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By Marissa DeSantis
Embracing the fall season’s cooler weather isn’t just about breaking out the spicy-scented candles and cozy sweaters (although, I will definitely be burning BBW’s Pumpkin Apple Candle around the clock and living in my turtlenecks, thank you very much). The lower temperatures can also send your skin into panic mode if you aren’t strategically swapping out your lightweight summer gel cleansers and moisturizers for more hydrating options.
That’s where this list of new launches and tried-and-true skincare favorites come in to keep your skin on track and completely flake-free. From a balm-like handmade moisturizer that creates a protective barrier on the skin to a hyaluronic acid-packed lip treatment that gives lips a plumped boost as it keeps them smooth, these are the eight products that will be on repeat in our fall (and even our winter!) skincare routine.
Technically, this has been part of my skincare routine since it launched in July, but I fully plan to continue applying the Paula’s Choice Lip Treatment Booster every night throughout the fall, too. The treatment goes on clear like a gloss, but it was designed to do a whole lot more than just add shine to lips.
Hyaluronic spheres draw and hold moisture to the lips to naturally give them a fuller appearance, while ingredients like squalane, shea butter, and cocoa butter further help to moisturize, softening any dry cracks or flakes. The brand also combined several peptide ingredients aimed at treating the signs of lip aging like lines and loss of firmness.
Gel cleansers can feel more refreshing in the summer, but as the temperature starts to drop, the lightweight formulas that often contain exfoliating ingredients like salicylic acid can start to dry out your skin. Instead, switch to an oil-based balm cleanser that hydrates (without clogging pores!), so that skin feels refreshed instead of squeaky clean and stripped.
The Eve Lom Cleanser is my longtime favorite for its luxe formula that includes cocoa butter, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, and Egyptian chamomile oil. Massage the cleanser onto dry skin and rinse it off with warm water when you’re in a rush, or use the included muslin cloth for a more indulgent, spa-like experience right at home. Balm cleansers are also superior when it comes to removing makeup—yes, even stubborn waterproof formulas—so making the switch is an all-around win-win.
If you spent any time in the sun over the summer, you may be noticing dullness or even hyperpigmentation in the form of sunspots. Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, MD, FAAD, developed these easy-to-use Micro Peel Peptide Pads to exfoliate away dead skin cells, debris, and pollutants that get trapped on the skin’s surface as well as in the pores. Each pre-soaked pad is infused with 10% glycolic acid, which is responsible for exfoliating and promoting skin that’s smoother, brighter, and less prone to breakouts.
But to counteract any signs of irritation, Dr. Loretta included marine peptides, kola seed extract, and guarana seed extract in each pad to replenish moisture and soothe the skin. Use these as part of your evening skincare routine three to seven times each week for smoother, brighter skin that better absorbs the rest of your skincare products (just be sure to wear sunscreen every morning as AHAs like glycolic acid increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun).
A prescription-only retinoid remains a dermatologist staple for treating signs of aging, sun damage, and acne. And though the over-the-counter vitamin A derivative, retinol, isn’t quite as strong (aka it will take longer for you to see the same results as you would from a retinoid), it does tend to be less irritating as your skin acclimates. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Face Serum Capsules perfectly portion out your nightly dose of retinol in an individually packaged capsule without added fragrance, parabens, or silicones.
The retinol serum was designed to be applied after cleansing and before your moisturizer to decrease the likelihood of the redness, dryness, and skin flaking that often happens during the first several weeks of use. You can make the transition to retinol easier on your skin by starting with every other night application and gradually working your way to nightly use—and it should always be used in conjunction with a broad-spectrum sunscreen during the day.
Set your skin up for success all fall with this skin barrier-strengthening serum-in-moisturizer formula. The Tatcha Indigo Repair Serum In Cream Treatment uses ceramides to help replenish the lipid layer of the skin that prevents water loss (and diminishes the appearance of the fine lines that can pop up as a result of dryness). Japanese indigo and red sage root are also included in this concentrated formula to calm signs of irritation caused by pollution and environmental stress such as redness and dry patches.
For a do-it-all eye cream, SkinMedica’s latest launch works both immediately and overtime to tackle all of your concerns at once. The Instant Bright Eye Cream was formulated to correct dark circles, sagging, puffiness, lines, and dehydrated skin when applied twice daily under the eyes and at the eyelids. Phenylethyl resorcinol and marine extracts help to brighten hyperpigmentation and dark under-eye circles, while caffeine, Persian silk tree extract, and St. Paul’s wort combat puffiness and uneven skin tone.
To protect the delicate skin under your eyes from free radical damage (commonly caused by daily exposure to air pollution and sunlight), SkinMedica added grape flower cell extract into the formula, and ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and squalane to help keep skin moisturized and smooth.
This is another one of my colder weather go-to’s, and though it’s a bit of a splurge, it’s well worth it if you suffer from dry skin. Fresh Crème Ancienne is made by hand in a monastery to ensure that the texture, which is much thicker than your average moisturizer, is never compromised. Because it’s so rich, a tiny dab is all you need to keep skin moisturized (without feeling greasy).
The cream also uses protecting and soothing ingredients like meadowfoam seed oil, vitamin E, and chamomile wax, which makes it just as good for sensitive skin as it is for normal, combination, and dry types.
This classic L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (and its equally essential counterpart, Shea Butter Foot Cream) can be found in my nightstand drawer no matter what the season. The ultra-rich cream is formulated with 20% organic shea butter, honey, coconut oil, and almond extract to keep hands and cuticles smooth and free from any cracking or flaking from the first days of fall right on through to the icy cold winter months.
It has been especially helpful with all of the extra hand washing throughout the pandemic, and it even comes in a mini size that’s perfect for throwing in your purse and reapplying after every hit of drying hand sanitizer.