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  • Writer's pictureDr. Carin Litani

Skincare for the Season: Fall is Here

It’s over! Summer that is. 😫 It’s not fair how summer starts late and then, as early as the end of August, we start getting hints of that dry, crisp fall air. I’m not here to complain about the New England seasons, though (Winter is Coming!!!).

What I would like to tell you is how to prepare your skin for the drier and cooler weather of fall and, let's face it, before we can blink, winter. And look, September is still a beautiful and sometimes pretty warm and often sunny month, so please enjoy it while remembering to finish up your summer sunscreen.

But let's start thinking about tweaking our skin care routine and considering treatments to clean up that summer damage.

What to Consider

The upcoming change in weather will bring with it less humidity, dry, indoor heat, and cooler wind gusts. What that means for us is drier, flaky skin. It's also time to think about procedures best done when your skin won't be as exposed to the sun.

Maintaining the Barrier

Start thinking about switching from lotions to creams (which contain less water and more oil). Creams will feel smoother and thicker and will trap your own moisture and oils more effectively which helps your skin function as a natural barrier.

Look for creams that contain ceramides. Ceramides are lipids (fats) that naturally occur in high concentrations in the outermost layers of skin where they help create a natural barrier keeping moisture in your skin and environmental irritants and pollution out. When they are depleted, the skin barrier is compromised and that's what leads to dryness, flaking, itching, inflammation, redness, and eczema. The skin also ends up looking older and more dull and wrinkly!

Ceramides can become depleted with age and diminish with sun damage and exposure to hot water, dry heat, cold weather, and harsh irritants in soaps and other products. Everyone can use ceramides and they are safe to combine with most if not all skincare ingredients. Just look for non-comedogenic on the label if you are acne prone. These ceramides are particularly useful in people already experiencing a diminished skin barrier function like those who live with eczema and psoriasis.

Some of my favorite ceramide-containing body creams are:

  • Cerave Moisturizing Cream

  • Aveeno Skin Relief Intense Moisture Repair Cream

Some favorite facial moisturizers with ceramides are:

  • SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2

  • Skin Medica TNS Treatment Cream

  • La Roche Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer

(You can absolutely use the Cerave Moisturizing Cream in small amounts on your face when it gets really dry in the winter!)

Other faves that contain ceramides:

SkinBetter Science Alpha Ret Overnight Cream Retinol, glycolic, peptides, antioxidants with ceramides to improve tolerability. All these ACTIVES and gentle on the skin … yes please!

Elta MD Barrier Renewal Complex If you love their sunscreens, you will love their moisturizer as well.

Alastin Restorative Skin Care Complex Peptides, antioxidants and ceramides … great for those trying to minimize their routine but still want effective ACTIVE ingredients.

Clearly, I love ceramides! Who hasn’t yet heard my “maintaining the barrier function of your skin” shpiel yet??!? Well, this is how you do that (oh, and moisturizing within 3 minutes of getting out of a not-super-hot shower when your skin is still damp).

Sun-Inspired Brown Spots

Fall is also the time to think about fading your brown spots (which are probably more obvious in the summer and linger into the late fall). This time of year, when your tan has faded, is a great time to try out the Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Laser, the Fraxel Restore, or the Clear and Brilliant Laser all of which target brown marks like freckles and sun spots. After one week, your skin will become so even and radiant!

I also like to introduce a skin lightening cream into the fall skincare routine which can include ingredients like hydroquinone, tranexamic acid, glycolic acid, retinol, kojic acid, and Vitamin C.

Don't Forget Your Legs!

Now that you're covering up more, Fall is a great time to consider getting rid of some of those leg veins that have been visible all summer in your shorts and dresses. Mid-to-late fall is the best time to get sclerotherapy done. The procedure involves injecting a sclerosant, a medical-grade detergent that irritates the blood vessel lining causing it to breakdown and fade way. It causes inflammation in that superficial vein which can be seen through the skin as redness for up to 6 weeks. I recommend wearing medical grade compression hose for several weeks post procedure. Know that more than one session may be necessary. Getting those legs into spring and summer shape means starting these treatments in the fall.

Drop me a note if you have questions or you'd like to make an appointment for any of these fall treatments ... and enjoy the crisp Fall weather!


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