Autumn officially began a week ago and we’re loving it over at soapNskin HQ. The crisp morning air, the bright sunshine and the beautiful autumnal colours.
The change in season inevitably brings about a change in our wardrobe, and who doesn’t love their Autumn wardrobe!? Chunky knits, boots, layers…Ah Autumn, how we love thee?
But how many of us actually pay attention to switching up our body care and skincare routines as Autumn approaches? And is it something worth considering?
Well, if the truth be told YES! Given the gorgeous hot summer we’ve experienced here in Britain, the vast majority have had plenty of opportunities to bask in the glorious sun in our own back yards. We’ve exposed our skin and hair to harsh environmental elements; sea, sand, sun, insect repellents and the like. Although we may not want to accept it just yet, winter IS looming over our heads and with it, a colder, frostier climate and another set of extreme conditions that our poor skin and hair will have to deal with. The central heating will get cranked up, drying up the air around us – and as a result we’ll be exposing our skin to extreme hot – cold conditions as we scurry in and out, busy with our daily routines.
When you take the above into consideration, you realise that autumn is a really important time of year, it’s the season that bridges summer and winter - arguably two of the harshest seasons of the year. Using this gentler, transitional season to repair summer damage whilst also protecting and nourishing in preparation for the cold winter ahead seems an absolute no brainer!
Switch to creams
If you’ve spent the summer using light lotions to moisturise your skin, now is a good time to switch to a richer oil based cream. They provide an effective barrier on the skin, preventing essential moisture loss whilst also protecting from any harsh environmental factors. You would definitely see the difference if you incorporate a richer cream into your routine at this time of the year. It can not only repair any damage caused during summer, but will help protect against the winter ahead.
Look for creams rich in shea and cocoa butters, and try and apply generously onto damp skin after your morning shower. Your skin will soak the cream as it dries leaving you with gorgeously nourished and supple skin. Our absolute favourite for this time of year is our Rose & Sandalwood Body Butter. Made with a shea, cocoa and mango butters base and enriched with vitamin E and rosehip oils. When warmed between the palms, its butter like consistency quickly turns into a rich oil which your skin will love. The addition of rose essential oil helps to calm inflammation, improve the skin’s elasticity and moisturises skin.
Ditch harsh soaps, scrubs and shampoos
The months ahead are going to dry out your skin and hair. Using harsh soaps and shampoos will strip away natural oils making skin and hair even more vulnerable to dryness and breakage in the colder weather. Use gentle soaps or cleansers with a naturally high content of oils that won’t dry your skin. Sulphate free formulas are kinder on skin and hair and offer gentle cleansing, an important aspect to think about when you are trying to repair sun damage and protect for winter. Our absolute favourite, multi-tasking cleanser has to be our Honey & Oat soap bar. A gentle, sulphate free soap bar made with vegetable derived glycerine. The addition of oat oil and locally sourced organic honey gently cleanses, moisturises and soothes the skin.
Oil over Water
If you ever switch over and read the ingredients lists of your favourite body care lotion or face cream, you’ll notice that the vast majority of them will list ‘AQUA’ as the primary ingredient. Simply put, aqua is water, a pure natural life sustaining substance. (You’ll notice lower down our list we’ve mentioned the importance of water consumption.) But do you need it in your skincare? No, it’s a cheap filler with little purpose other than bulking up your end product. Investing in a good quality face, hair or body oil is a must throughout the year and don’t be frightened by the old adage; oils block pores and therefore cause spots! Whilst true, not all oils are created equally, opt for non-comedogenic varieties that offer intense hydration without clogging pores. It is about trial and error when searching for your perfect oil, but avoid the comedogenic varieties (a simply online search will identify those!) and experiment with the others.
We love natural organic rosehip oil for summer and our rich Argan & Orange Blossom elixir throughout the rest of the year! It is multi purpose, so can be used on face, hair and body. A blend of organic single origin argan oil infused with orange blossom oil, once you try you will be hooked for life!
Just because the sun doesn’t feel as harsh in autumn as it does in the summer, doesn’t mean you stop using SPF. Make sure you apply some sort of sunscreen daily, the sun’s rays can still damage your skin even in autumn!
Drink Plenty of water – This should go without saying, but we thought we’d add it in regardless. Whatever the weather keeping hydrated is essential for all round health and wellbeing. Dry skin is often a sign that your body is dehydrated.
It’s tempting to stop exfoliating in the colder months, especially when we start piling on the layers to keep warm. But regular exfoliating even in autumn and winter is quite important. It removes dead, skin on the body and prepares the skin so that it is ready to absorb those rich creams you’ve started using. Try using natural oil based scrubs but make sure you don’t overdo it, one a fortnight is more than enough.
Invest some time in taking care of your skin and hair, paying particular attention to your lips and hands. Whip out the lip balm and hand cream now, and they’ll be moisturised and soft come winter.