “recognizes climate changes and reacts to them to regulate its needs.” During the fall, the air is much cooler and drier compared to summer which typically leads to drier skin due to the lack of humidity, and it doesn’t stop there. Colder weather may also cause flakiness, breakouts, redness and even dullness. Nothing is more frustrating than picking at itchy, chapped skin. To combat these skin freak-outs, Dr. Herschthal recommends to “use products that maintain moisture and protect the skin’s lipid barrier to decrease irritations.” Lucky for you, we’ve gathered our best recommendations to help your skin fight against the fall crisp air and maintain its healthy radiance.

transition your skincare from summer to fall

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Go for Gentle Cleansers

Summer heat and humidity tends to pull out the oils from your skin, resulting in oily skin and a need for gel-based or foaming cleansers. This is generally not the case during the fall season. According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Angela Lamb, “it’s best to use cream-based cleansers or those with moisturizers” since the skin produces less oil during the winter. By switching up your cleanser this fall, especially if it contains salicylic or glycolic acid, you can avoid unnecessary dryness – your skin will thank you! 

We Recommend: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Facial Cleansing Gel, Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser, Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser, La Mer The Cleansing Lotion

transition your skincare from summer to fall

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Include a Hydrating Serum

While moisturizers are still crucially important, their qualities don’t penetrate into the skin as much as oil-based serums do. By adding in a serum, it will help your skin absorb more nutrients and antioxidants and take your skin’s hydration to the next level. Dr. Lamb recommends applying a serum prior to a moisturizer to really seal in all the moisturizing ingredients. Various forms of serums are made available to target multiple concerns, whether that be cell renewal, protection, hydration and so much more! Dr. Herschthal includes that serums “add an extra level of hydration and boost the skin’s ability to produce collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, which help improve the skin.” 

We Recommend: Image Skincare Vital C Serum, Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Acid, SkinMedica HA⁵® Rejuvenating Hydrator

transition your skincare from summer to fall

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Implement a Thicker Moisturizer 

It’s time to part ways with your lightweight, oil-free moisturizer your skin has been used to all summer long. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Kavita Mariwalla explains that “thicker products lock in moisture, and because the summer air is humid, a heavy moisturizer is not always necessary.” Shari Marchbein, another board-certified dermatologist, recommends a heavy cream filled with ceramides, also known as the “essential and healthy fatty acids that occur naturally in the skin but need to be replenished during the colder months.” It is important to note that there are always exceptions to the rule, and that skin types and concerns may vary from person-to-person. For those with very dehydrated skin, a more intense moisture year-round is required whereas those with oily or acne-prone skin will need a more weightless moisturizer.

We Recommend: Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Cream, Osea Atmosphere Protection Cream, Sunday Riley ICE Ceramide Moisturizing Cream, SkinMedica Replenish Hydrating Cream 

transition your skincare from summer to fall

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Keep Your SPF Ritual 

No matter how often you may expose yourself to the sun, SPF is always a must! Your skin is prone to sun damage no matter where, when or how you go about your day. Dr. Herschthal says, “In overcast weather, UV rays penetrate the skin, increasing your risk of skin cancer and accelerating aging.” She recommends adding in a mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to aid in blocking UVA and UVB rays. This is one step you won’t want to lose when you transition your skincare from summer to fall!

We Recommend: Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40, Supergoop Glowscreen SPF 40, Tula Daily Sunscreen Gel Broad Spectrum SPF 30, EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

transition your skincare from summer to fall

Photo from Kopari

Body Lotion  – Never Enough! 

According to Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, Joshua Zeichner, as humidity from summer dissipates, the skin may begin to feel dry and itchy due to the lack of moisture in the air which assists in hydrating your skin. This is why loading up on moisturizers from head to toe is so crucial! “Moisturizers both provide a protective barrier over the skin, allowing it to retain hydration and draw in hydration to the outer skin layer,” he says. Just be sure to avoid drying and irritating ingredients such as fragrances, implies Dr. Herschthal. Another trick is investing in a quality humidifier to help keep the dry air at bay and give your skin a more comfortable environment. 

We Recommend: Kopari Hydrating Body Milk Lotion with Shea Butter and Chamomile, Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel, Necessaire The Body Lotion, Chantecaille CBD 300 Face and Body Cream

transition your skincare from summer to fall

Photo from LANEIGE

Load Up on the Lip Balm & Masks

The seasonal saga continues as the skin isn’t the only part of your routine that needs attention during the fall – the lips get dry, too. The lips are at a higher risk for chapping, flaking and even cracking. To prevent this frustrating feeling, layer on a deep moisturizing balm that contains petrolatum, glycerin, beeswax or oils to lock in moisture. Even better, try a lip mask for optimal smoothness. 

We Recommend: Laneige Lip Sleep Mask, Jane Iredale LipDrink Lip Balm, PCA Skin Overnight Lip Mask

Save your skin this fall by following these tips, and don’t trick-but-TREAT yourself to a healthy, happy glow all PSL season long – I know I will! Let us know in the comments which skincare product you can’t wait to try when you transition your skincare from summer to fall!

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