5 skincare swaps you need to make for autumn/winter

Follow this Autumn skincare routine for healthier, glowy skin

Woman in a towel applying moisturiser to her face
(Image credit: Sora Shimazaki / Pexels)

As the season changes, so do our skins’ needs. After a hot and sticky summer where lightweight creams, hydrating sprays and minimal makeup were all the rage, autumn requires a slightly different skincare routine to combat the seasonal switch.

While you don’t have to throw out your products or completely change your skincare routine, it’s important to make a few changes to better cater to your skin. The colder autumn/winter temperatures can dry out the skin, leaving it looking dull, dehydrated and more prone to breakouts. That, combined with cold winds and harsh indoor heating, can make your skin feel tighter and more sensitive, and some ingredients in your best moisturisers or serums don’t mix well with those conditions.

To keep your skin feeling and looking healthy and glowy, here are five skincare swaps you need to make for the colder months.

1. Choose a richer moisturiser and cleanser

As the summer months are hot and humid, you’ll be drawn towards lighter cleansers and moisturisers. But now that it’s autumn/winter, the season calls for richer and thicker solutions. To protect the skin’s natural barrier from the colder weather, it’s time to switch out your light cleanser to a gentle cream or balm cleanser. This type of cleanser is less likely to dry out your skin and give it some much needed hydration.

Similarly, switch out your light moisturiser to a heavier formula that’s rich in nourishing ingredients that lock in moisture like ceramides. Swapping from a light moisturiser to a thicker one might feel uncomfortable at first, so combat this by applying a lighter layer so your skin doesn’t feel clogged. Making these switches will build the skin barrier and make your skin healthier, glowy and less dry.

2. Exfoliate… but not too much!

Exfoliating removes dead skin cells, dirt and grime from the skin’s surface. Leaving this dirt on the skin is more likely to cause breakouts and makes your skin dirty and greasy. Exfoliating your skin during the autumn is important but you shouldn’t overdo it. Removing build-up from your skin that’s leftover from the summer can make it feel like you’re starting your autumn skincare with a ‘clean slate’. Doing this can help your skin absorb your new skincare better, but over-exfoliating can have a bad effect on your skin. As the weather turns, your skin will feel a little dry and sensitive, and exfoliating your skin when it feels that way can cause flaking, irritation and other skin problems. Try to minimise how often you exfoliate and choose a gentle and hydrating formula.

Woman squeezing moisturiser out of a tube into her hand

(Image credit: Arina Krasnikova / Pexels)

3. Increase hydration levels

Hydration is the most important thing when it comes to autumn skincare. As we’ve mentioned already, our skin tends to dry out and lack moisture when the weather is cold. To combat this, use hydrating products, including face and body creams, cleansers, toners and serums. Introducing hyaluronic acid to your skincare routine can help increase your skin’s hydration and replenish lost moisture. Using a hydrating face mask and drinking lots of water can also help your complexion.

4. Pay special attention to the lips and eyes

With the cold and wind, the lips tend to dry out, chap and flake, so make sure you’re using a lip balm to nourish your lips and prevent them from chapping. If your lips are still flaky after this, use a face cloth to clear away the dead skin before applying a moisturising lip salve. Make sure to apply this during your morning and evening routines, and before you leave the house once it starts to get colder. 

The skin around your eyes is particularly sensitive as it's thinner compared to the rest of your face. During autumn, your eyes might feel irritated from the cold, so we suggest paying a bit more attention to your under eyes with the best eye cream. Apply gently using your ring finger to keep your eye area plumper, hydrated and revitalised.

5. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen

Just because autumn/winter is dark and gloomy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply sunscreen. Any sun or ray exposure can penetrate and damage the skin, leading to skin conditions and illnesses. Always remember to apply sunscreen before leaving the house for that extra layer of protection. For more details, here’s why you need to wear sunscreen daily for healthier skin.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!