Whether you like it or not, summer is winding down. That means we’re heading into the cooler, darker days of fall and winter, so it's time to swap out some products in your medicine cabinet. Why? Put simply, your skin reacts differently when the environment and weather change. And you no doubt need to do some damage control on the skin that's taken some abuse over the summer.
I reached out to Sofie Pavitt, the in-demand New York aesthetician, for her advice on what we need to be focusing on right now to get our skin into shape. “Fall and winter are the ideal seasons to focus on corrective products as the heat and sun exposure from the summer months is reduced,” she says. Here is her game plan for smooth, healthy and itch-free skin all season long. Better to start now before it really gets cold. Follow this advice and you’ll not only feel great, but you’ll be looking better too.
Exfoliate (But Don’t Scrub)
“I love to ramp up exfoliation in the winter months to reduce dryness and flaky winter skin,” says Pavitt. “Alpha hydroxy acids will help dissolve the bonds between dead skin and healthy skin underneath.” But instead of relying on harsh exfoliators or scrubs to slough off dry skin, she recommends something gentler. These easy two-step pads are soaked in a formula of seven different types of exfoliating acids with antioxidant-rich resveratrol that clear away flaky skin and fine lines while shrinking the appearance of pores.
Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel, $88 by Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare
Supercharge Your Skin
“Adding a retinol into your routine will speed up your cell turnover and diminish fine lines and wrinkles,” she says. Any dark spots and other damage from the summer sun can be faded using retinols too. “I like using retinols in these months as they can sensitize you to the sun, so I find them easier to use in the darker months.” This serum, which utilizes granactive retinoid (a compound derivative of vitamin A), is ten times more stable than your standard retinol and ensures less irritation. It’s both gentle yet effective at tackling uneven skin tone, fine lines and even breakouts.
Anti-aging Retinol Night Serum, $165 by Patricks
Up The Hydration Level
As the air gets colder and dry heat starts pumping into our homes, moisture is key to keeping skin looking and feeling its best. “Layering oils on top of your everyday moisturizer helps seal it in and protects your skin against the elements,” says Pavitt. “But always make sure your oil is the last step in your routine - a little goes a long way.” This blend of 20+ oils and antioxidant-rich extracts from California’s own Onekind not only hydrates skin but repairs damage too. Best of all, it absorbs quickly without leaving you looking shiny or feeling sticky.
Nourishing Facial Oil, $45 by Onekind
Sunscreen Is Still Required
Just because you're not lounging by the water doesn't mean you don't still require protection from the sun. We're subjected to harmful UVA and UVB rays all year long, so it's essential to remain diligent about SPF. The best sunscreen is the one you'll use on a day-to-day basis, which is why we opt for a morning moisturizer with built-in protection. Jaxon Lane's formula - which combines soothing green tea with hydrating vitamin E and hyaluronic acid - is both lightweight and non-greasy.
Daily SPF 50+ moisturizer, $32 by Jaxon Lane
Think Beyond Your Face
One thing lots of guys can forget to do, even if they're diligent about taking care of their face, is protecting the rest of their bodies. Keep itchy skin and dry hands at bay by scrubbing up in the shower (with an ingenious oversized exfoliating wash cloth from Japan) and then applying a rich body cream (formulated to soothe itchy skin and reduce inflammation) after toweling off. This one-two punch ensures your skin is healthy and hydrated and you won't get any cracking or flaking.
Exfoliating shower towel, $14.99 by Goshi
Body cream, $72 by Grown Alchemist