I, like so many women, have some issues … with my skin. I have incredibly dry skin on every part of my body except my forehead. With the help of a very talented dermatologist, I have tried everything to keep my skin healthy. When October rolls around and the weather gets a little cooler, my skin starts to panic. I immediately get into defense mode. These are some of the tips I have learned along the way. By the time you are getting ready for that cider mill or haunted hay ride, your skin will be looking incredible.
1. Argan Oil
A few years ago I was desperately looking for something to hydrate my dry October skin, I stumbled upon Argan oil. It has been love ever since. Granted I have dry skin, but I have given this wonder oil to my friends with various types of skin and they all love it. Some people feel like it stops the aging process, I am not so sure about that, but I do know it makes my skin feel better than it has ever felt. The oil comes from a kernel on a tree in Morocco. It is very important when buying Argan oil that you look at the ingredients. A lot of companies have tried to jump on the bandwagon creating synthetic oil, but you don’t want that — stick to the real stuff. Josie Maran has a great Argan Oil line available at Sephora. The great thing about this product is that it can be used on your hair as well. It works like a leave on conditioner. But be careful as my dermatologist always says to me, "a dab will do ya." A little goes a very long way, so while it is not cheap, at least it will last you a long time.
2. Vitamin D
I would like to preface this by saying do not take anything without consulting your doctor or medical professional. Ok, now that I have the disclaimer out of the way I have to tell you about this vitamin. If you already take a multi vitamin, you are getting some Vitamin D, although most women are not getting enough. There is a lot of talk about the lack of ‘D’ in women. But I just want to stick to the benefits to the skin especially for the fall and winter. We get some of the vitamin from the sun, but what happens with the sun goes down? Well, we need a supplement. When you have the correct levels of Vitamin D, your skin is loving life and spreading the word. Some of the benefits are reduced acne, less inflammation and some women have found their psoriasis to be much more manageable. This is truly the time of year to evaluate your Vitamin D intake. Your skin will thank you.
So many women think that once the days get shorter they can pack up their SPF with the flip flops. That is not the case. Using a sunscreen everyday even in autumn is vital. The sun still has some powerful rays in the colder months and your skin is vulnerable. It is a good rule of thumb to get in the habit of sunscreen in the morning with your regular face washing/hydrating line up. Philosophy makes a great face moisturizer with SPF called Hope in a Jar with SPF. You can find that at a variety of places like Ulta or Sephora. Also, carry a travel size tube in your purse or gym bag because during the day the SPF will wear off leaving you naked to the sun and those damaging UV rays.
4. Coconut Oil
Not only is coconut oil a great substitute for butter when cooking, it also works on your skin. The oil works like a magnet for the gunk under your skin. There are a few methods you can use, but I like the coconut oil wash the best. Mix equal parts coconut oil and castor oil, rub on your face gently and then wipe off. If you want to really get a facial experience, apply this in the shower and let the steam really soak the mixture into your skin. Remember when I said coconut oil is like a magnet, well, that is the biggest drawback this product has. After the first few times you will notice some acne like bumps. That is just your skin getting the junk out. Stick with it; you will thank me later.
5. Coconut Water
Speaking of coconuts, the water just like the oil is pretty awesome. Most people think of coconuts as the smell of summer. I envision a bronze sun worshipper reeking of that familiar coconut scent. This water does not taste like that nor does it remind me of summer. Coconut water is an acquired taste. But once you acquire it, you will be hooked. It is important to look for brands that actually have water from a coconut as their first ingredient. Many will add pineapple or orange to make them a tad tastier. This water is not cheap, but if you skip the soda for a day or two you should break even. The reason this water is such a great skin hydrator is because it has naturally occurring potassium, sodium and magnesium. Hydration is not just key in dry skin, but all skin. Drinking lots of regular water is great as well, but why not get a couple extra benefits while you are at it.
6. The Bad Stuff
Do I really have to tell you about the things that are killing your beautiful, youthful, glowing skin? I guess so because I still see so many tan faces. These are my top two pet peeves and things you need to stop doing right now to get that awesome autumn skin. First, quit smoking. You know you should, you know you want to, but do you know it is ruining your skin? Not only is it giving you a grey complexion, it is giving you some rugged upper lip lines. It's also thinning your skin. I could go on, but you know the rest. Two, break your tanning addiction. Tanning may be giving you a golden (orange) look, but it is killing your skin. Literally, KILLING your skin. It is sucking the elasticity out of your skin, and that meant if tanning doesn't give you skin cancer, it will at least give you dry, sagging, wrinkly skin. Not your best look for fall...
7. Tread Lightly
When the weather gets a little colder, the skin tends to get a little more dry. We then want to take an industrial sized loofah and scrub the heck out of our face. This is not the answer my friends, so take this fall skin care tip to heart. When you start to see those patches of dry pop up, keep calm and re-evaluate. The moisturizer that you used during the summer may not be what you need in the fall. You may need to get a heavier day or night cream. Also, you might want to switch your face wash to a no-water-needed cleaner such as CeraVe or Cetaphil, both available in most drugstores. They tend to be much easier on the skin, allowing natural moisture to stay put while still getting you squeaky clean. Also, never rub your skin to dry it. Always, always, always pat dry. No one knows your skin better than you do, so if you tend to get a bit of an acne problem once in awhile, keep an acne type wash on hand. It is better to have the tools and be prepared rather than playing catch up.
How do you get that sun kissed look when it gets dark before you get home from work? Well, the answer to that is bronzer. Some ladies have a love hate relationship with this product. I love it, but I can see how some may not. They are not using the right product. Bronzer is not meant to tan your face, it is just supposed to give you a little kick to your natural complexion. Don’t go for those super dark shades. Stick with a color that is near your natural color, nothing too dark this time of the year. The last thing you want to look like is an oompa loompa at the Friday night football game. Some really great bronzers on the market are: M.A.C Bronzing Powder and The Body Shop Honey Bronzing Powder. Both apply evenly, are compatible with a variety of skin tones and work well on sensitive skin.
Fall is such a great time of year. Do not let your skin ruin this fantastic season. Get out there and enjoy the changing leaves, cooler nights and pumpkin everything. But just don’t forget to be proactive and take care of your skin. It will thank you for years to come. Which of these fall skin care tips do you think is most helpful? Or do you have another idea to share?
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