When it comes to making the transition from summer to fall, we tend to clean house. Sandals are replaced with closed-toed flats, strappy day dresses and bikini coverups are boxed away to make room for sweaters and jackets. The coral and peachy makeup hues find a place in the back of the drawer as we sift out our berry stains and plum blushes. But it’s our skin care routines that need the most maintenance. And I don’t mean simply a thicker moisturizer. The quick transition from summer’s heat to fall’s dryer climate can really take a toll on your complexion. I’ve called on Simple Skincare Consulting Dermatologist, Dr. Jennifer M. Segal for her tips on making this transition as seamless (and breakout-free) as possible.
Beauty Banter: 1. What is the number one skin concern when transitioning from summer to fall?
Jennifer Segal: Maintaining skin moisture. As the climate becomes cooler and drier, the skin needs to adjust to maintain its natural healthy barrier, and benefits from a gentle skin care routine with cleansing products that do not over dry the skin, and moisturizers that nourish and protect it.
BB: 2. Summer is often met with heat, the sun’s harsh rays and humidity. How does this bode for our skin?
JS: It is well known that the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun contribute not only to skin cancer and skin aging, but also the flaring of sensitive skin conditions such as rosacea. Heat and humidity can cause increased blood flow to the skin, and increased sensitivity and breakouts. Overall, the goal should be to nourish and protect the skin. I always recommend a gentle skin care routine combined with regular use of sunscreen that effectively blocks UVA and UVB rays. And, of course, staying out of the sun as much as possible! In addition, summer heat means more sweat and clogged pores. In the summer, we need to effectively cleanse the skin without over drying it, and I love the Simple line because it is so nourishing.
BB: 3. Is there a way that we can remedy our skin from the effects of summer climate?
JS: Applying antioxidants to the skin every morning provides extra sun protection, and should be used in addition to (not instead of) a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Topical Vitamins C and E have well-documented benefit, and I use them every day. Applying topical Vitamin A (tretinoin) two to three nights a week (doing so more frequently during the summer can be irritating) helps to undo the pigmentation and dullness caused by increased sun exposure, and also reduces clogged pores that lead to breakouts. Eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables and staying hydrated by drinking water are also essential to overall health and the health of the skin. And healthy skin is beautiful skin!
BB: 4. What is different about the fall climate that will alter the natural ph balance of our skin?
JS: In the fall, the air has a drop in humidity, which can alter the skin pH (4.5-5.5) and make it more permeable, and therefore more susceptible to water loss. A skin care routine (particularly cleansers) should allow skin to achieve and maintain its normal pH, ensuring a healthy barrier.
BB: 5. I notice that in summer I tend to break out more. Why is this?
JS: There are a variety of reasons for summer breakouts. If you have sensitive skin, the increased breakouts could be rosacea, which is triggered by increased sun exposure. In this case, a gentle skin care routine, sunscreen, and sun avoidance (sit in the shade!) are essential. If you have normal to oily skin, you could have an increase in clogged pores from sweat and sunscreen products, which can then lead to breakouts. Do NOT do without sunscreen, but do regularly cleanse your skin and gently exfoliate as you are able to.
BB: 6. In that transition period when the weather becomes a bit drier, I don’t necessarily want to slather my face with heavy creams. JS: What’s an alternative? Can you give us some tips for keeping breakouts at bay during climate changes?
Keeping the skin hydrated starts with cleansing. Using a gentle cleanser that does not over dry the skin is essential, and can make it possible to use lighter moisturizers. Simple has Light and a Rich Moisturizers, and I love them both, particularly the Rich because it provides extra hydration without a greasy feel. It is important to remember that breakouts are not always caused by clogged pores—sensitive skin breakouts can worsen with changes in the weather, increased sun exposure, and stress. Using gentle skin care products such as Simple Skincare is essential to preventing breakouts in sensitive skin.
BB: 7. What are a few great skin ingredients that benefit the natural state of healthy skin for fall’s climate?
JS: Topical Vitamin E can enrich and add luster to dry, stressed skin. Eating a diet rich in natural oils is beneficial as well.
BB: 8. Why do you find the Simple range to be ideal for this finicky transition period?
JS: Getting through this seasonal transition is all about maintaining balance and hydration in the skin, and Simple has something for everyone. Whether you prefer a gel or a creamy wash (or no water at all—the wipes are great!), a light moisturizer or a thicker one, the constant among the Simple products is that they gently cleanse and nourish the skin without causing irritation. I particularly love that they are readily available in drugstores and very reasonably priced. This access makes them especially ideal!
BB: 9. What are the 2 products you would recommend for all skin types when making this transition from summer to fall?
JS: I love the Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturizer because it nourishes the skin without feeling greasy, and the Cleansing Facial Wipes for a great refresh that does not over dry the skin.
BB: 10. What is your role with Simple Skincare?
JS: I am the Consulting Dermatologist for Simple Skincare, and am delighted to be able to educate Americans (it is already well known in the UK) about this skincare line. So many of my patients struggle with sensitive skin (as to I), and this is such a wonderful and accessible solution. Both the products and the Simple Skincare brand are in keeping with my personal philosophy that healthy skin is beautiful skin.