Inexpensive Fall Skin Care Tips

autumn_fall_sunThe seasons are changing.  The days are getting shorter.  While the leaves changing colors can be beautiful, the seasonal transition can require a different approach to your usual skin care.

The following tips are largely based on these changing needs of your skin.  Many of the tips are related to the increasing dryness and lowering humidity of the air in colder weather outdoors, and the heat getting turned up when you are indoors.

drink_water1.  Drink lots of fluids.  I generally recommend at least 2 liters to about 2 quarts of water per day.  However, if your urine is dark yellow, you are not drinking enough and you need to step up your water intake.  Maintaining your hydration from inside your body will help your skin.

2.  Don’t let low humidity dry you out.  Indoor heating systems that get turned on during the fall and winter literally suck the moisture out of the air in your home or office.  The low environmental humidity will also suck the moisture out of your skin. In addition to drinking more, I recommend running a humidifier in your home; preferably in your bedroom, which is where we all spend the most time during the day.

shower_cell_phone3.  Don’t overdo baths and showers.  Due to the lower temperatures outside, our skin naturally tends to produce less oil anyway.  We need the naturally-produced oil to keep moisture within the skin.

As tempting as long, hot showers can be when it is cold outside, the hot water and soap strip the remaining oil from the skin and aggravate the dryness problem.  However, I am not suggesting that you should never take baths or showers.  In fact, when you do bathe, it’s best to remember . . .

4.  Do not scrub your skin when washing.  When the skin appears drier, it is tempting to want to scrub off the dry skin and exfoliate.  While gentle exfoliation chemically with glycolic acids or peels from an aesthetician can be beneficial, physical exfoliation by scrubbing can be irritating and increase inflammation in the skin, which paradoxically dries out the skin further.

5.  Use a moisturizer regularly, especially after showering.  Skin moisturizers generally help your skin in two ways: keeping moisture within the skin from leaving and attracting water from the atmosphere.

In warmer and more humid weather, a lightweight moisturizer is sufficient.  However, in cold and less humid conditions, a thicker moisturizer is needed.

Generally, ointment thickness is better than creams.  Most people shy away from the thicker moisturizers as they mistakenly think that they will feel greasy.

On the contrary, once these moisturizers are rubbed in, the skin actually looks and feels better.  Additionally, the best time to put a moisturizer on is immediately after a shower or bath when your skin is still moist.

sunscreen-306.  You still need sunscreen.  Some people tend to put their sunscreen away in the fall along with their beach towels and other paraphernalia of summer.  However, sun damage can occur all year, long especially when driving.

Outdoors in the winter (I know it’s not here yet, but it’s coming), sun can also reflect off the snow and cause sunburn and damage.  Apply your sunscreen every day on all exposed parts of your body.

I hope that you find these tips helpful.  Some are just common sense, but we all need reminders from time to time.  If you have any questions about skin care no matter what the season is, call us for a free consultation at (207) 873-2158.

About Dr. John Burke

John Burke M.D. has practiced medicine for over 25 years, and is the founding partner of MidMaine Internal Medicine. He established Maine Laser Skin Care in 2004 after devoting years to learning the latest in laser and dermatologic technology. Dr. Burke has treated patients from all over the United States. He is one of Maine's busiest practitioners in laser treatments, and in the use of Botox for upper facial lines and excessive sweating.
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