Fall's cooler temperatures mean it's time to pop on a comfy sweater, pull on your boots, grab a cup of something warm and sweet—and think about changing up your skincare routine.
We've gathered seasonal tips from doctors and dermatologists, including what to try and what to avoid—especially if you have a baby on the way or are nursing.
1. Try gentler products
What works in the heat of summer doesn't necessarily work for your face in the fall. Dr. Marilyn Syrett, a physician and skin care expert, recommends a more mild cleanser or face wash in autumn. Dr. Syrett explains, "Avoid using soap or foaming cleansers as they tend to strip off the essential lipids in the skin. These products are best reserved for summer when the skin tends to be oilier. Cooler temperatures are accompanied by low humidity, which robs the skin of its intrinsic moisture."
This is a great time to try oil cleansing (we're huge fans!). Read dermatologist Dr. Sejal Shah's How-To Guide here.
2. Don't over wash
In addition to a gentler cleanser, Dr. Amy Newburger, a dermatologist, recommends washing your face no more than twice a day to make sure your face doesn't dry out. We LOVE our Clarisonic face brush, but scale back to no more than once a day during colder weather.
3. Keep using that sunscreen!
Just because temps are cooler, doesn't mean you should skip the sunscreen. Experts agree that SPF 30 is the best, but you can get by with SPF 15. This is particularly important if you're pregnant to prevent any blotchiness or uneven skin tone from becoming more pronounced.
Whatever sunscreen you choose, make sure it protects against both UVA and UVB. Dermatologist Sandra Marchese Johnson says her favorite sunscreen is "titanium dioxide and zinc oxide — they are powerful physical sunscreens and do not penetrate the skin." Radical Skincare Skin Perfecting Screen gets high marks for being light on skin but effective against the sun.
4. Get that pumpkin glow
Eating pumpkin is great for your body—and your skin. When consumed, it's a great source of fiber and protein among other beneficial micronutrients. But when used as a beauty aid, it can help skin to defend itself from the sun, and can be used as an all-natural face mask to smooth and exfoliate. It might even help you glow!
5. Steer clear of harsh treatments
Avoid retinoids and salicylic acid. While just fine when not pregnant or nursing, there some skin care products you'll want to avoid as a mama-to-be or a new mom: retinoids (often found in anti-aging products) and salicylic acid—both of which can be particularly drying on the skin this time of year.
So what's a mama to do if she's struggling with acne? Your doctor can help recommend products that are safe for you and your little one, but many guide their patients towards products containing glycolic acid and alpha hydroxy acid. Also, consider more natural solutions like witch's hazel. Finally, be sure to talk with your doctor or dermatologist to find safe solutions for you.