We’re as unsure as anyone as to what’s going on with the weather in the UK these days – it seems to be blazing sunshine one minute, torrential rain the next. But one thing we can be sure of as autumn creeps in is that our skin will begin to feel the pressure.
‘In summer we are outside more and exposing our skin to more sun, while autumn brings with it drier air,’ explains Annee de Mamiel, founder of the eponymous natural skincare line. ‘Other seasonal elements that affect our skin include changes in temperature, central heating, air conditioning, pollution levels and the amount of daylight.’
Basically, our complexions have a tough old time when the temperature plummets. So what can we do to counteract this? According to Annee, it’s all about rebalancing levels of hydration and moisturisation, but instead of using more product, it may simply be revising the way you use your current ones.
With this in mind, there are five simple steps to keeping your skin happy and healthy all year round – and you can start them now.
The biggest – and perhaps most effective – way to shift gears is to alter the textures and types of formulas you are using in your routine. Post-summer skin can be tired, stressed and sun damaged. This transitional time can be a key period to build your skin’s lipid barriers (that protect moisture) back up, agrees Annee, who is also a holistic facialist, acupuncturist, and expert in Chinese Medicine. ‘It’s a great time to repair and nourish our skin after a summer of sun exposure,’ she explains.
For this reason, stash your lightweight gel-water lotions away, and reach for something a little richer. There is naturally less humidity in the air during autumn and winter, meaning less moisture for skin. Indoor heating, wind, and rain can all negatively impact the complexion, too. A comforting, deeply nourishing cream is best for the colder months to protect skin from the elements and to prevent dehydration. If you suffer from very dry skin, it’s worth layering your moisturising products; using an oil before your cream is an effective approach.
In terms of cleansing, ditch your foam or purifying formula in favour of a comforting cream cleanser for the morning time. This will boost the skin’s hydration levels while effectively cleaning the face.
While skin craves hydration year-round, the colder air means ingredients such as hyaluronic acid are especially needed around this time of year. As well as hyaluronic, other hydrating ingredients such as squalane, glycerin, and ceramides work brilliantly to lock in moisture and keep things silky and soft.
Come winter, immune systems are down, and the chance of catching a cold is seriously up. For this reason, reach for antioxidants in both your diet and your skincare. Every skincare regime benefits from vitamin C, which can brighten, add glow, and increase skin’s overall health.
Although summer time requires more diligent application of sun screen, it is still absolutely essential to wear SPF year round, even in the colder, duller months. In fact, up to 80 per cent of the sun’s rays can penetrate through clouds, meaning skin is never safe when bare.
It makes sense, however, that the type of SPF you may want to use will change between summer and autumn/winter. We will no longer be lying on the beach or going barefaced with a tan, so most of us will want a lightweight formula that can be used as a base for make-up, and that won’t slide off mid-way through the day. These brilliant options are perfect for make-up application, and will still protect skin from damaging UV rays:
In the winter time, skin can feel neglected due to a lack of sunlight, which provides crucial vitamins to keep skin, hair and nails healthy. The best way to compensate for this is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
However, incorporating an all-rounder supplement to take care of skin during the winter months can really help. You can pick these up in health stores or pretty much anywhere online, and don’t have to spend a lot on them. ‘We need to focus on the cause of the issue of what we are seeing on our skin. Topical products only do so much, I always like to dig deeper and address the why,’ says Annee.
‘As strange as it sounds, people forget that skin covers our entire body and as we add layers of clothing, exfoliation becomes more important to help encourage movement of lymph and circulation body – brushing and a lovely scrub are key,’ Annee adds.’I would also go for a body serum if needed to maintain the moisture level.’
Feature by Rebecca Fearn