How to Transition Your Skincare Routine for Autumn

With every season should come a re-think of your skincare routine. Just as we swap our summer linen for thick woollen jumpers, we should look to reinvent our skincare routines for autumn. You may think this is a marketing ploy to get everyone to buy four different moisturisers however it’s quite the contrary when you start to think about how your skin feels in different seasons.

The most common skin issue faced in autumn is the impairment of the skin barrier which can manifest in symptoms of dryness, sensitivity, and a lacklustre look. When temperatures suddenly change, our skin barrier becomes more damaged and lets pollution and other aggravators deep into the skin causing inflammation, sensitivity, and redness.

No matter your skin type, as the seasons change, the amount of moisture, heat, cold and wind have an adverse effect on your skin. Take moisturising, for instance, you should moisturise all year round but when it’s humid do you feel like applying a thick moisturiser? Probably not. As there’s more moisture in the air, your skin won’t feel as dry and feels more hydrated, so you probably reach for a lighter moisturiser than what you would in winter.

The key is to change your routine for the environment, but how do we do this? The answer is simple, don’t overwhelm your skin and keep your autumn routine simple.

Skin can be drier and flakier in autumn

Consistent Cleansing

Cleansing in the morning and evening is fundamental to clear skin. In autumn, your skin accumulates dirt and sweat throughout the day (and even when you sleep) that needs to be removed so the skin barrier doesn’t become irritated. The action of cleansing helps increase blood flow and aids in the elimination of toxins, so don’t rush it, take time to give yourself a little face massage whilst you’re at it. Drier skin can benefit from balms or oil cleansers to help replace lipids and reduce flakiness, and oily skin can benefit from using a gel-based cleanser. No matter your skin type, choose a cleanser packed with antioxidants and plant actives, as this helps ease inflammation and sensitivities of your skin in autumn.  

Hydrate with Hyaluronic Acid

As we start to turn on the heater and the days get a little colder throughout autumn, our skin can start to feel drier and less hydrated. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that helps the skin hold onto water by hydrating the outer layers of the skin and quickly increases the skin’s moisture levels. One of the best things about hyaluronic acid is that it plays well with other ingredients, so look for a serum with a combination of hyaluronic acid and antioxidants.    

Rebuild the Barrier with a Moisturiser

Look to ceramides and lipids to renew and reinforce your skin barrier as they prevent moisture loss and help retain hydration when the temperature starts to drop in autumn. Oiler skin types may want to continue using a lighter moisturiser in autumn and swap to a heavier moisturiser once winter is in full swing. Drier skin types should look for nutrient packed moisturisers rich in plant oils like macadamia, jojoba, avocado, almond, and sunflower oils and should be moisturising morning and night to keep hydration levels in check.

Moisturisers for dry skin - Hydrating Day Defence & Intensive Night Repair


The skin’s natural cell turnover process creates an accumulation of dead skin cells on the top layer of skin. It’s a bit like a layer of cling film over your skin and when you apply products, the ingredients can’t penetrate the skin. Gentle exfoliation of your skin in autumn will help buff away the top layer of skin dulling dead skin cells and allows for greater product absorption once the debris has been cleared from the skin’s surface.

Start Using Retinol

Now that the piping hot, sun filled days of summer are over, you can start to ramp up your use of retinol knowing that your risk of sun exposure is less. Retinol makes the skin more sensitive to sun, so it’s best used in the cooler months and should always be followed with a SPF if using in the daytime. Retinol increases cell turnover, regulates oil production, and improves the appearance of pigmentation but as with any new ingredient you introduce to your routine, start slow and allow your skin to build up a tolerance.

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