Medical Expert: Dendy Engelman, MD, FACMS, FAAD; Gary Goldfaden, MD, FAAD
The autumn season is all about transitions. You’re already into the new school year and its activities. The beach toys and sandals have long been packed away, and the closets have been swapped out with sweaters and boots. As the leaves fall and the sun sets earlier, it also begins to get colder and drier. And with the chill in the air, you may have also noticed your skin is changing—and not necessarily for the better.
If you’ve noticed your summer glow turning a bit dull as we move toward winter, you’re not alone and there’s a reason for this. The change in season brings with it a drop in temperature and humidity levels, which can have a major effect on your skin. “This [change in season] can cause the skin to dry out, which can damage the skin barrier,” explains Dendy Engelman, MD, a dermatologist at Schafer Clinic in New York City. Add some artificial heat into this situation, and your skin really suffers.
“Post-summer damage starts to show in the form of photodamaged skin, discoloration, dehydration, a lackluster complexion, and congestion from the sun, sand, and warm, humid climates,” adds Gary Goldfaden, MD, dermatologist and founder of the Goldfaden MD skincare brand.
While no one is shielded from the effects of dry winter air, postpartum moms are particularly at risk. “Hormonal changes can cause a woman’s skin to flare up or become drier, not just during pregnancy, but afterward, too,” says Dr. Engelman. “This can lead to breakouts, dryness, and melasma. Coupled with a change in season, this can be an even bigger challenge,” Dr. Goldfaden says.
Whether you’re soldiering through the fourth trimester or you’re wondering where to start with a winter skincare routine, we have you covered. Here’s a guide to help you make the transition to cooler, drier weather without wreaking havoc on your skin, no matter your skin type.