How To Actually Transition Your Skincare From Summer To Autumn

by | Apr 3, 2023 | Skincare

Aah, autumn. That time of the year when everything gets just a bit cosier, from your coffee order to layering on warm layers. The same thing applies to your skincare. When thinking of how to transition your skincare from summer to autumn, Dr Alek Nikolic, specialist in aesthetic medicine and owner of SkinMiles, says to focus on hydrating options.

That’s because cooler air is often drier, with less humidity, which naturally removes moisture from the skin. Indoor heating is no innocent player, either. They produce heat that’s dry, which sucks out moisture, even from your skin. And hot showers and steamy baths? Not the queen we thought she was, either. The water can strip the skin of natural lipids, which increases skin permeability and water loss, says Dr Nikolic. So what’s a girl to do? “When we need to treat dry or dehydrated skin it is important for us to look at ingredients that replenish, rehydrate and repair the skin barrier,” explains Dr Nikolic. His chief skin-replenishing heroes? Emollients, humectants and antioxidants. More on those, below.


These can prevent skin water loss and they also provide a luxurious softening effect to the skin. “Emollients can have a thick or a thin consistency so it’s important not to judge how well a moisturiser will work simply on its consistency,” adds Dr Nikolic. Examples of emollients include non-fragrant plant oils along with shea butter, cocoa butter, fatty acids, borage oil, linoleic acid, oleic acid, coconut oil, evening primrose oil, sunflower oil, and mango butter.


Humectants is a term that is used to describe ingredients that attract water. Examples include hyaluronic acid and glycerine, a common ingredient in skincare. “Humectants help to hydrate the skin and to keep it looking moist and plump,” says Dr Nikolic. “Hyaluronic acid has been shown to also help wound healing. Some humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerine also help with the skin barrier.”


These should really be used throughout the year, says Dr Nikolic. They protect against free radical damage, boosts your skin’s SPF factor and improve hydration. A big bonus? It also soothes inflammation and stimulates collagen and elastin in the skin.

Overall, Dr Nikolic advises you to look for richer textures when adding to your winter repository. “My recommendation when looking for the best moisturiser is to choose a product that contains specific ingredients that will provide a much richer feel and texture on the skin’s surface. So, the lighter moisturisers we used in the summer will need replacing for the coming winter months. The skin can appear dull during this season as there is generally an increase of indoor- heating and it causes to sap your skin of luminosity and moisture. Full hydration of the skin will help avoid this issue. I would even suggest that you add serums that are rich in hyaluronic acid to further boost the water absorption capabilities of the skin,” explains Dr Nikolic.

EXUVIANCE Deep Hydration Treatment
SKINCEUTICALS Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2

What about exfoliation?

Skin cyclers, rejoice! You can still engage in exfoliation treatments when you transition your skincare, but go sparingly, warns Dr Nikolic. Do these once a week only.

“Exfoliating can either work wonders for your skin or it can cause damage to your skin,” says Dr Nikolic. “I am however pro exfoliation, even in winter, because without it, your skin will stay dry no matter how many creams you apply as dead skin cells can stop your skin from absorbing your skincare products. The safest way to exfoliate is to use chemical exfoliators as physical exfoliators, like scrubs, can be too abrasive.”

Chemical exfoliating acids break down the bonds between dead skin cells, which makes that layer of dead skin easier to wash away. Dr Nikolic recommends looking for gentle AHAs like lactic acid and glycolic acid. Another great tip from Dr Nikolic is to consider using a gentle cream cleanser in the morning and an exfoliating cleanser in the evening. avenge Glyco-10
EXUVIANCE Purifying Cleansing Gel
Fundamentals Lactic Acid water exfoliator


Lastly, you should never forego sunscreen. Ever. “We are constantly exposed to harmful UV rays and invisible light,” says Dr Nikolic. Plus, our screens, which we stare at 24/7, are major culprits of UV damage. “This is referred to as blue light and exposure to this wavelength can also cause long-term damage and ageing to the skin. A good quality SPF will not only protect our skins from UV but also from invisible or blue light,” says Dr Nikolic. Lather up!

Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense Sunscreen
Cetaphil Sun Spf50+ Gel
Avène SPF50+ Intense Protect

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