By Theresa Harding
Of all the seasons, perhaps the most romanticized and hotly anticipated is autumn. We expect orange-hued days spent snuggled under a blanket, and we look forward to wearing our favorite jumpers once again.
But what may look pretty in a picture often doesn’t bode well for our skin. With a sharp drop in temperature making us switch on the heating, the autumn weather can wreak havoc on any skin type. Here are top natural remedies for autumn skin care:
I always knew when I needed to exfoliate my skin because I’d get the rolls of what looked like dead skin that would appear on my skin immediately after I’d step out of the shower and dry off. Post-summer skin looks dehydrated and shallow, and exfoliation is extremely important as it gets rid of the dead damaged cells. This step will prepare the skin to absorb more moisture and nutrition. You could go for professional exfoliation methods such as peeling. Sensitive acne-prone skin needs professional chemical peeling whereas normal to dry skin types do well with dermabrasion. You can have home treatments with products that contain light peeling properties such as those which include Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Glucosamine, Retinol or Retinoids. These products allow daily skin renewal, and fresh younger skin is seen.
Hot summer causes dehydration, and thereby wrinkles and fine lines appear on the skin. So, it is important to really take a look at your skin care products when choosing natural remedies for autumn. The moisture lost needs to be properly replenished, before the onset of winter. Moisturize at least twice daily after cleansing. Dry, normal and combination skin types may use a light oil free liquid or gel moisturizer. For drier skin types, choose a thicker cream based moisturizer meant for dry skin. Along with your facial skin, you need to take care of your body also. Be sure to take short warm baths and apply moisturizer to your damp skin.
Intensive skin treatments come in the form of serums or concentrated emulsions and should be done on the damaged skin once or twice in a year. Your skin care products that contain Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Flavonoids, and Retinoid (Synthetic Vitamin A) are good treatments to reverse sun damage and improve skin tone. Some moisturizers also come with Vitamins. For a better effect use both – apply serum under the moisturizer either twice daily or as a night repair treatment. You can also go for at home treatments using masks and packs. Skin lightening treatments are very popular during Fall. In using masks, you need to exfoliate your skin (Do not exfoliate more than twice a week) and prepare it for treatment.
Although the autumn sun is not as strong as it was in summer, it is still necessary for you to use your sunscreen regularly. You can find some skin care products that contain sunscreen. A sunscreen with SPF of at least 15 is required in autumn. Patch dryness, eczema and psoriasis, seborrhea and pityriasis rosacea can start to flare. Even oily skin needs a moisturizer to keep oil production at bay, so use oil-free liquid moisturizers. If you have “sun spots” on your skin because of sun exposure from the previous summer, you can try exfoliation and whitening treatments. However, do consult your dermatologist before undergoing any treatment.
Summer means dehydration and therefore more water intake for replenishing the moisture lost, but that should not change once the temperatures drop. In fact, you should continue to drink at least eight glasses of water a day throughout the year, irrespective of seasonal changes. This will help you to flush out the body toxins better thereby ensuring a problem-free skin. Fall is a season when fresh fruit and vegetables abound, so you can include Pears, Leeks, Pumpkins, Sweetcorn, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Blackberries, Grapes, Plums and Raspberries to provide Vitamins C, B, E and A, Iron, Zinc, Calcium, Potassium, Bioflavonoids, Omega-3 Fatty acids etc.
I’ve noticed that most blue and black colored pants cause dark spots to appear on my legs. So, I try to wear more light-colored pants to prevent the dark spots from appearing. Wearing natural, tightly woven fabrics in light colors will keep you comfortable, protect your skin and reflect the light. Avoid synthetic, man-made fabrics like polyester and nylon as these materials don’t allow moisture to effectively evaporate, causing irritation and discomfort to your skin and allowing the bacteria that can lead to spots to breed freely.
Seek out shaded areas and stay out of direct sunlight to prevent harmful UVA and UVB rays from damaging your skin. Shaded areas will also be cooler, reducing the need for your body to cool itself by sweating.
Sleep is an essential component of natural skin care. A lack of sleep can have a significantly adverse effect on our general health increasing the risk of developing illnesses like diabetes or heart disease and also mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Sleep deprivation, even just for one night, can have a real impact on skin too, causing you to be more prone to the premature signs of aging and increase the likelihood of breakouts. No skin care products will give you the most benefits if you are sleep-deprived. So, sleep well!
What remedy works best for your skin during the Autumn season?
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Healthy Living isn't difficult. It requires an ongoing lifestyle change with patience and an open mind. I teach this mindset all the time. After 14 years of transitioning from an unhealthy lifestyle to a pain-free one, I think it's important to share my knowledge and research with those who are ready to make that shift in their health and wellness.