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Five Tips for Fighting Dry Autumn Skin


While many women love fall for the turning leaves, the comfort foods, and the tall boots, the dry skin that often arrives in September/October is another matter.  Why must the changing of seasons destabilize your skin?  Well, it doesn’t have to if you’re ready to fight it before it begins.  Here are a few tips to keep the flaky dry skin of fall at bay.

Step 1: Exfoliate.  It seems counter intuitive, but removing dead skin cells can actually prevent skin.  Manual exfoliation with a brush device or similar tool is what works best for me.  I own both the Clarisonic and the Luna Foreo Mini.

People often ask which one I like better, but they have different purposes.  The Luna is a gentle, silicone device that can be used every time you wash your face to soup up your cleanser.  It’s rechargeable (but the charge lasts 300 uses), and you never need to replace a brush.  It’s also a snap to clean.  So it’s a great option for light exfoliation and better cleansing every day.

The Clarisonic, however, is built for deeper cleaning once or twice per week.  When you’re dealing with seriously dull, dry skin, this is what reveals brighter, smoother skin in one to two uses.  Also, if I have a bad breakout, I use my Clarisonic so that my skincare products can penetrate deeper into the skin.

Both products are great, you just have to assess your needs before you choose.

Step 2: Deep Hydration.  Post-Clarisonic is when I like to use my sheet masks for maximum effectiveness.  This Egg Cream mask has egg extract, coconut water, and vitamin-C to nourish and hydrate skin.  I also like Dr. Jart’s Vital Hydra Solution mask because it hydrates and helps remove impurities from the skin.

Don’t like sheet masks? First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Mask hydrates and heals distressed skin with oatmeal.  It’s also a best of beauty award winner.  If you need a similar drugstore product, try Freeman’s Overnight Sleeping Mask.

Step 3: Daily Moisture. Your daily routine determines your skin’s balance.  First, remove any cleansers that strip your skin of moisture and switch to something gentle, but powerful.  I like Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser or Boscia’s Cool Cleansing Oil .  For a drugstore brand, people like Simple’s Hydrating Cleansing Oil.

Then, you need a hydrating day cream.  I use Boots No.7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream which comes in a dry-skin version and a normal or oily skin version.  I use the very dry sparingly, because a little goes a long way.

Next, you need a night cream.  I prefer to use the Tony Moly Banana Sleeping Pack two to three times per week than a different cream every night.  I love it; I just find it too heavy for daily use.  For every night use, I like Mario Badescu’s Caviar Night Cream with caviar (obvi) and coconut oil.  A little goes a long way.

Last, don’t neglect the skin on your body.  While your arms and legs may not see the light for a few more months, they still need love.  My favorite body lotion is Kiehl’s Creme de Corps.

Step 4: Treat Your Lips.  The skin on your lips is the thinnest, most sensitive skin on your face.  Don’t ignore it.  I love Paradis lip balms in Tahitian Vanilla and Watermelon scents.  If you need something stronger, Blistex Lip Medex is the way to go.

You’ll also want to exfoliate your lips regularly.  I just use a nubby washcloth and some elbow grease.

Step 5: Use a Humidifier.  What’s making your skin dry is the newly dry air, both outside and inside.  While we can’t change the weather, we can add some humidity to the indoors.  I place a humidifier by my bed to keep my skin supple and my breathing clear.  This one from Crane looks sleek and works like a dream.



  1. Jenn S. says:

    So timely, I was looking for mask recommendations. Sheet masks don’t do it for me, so I appreciate the inclusion of non-sheet options.

    My experiences with and uses of the Clarisonic and Luna Mini are in line, too – if it’s in your budget, my answer to, “Which?” is, “Both!”

    September 19, 2016/Reply
  2. Laurie says:

    Perfectly timed. I came to this site just yesterday and searched for recommendations for night cream!

    September 20, 2016/Reply
  3. Sharon says:

    Great tips! For what it’s worth, I did not have a good experience with the Crane humidifier. Its nozzle is too concentrated to adequately disperse humidity throughout the average-sized bedroom. It also must be cleaned daily to avoid mold build-up. I preferred a small Vornado humidifier, which has a filter but does a better job with whole-room humidity.

    September 20, 2016/Reply
  4. Lindsey says:

    This question is a little late, but where in this routine is the best place to use an acne cream? I feel like pimple cream and moisturizer are directly at odds with each other but I need both on a daily basis! Thanks for the post!

    September 21, 2016/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I don’t use acne cream except as a spot treatment. And I’m weird in that I wait until my moisturizer has sunk in, and then apply it. If I’m using a serum, I apply it before.

      September 21, 2016/Reply