From Fall to Winter – How to Transition Your Skincare Routine

Having great skin all year is possible, but as each new season approaches, your skin has different needs. Even minor variations in the weather may require some changes to your skincare routine, otherwise, you can end up with irritation or breakouts.

Fortunately, switching up your skincare routine doesn’t have to be difficult. With just a few adjustments, you can maintain a radiant complexion year-round. Below, we’ll guide you through the key areas to focus on when transitioning your skincare routine from fall to winter.

Your Personal Skincare Guide: Fall to Winter


Your cleanser serves as the foundation of your skincare routine, and you want to make sure you’re using a product that appropriately suits your skin’s needs. As your skin adjusts to cooler, drier weather, consider switching to a creamy cleanser. If your climate is still fairly warm during fall, you may be able to get away with using a foamy face wash until the weather changes. But once the temperature drops, a creamy cleanser will give your face the gentle moisture it needs to withstand harsher weather.

When winter approaches, consider using a cleanser that has hyaluronic acid, which helps skin maintain moisture and provides anti-aging benefits. Also, when showering or washing your face, avoid using super-hot water. Long, hot showers can dehydrate your skin, and during winter, your skin needs all the moisture it can get.


During colder months, there is usually less water in the air, which can make it difficult for your skin to retain moisture. And when your skin is dehydrated, fine lines and wrinkles are more likely to show up. But fall sometimes brings varied temperatures: Some days might be hot and dry, while others may be a bit chilly. So, if you want to avoid using a moisturizer that’s too heavy during this transition period, choose a gel-based product.

Gel-based moisturizers will help your skin stay hydrated, but they’re lightweight enough for warmer days. You might also want to use a product that helps correct any hyperpigmentation you may have developed from those long days spent in the sun this summer. For winter, you should definitely choose a cream moisturizer, which forms a barrier on the skin and helps keep in much-needed moisture.

When using a moisturizer, it’s best to apply it right after you’re done showering or washing your face. First gently pat your face dry with a towel, then apply your moisturizer immediately. This approach allows you to take advantage of the fact that your pores are open, allowing moisturizer to fully sink in.


The dry conditions of fall and winter can be highly irritating to your skin, and you may begin to notice flaky, dry patches on your face and body. Exfoliation is a great way to remove flaky patches and stimulate the production of the skin’s natural oils. Aim to incorporate a physically exfoliating scrub once or twice per week. If your skin really needs a jump start, consider a chemical peel. Rather than working on the surface of the skin, chemical exfoliation works at the cellular level to improve the condition and appearance of skin. Your dermatologist can help you choose a treatment that’s best for your skin type.


Good skincare isn’t just about what you put on your skin – it’s also about what you put in your body. Some of the most effective ways to get healthy skin is by maintaining a good diet and drinking enough water. You’ve no doubt heard about the importance of staying hydrated, and for good reason. Skin contains around 30% water, so when you stay adequately hydrated, you can help improve the elasticity and resilience of your skin.

Likewise, you should aim to incorporate “healthy fats” into your diet, including foods like salmon, avocado, and nuts. These foods contain essential omega-3 fatty acids, which improve the health of skin cell membranes. When eaten on a regular basis, you can help reduce inflammatory skin conditions and improve the overall appearance of your skin.


Although sunscreen probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about fall and winter skincare, it’s still important to protect your skin during this time. Clouds can block some visible light, but harmful ultraviolet rays can still pass through and damage your skin. Be sure to always wear sunscreen when heading outdoors, even if it looks cloudy.

In terms of protecting your skin from harsh conditions, there are some measures you can take beyond skincare products. Using a humidifier in your home will help replace the moisture that is otherwise lacking in the air. Besides the naturally dry conditions during this time of year, your home, office, and probably everywhere you go indoors will likely have the heat blasting, which can also dry out your skin. To give your skin an extra boost of moisture, use a humidifier to maintain a more comfortable humidity level in your home.

When it comes to fall and winter skincare, the above adjustments will help you have radiant skin, even when the temperatures drop. If you’d like to consult with a dermatologist for personalized skincare recommendations, contact Dermatology Medical Group, Inc. in San Francisco today at (415) 362-2238.