Seasonal Skincare Routine Tips You Need for Glowing Skin This Fall & Winter (2023)
Featured Image by Angela Zhong

Is it just me, or did 2023 go by in the blink of an eye? As we brace ourselves for shorter days, chilly weather, pumpkin-spice everything, and crunchy leaves, it’s time we consider transitioning our summer skincare routines to fit the incoming season. Here’s all the best seasonal skincare routine tips for maintaining healthy and glowing skin as we wrap up this year. 

What is a Seasonal Skincare Routine?

As the name suggests, it’s a skincare routine optimized for your skin’s condition depending on the change of seasons. Depending on where you live, each season comes with its own climate and humidity levels that can ultimately impact your skin’s condition. 

So if you notice your usual oily skin turning drier during the fall season, this is a good time to reassess your routine and switch up your products. 

Why is it important to have a seasonal skincare routine?

Having a seasonal skincare routine can bring lots of benefits to your skin. Here are some advantages of having a seasonal skincare routine: 

  • You’re more aware and conscious of your skin type and its current condition.
  • You’re more selective about the products you invest in your routine (which helps you save money)
  • You know you don’t need to create a whole new routine to get the most out of it

Do I need to change up my skincare routine?

You absolutely don’t need to have a seasonal skincare routine if you find that your current products are still working well for your skin. For most, you can benefit from switching out one or two products from your usual routine. It’s completely up to you!

Creating a Seasonal Skincare Routine According to Skincare Step

Cleansing Step

Every routine starts with a good foundation! If you’re already using a solid cleanser to remove the day’s worth of impurities, grime, oil, and makeup without leaving your skin feeling dry, taut, or stripped, you can continue using it through the fall-winter season!

When to Switch Up

You can consider changing if your usual cleanser starts to make your skin feel stiff, tight, or irritated, or once you’re noticing overall changes in your skin. 

  • If you have oily skin but notice you’re not overproducing oils as much as you’d do during summer, you can switch to a hydrating gel or a gentle pH-balancing foaming cleanser. 
  • If you’re noticing more congested pores or additional acne breakouts, you can try switching to a cleanser infused with AHAs / BHAs to help your skin.
  • If you have dry or sensitized skin, you can look for milky or gel-type cleansers infused with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, or tremella mushroom. 

Our Favorite Cleansers

Toners, Essences, & Mists

While toners aren’t necessary, they can be a helpful step especially if you’re looking to “set the mood” after cleansing and prep your skin for the next steps of your routine.

When to Switch Up

Is your skin veering off its usual self with the seasonal changes? You can consider using a toner to supplement your skin depending on its current condition. Is your face feeling drier than usual? Try a nourishing and hydrating toner. If it’s feeling rough and textured, there’s nothing like a toner infused with exfoliants!

If this sounds confusing to you, no worries – here’s a further breakdown of what to look for according to your skin type:

If your skin looks dull, shiny or patchy…

This can potentially be due to dehydration and a sign that your skin is in need of hydration. You can look for products containing hyaluronic acid, panthenol (Vitamin B5), Niacinamide, Allantoin, and Ceramides, to name a few.

Best Products for Adding Hydration to Your Seasonal Skincare Routine

If your skin gets congested and extra-oily…

You can look for toners that can contain sebum regulating ingredients such as green tea, niacinamide, witch hazel, salicylic acid, Zinc PCA, or AHAs like glycolic or mandelic acids.

Best Products for Sebum Control to Add to Your Seasonal Skincare Routine

If your skin is dry and stiff…

You can opt for milky toners and essences with thicker consistencies. Many toners in this group include skin nourishing and hydrating ingredients such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, or nourishing plant oils (argan, macadamia, jojoba oils) to lock in much needed moisture for your skin. You can even consider investing in a bi-phase facial mist containing oil and water layers to keep your skin protected and happy throughout the day.

Best Products for Nourishing Skin to Add to Your Seasonal Skincare Routine

Serum Step

Serums are one of the best ways you can fully optimize your skincare routine for visible results! If you find yourself in need of tackling a specific condition or concern, you can easily swap with a serum that best suits your skin’s needs to help you gain back control.

When to Switch Up

If you see that your usual toner isn’t bringing you any improvements to your skin, you can consider adding a serum to deliver potent ingredients to the mix! 

