Just like our outfits and moods shift in autumn (yes, we're also feeling the urge to cozying up with a blanket and re-bing Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), so too should the way we treat our skin. We’re not saying fall isn’t thrilling with its stunning display of changing leaves, pumpkins galore, and all the very best baked goods. But the truth is we get less sunlight and face chillier weather, meaning a loss of moisture and need for extra nutrients. So in addition to loving your skin topically, experts weigh in on five easy tricks to support skin during this season change. Side effects include luminous apple-picking selfies.
1. Drink more matcha
Believe it or not, matcha is a star fall food for a few reasons. First, it helps repair skin from the summer sun, which we all indulged in. Wrinkles and pigmentation, like freckles or sunspots, are caused by oxidative stress from UV rays, says Elizabeth Trattner, Doctor of Chinese Medicine and AZCIM Certified Integrative Medical Practitioner. Since green tea is one of the most studied botanicals, we know it acts as an anti-inflammatory against skin disorders that may get worse during cooler weather. Thanks to a powerful polyphenol called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) matcha packs a blast of skin-healing antioxidants. “In my practice, I recommend patients try matcha instead of green tea because it has 10 times more antioxidant power than regular green tea,” advises Dr. Trattner. In terms of caffeine, ½ tsp has about the same as 1 cup of coffee, but matcha also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that relaxes the mind. So, combined it creates a sense of calmed alertness, says Dr. Trattner.
2. Crack out the slow-cooker
You may already feel the urge to trade in your morning smoothies for warm apple bakes. Or raw salad for slow-cooked stew. In Chinese dietary therapy, that’s a sign your body is adjusting to the external environment. Summertime is hot, fast, and light requiring lots of cooling foods, like cucumber or watermelon. “But winter is a very yin time of year (cool, slow, dark) and the body needs warm foods to adjust,” says Dr. Trattner. She suggests switching to soups, stews, root vegetables, baked apples, and pears to provide the body what it needs to boost digestive and kidney energy. Basically, besides feeling like a big hug, eating seasonally ensures the body happily functions, so things like oil and moisture production don’t get overlooked.
3. Take tepid showers
You’re not alone in thinking, well, I’m chilly so let me take a hot shower or bubble bath to warm up. It’s a logical move, but you may want to reconsider. “Dry winter air removes moisture and natural oils from your skin,” says Dr. Trattner. “So does the long hot baths and showers we tend to indulge in during the Winter months.” You know the feeling, tight, dry, ashy skin. Instead, try taking warm or even cool showers. If you simply cannot conceive of your life without a morning steam, try adding an oil-based body scrub, like our Tulsi Scrub with Lavender and Pink Sea Salt, which has moisturizing shea butter and coconut oil. Whatever temperature your water, consider ending your routine with a quick oil-based massage to ensure skin is happy. We love our Tulsi Rejuvenating Oil with Lavender and Primrose.
4. Winterize your skincare routine
Weather is not the only factor in seasonally dry skin. Forced hot air in the car, home, and office are also to blame because they lower the amount of moisture in the air causing skin cells to dry out. That’s why keeping on top of proper topical hydration this season is key. For a nourishing winter routine, we recommend including our Rose Hydrating Toner with Hyaluronic Acid and Rooibos in your daily routine. Mist (such as a facial mist) has been shown effective in hydrating the skin in winter months while rose water improves skin barrier function with its antimicrobial properties. Plus it has healing antioxidants that, when sprayed, are gentle on the skin. Our daytime Rose Nourishing Serum with Rosehips and CoQ10 packs a bit more oomph because it contains rose absolute, a lush oil from pressed roses, which stimulates collagen production, prevents moisture loss, and repairs already damaged tissue, says Dominique Caron, CEO, and Herbalist at Apoterra Skincare. Then for overnight repair, our Night Regenerative Balm with Prickly Pear + Vitamin C contains 21 botanicals and powerful antioxidants for soft, glowing skin all winter long.
5. Sleep an extra hour
Feeling sleepy earlier in the evening? Holding your eyes open to read the last paragraph of You Are A Badass? Wondering where those dark circles came from? So are we. “Winter is a time when the body consolidates its energy and regenerates itself,” explains Dr. Trattner. Getting into a nourishing sleep schedule is essential during fall. In fact, Dr. Trattner recommends getting an extra hour of sleep each night, making bedtime before 11 pm. “That’s when the body’s natural regenerative properties are at their highest,” she says. Longer hours of darkness is nature’s way of hinting to us that we need to turn inward and get some beauty sleep from a long, eventful summer. Harnessing the transformative and consolidating energy of cool months will help ensure a radiant awakening come spring and summer.