Most people find that their skin doesn’t behave the same year round. In the summertime, for example, it tends to be on the oilier side, while the frigid winter weather tends to leave us with dry, cracked skin. Given these textural discrepancies, when seasons change, our skincare routine requires an overhaul. “Without a doubt, seasonal changes can have an effect on the skin, and not always for the better,” says expert and celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau, adding, “Did you know that fall is the most common time of year for breakouts? Breakouts are increased because the oil flow in the skin during the summer months is still occurring, but the cooler air is creating layers of dead skin cell build-up. The result is trapped oil and bacteria underneath the surface of the skin resulting in increased breakout activity.”
To begin the transition process schedule a professional facial or chemical peel to reverse any damage caused by the time spent outdoors over the summer months. Next, Rouleau says that it’s crucial to increase exfoliation as it can significantly improve the skin by, among other things, lightening summer sunspots, reducing clogged pores and breakouts and smoothing the skin. She goes on to explain that there are two types of exfoliants. First “chemical” or “acid” ones (like Renée Rouleau’s Glycolic Serum 10%, 17%, or 20%), that do the work for you; you apply it, leave it on the skin, and it works to dissolve the dry skin cells. These exfoliants include ingredients like Glycolic Acid, AHA’s and BHA’s, and enzymes (pumpkin, papaya, pineapple…). Second, there are “physical” exfoliants where you have to manually do the work. These exfoliants include facial brushes, sponges, and facial scrubs. Rouleau makes two, Mint Buffing Beads and Micro Crystal Cream, and for the best results a combination of both physical and chemical exfoliants is recommended.
It’s an unfortunate truth however, but there are some things no facial – no matter how out-of-this-world – can cover and that’s why Dr. Kenneth Mark, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and fellowship-trained Mohs skin cancer surgeon with two practices in the Hamptons, one in Manhattan and one in Aspen, notes that if you want to look your best then now is the time to schedule your Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing (specifically the Mixto).
“Typically,” Dr. Mark says, “this procedure is avoided in the summer, as patients do not want to be peeling and flaking during the Hamptons’ busy social calendar, and also prefer not to be applying ointment to their faces in the post-operative period during the hot months.” Dr. Mark also points out that Botox typically lasts about four months so if you want to avoid another thing to have to spend time and money on around the holiday season get it in the coming month or two.
As for fillers (think Restylane and Juvederm), “if you want to look your best for the holidays don’t wait until November, get your first injections by October so that you can have additional filler injected about three weeks before Thanksgiving for optimal filling/correction. Then you will be set through New Years and for months to come,” says Dr. Mark.
Whether you go the in-office procedure route or stick with home treatments, one thing’s for sure, it’s imperative to remember, as Dr. Mark points out, “that even though the sun is less intense in the fall and winter than in the summer, you still need to use protection as part of an anti-aging and skin cancer prevention strategy.”
Aside from professional skin treatments, treating your skin to a mini facial at home is a great way to give a boost to your skin and to that end Rouleau recommends the following steps:
Step 1: Cleanse skin with your favorite cleansing lotion or gel cleanser.
Step 2: Apply a thin coat of an exfoliating peel and leave on for 5-10 minutes to dissolve dry skin cells. Rinse well.
Step 3: Immediately apply a facial scrub to the face and massage in tiny circles for 30-60 seconds to lift off dry skin cells.
Step 4: Apply a few drops of a facial serum appropriate for your skin type.
Step 5: Apply a thin layer of a mask appropriate for your skin type to entire face and neck. Let dry for 10 minutes. Rinse well and apply moisturizer.