  • For extra breakouts and congestion, you can opt for a serum containing chemical exfoliants and soothing ingredients like Centella Asiatica and tea tree oil.
  • For hyperpigmentation, you can look for a serum containing vitamin C, niacinamide, mandelic acid, glycolic acid, azelaic acid, or kojic acid, depending on your skin’s tolerance. 
  • For sensitive and irritated skin, using a serum containing skin barrier repairing ingredients like peptides, oat extract, allantoin, niacinamide, ceramides, amino acids, Centella Asiatica, or goat’s milk can help restore your skin back to health.

Our Favorite Serums

Moisturizer Step

As the seasons change, so does the weather and humidity levels in the air. Since our skin goes through a natural process known as Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL), it can either hold onto the moisture in the air (damp and humid weather) or lose it through evaporation (cold and dry weather) depending on the weather conditions around you. 

Need specifics? Here’s a breakdown below:

When to Switch Up

  • If your skin is feeling oilier than usual, you can opt for an oil-free cream with gel or lighter consistencies and a matte finish. 
  • For skin that’s not overly producing oils despite having oily skin, you can try for a slightly thicker and balm-like consistency that sinks into the skin.
  • For drier, aging, and normal skin, you can look for moisturizers with thicker textures, preferably lotion or whipped types infused with skin-nourishing plant oils and ceramides. 

Keep in mind that you don’t have to switch out your moisturizer step if your current product is keeping your skin protected and happy. If you find that your usual moisturizer is making your skin too dry or too oily, that’s a good sign to switch things up!

Best Moisturizers for Adding to Your Seasonal Skincare Routine

Sunscreen Step

Did you know sunscreen can do more than preventing your skin from getting damaged by the sun? By applying SPF everyday, you can protect your skin from sensitivity, prevent signs of aging, brighten up hyperpigmentation, and even prevent acne from getting aggravated or darker post-pimple. 

When to Switch Up

Since there are many types of sunscreens available for purchasing, the best and ideal product is one you know you’ll reach for and apply everyday. Your sunscreen should feel comfortable on your skin, blend into your skin tone, and sit well alone or under makeup. Consider investing a small sample size or swatch onto the back of your hand before purchasing a full size! 

For sun protection, the best sunscreen you can grab should have at least SPF 30 – 50. If you need additional detailed information about sunscreens, you can check out our article here.

Not sure what type of sunscreen to use? Here’s a quick breakdown:

Chemical Sunscreen

Need a sunscreen that doesn’t leave behind a white cast? Chemical sunscreens are a great option for everyone, and especially for anyone who has deeper skin tones and is worried about their sunscreen leaving behind a white cast. You’ll typically find chemical sunscreens formulated with avobenzone, oxybenzone, and octinoxate, but you can turn to pharmaceutical, Korean or Japanese sunscreens for updated and effective chemical sunscreen filters (ex: Tinosorb S, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, etc.) available for purchase. 

Possible Con: Chemical sunscreens can be irritating to sensitive skin types and cause allergic reactions for some people. Chemical sunscreens can also irritate the eye area if applied closely, so make sure to keep this in mind. Chemical sunscreens are also not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women to use.

Chemical Sunscreens to Add to Your Seasonal Skincare Routine

Physical Sunscreen

Gone are the days of pasty white sunscreen formulas that take forever to absorb into your skin! Thankfully, mineral sunscreens came a long way since then. You’ll find that today’s mineral sunscreens are comfortable, calming, and great for sensitive skin types. Many K-Beauty or Japanese mineral sunscreens are especially well-sought out for their gentle formulations and application.

Possible Con: Depending on your skin tone, you may still experience a white cast with certain mineral sunscreens. If this applies for you, try to swatch prior to purchasing, invest in a mini size, or opt for a chemical sunscreen instead.

Physical Sunscreens to Add to Your Seasonal Skincare Routine

Hybrid Sunscreen

You can get the best of both chemical and physical worlds with hybrid sunscreens! Although they’re not as apparent as their physical/mineral and chemical sunscreen counterparts, hybrid sunscreens had suit all skin types and skin tones without the concern for a white cast or irritation.

You’ll find hybrid sunscreens containing both physical and chemical UVA and UVB filters. In more recent formulations, you might find new-generation UV filter Tinosorb M (the real name is “Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol“) in hybrid formulations for high quality coverage and stability.

Possible Con: Hybrid sunscreens contain chemical filters, which may not be suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women to use.

Hybrid Sunscreens to Add to Your Seasonal Skincare Routine

Want to see our full collection of products we love for our seasonal skincare routine? See our shelf here:

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