Skinfluencers share their top tips for updating your fall skincare routine

Skin experts share how to upgrade your skincare routine for fall.

October 3, 2022, 9:43 PM

With a new season, comes an updated what? Hint: Fall skincare routine.

Just like we switch up our wardrobes with the latest fall fashion trends, our skin deserves a proper update as well.

Whether you are looking to update your usual regimen or ready to try something new for the season, there's always a thing or five we can learn to make sure we are following best practices for beautiful skin during the cooler months.

When it comes to go-to fall skincare products, New York-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Dhavel Bhanusali advises going for heavier creams instead of lotions and gels.

He added, "I also have my patients add in creamy moisturizers and decrease the amount of exfoliation they do for their skin. It's important to remember that with showers if they are steamy, they are likely too hot. "Usually medium temp water for five minutes or less is ideal — and moisturize after pat-drying once you get out. If the temperature is too hot, you can strip away the good oils and do more harm than good.

Bhanusali also recommends starting limiting exfoliation to 1-2 times a week as it's important to focus on maintaining and caring for your skin barrier during this season.

For more routines and top tips, "Good Morning America," tapped skin experts, enthusiasts and skinfluencers to see how they plan to switch things up this fall. Prepare to take note, and scroll ahead for their best advice.

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Felicia Walker

Skincare and beauty expert

How are you switching up your skincare routine for the fall?

As soon as sweater weather hits, I immediately pack up my sudsy, oil-controlling face wash and call in the cushiony cleansing balms and silky cleansing oils. I think we often downplay the importance of the cleansing step and want to skip straight to a fancy serum or moisturizer. But, the way you cleanse your skin really helps set up the rest of the routine. For that reason, as the weather gets colder I always look to position my skin with the best opportunity for moisture retention. That means bringing in cleansing balms and cleansing oils.

What are the key steps in your fall skincare routine?

My fall skincare routine focuses on moisture retention and repair. Because fall is colder, the dry air tends to rob my skin of moisture. Every step in my routine works to sneak in a little extra boost of hydration. My cleanser, essence, serum and protective face creams all double down on plumping my parched skin.

What products are essential to your fall skincare routine and why?

A creamy cleanser or cleansing oil is crucial for keeping skin soft. On a weekly basis, moisture masking is essential. This is a nice way to give skin an extra dose of TLC one or twice a week. Lastly, adding in a face oil (pressed on top of my moisturizer at night) helps seal in my face cream and keeps my skin bouncy and balanced.

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Kristina Rodulfo

Beauty expert and content creator

How are you switching up your skincare routine for fall?

I'm always focused on one thing: Hydration! Even as someone with skin on the more oily side, I start to feel my face get dry as soon as temperatures and humidity drop. If you've got indoor apartment heating, that can also suck your skin dry, so my routine is all about layering barrier-repairing, comforting products. I also like to use a humidifier (I use the Dyson Pure Cool) to ensure the air isn't so dry indoors.

What products are essential to your fall skincare routine and why?

For the PM:

1 - Double cleanse: I use a balm cleanser like Farmacy's Green Clean Cleansing Balm to get rid of all my makeup and sunscreen first. This is really effective at melting away even waterproof mascara and is really gentle. I follow that up with CeraVe's Hydrating cleanser, which gets the rest of the residue off and leaves skin soft.

2 - Treatments: On clean skin, the first thing I want to apply is a retinoid. I currently use Twyneo, which is a prescription Tretinoin combined with Benzoyl Peroxide formula for acne. If you're new to retinoids, the Fall is actually a great time to consider starting since you won't be exposed to the sun as much as you would during summer activities (retinoids increase sensitivity to the sun). I'll alternate using Twyneo every other day and using an exfoliant, like First Aid Beauty's Facial Radiance Pads on the alternate days.

3 - Moisturizer: As I mentioned, I focus on barrier repair. I seek out products that have lipids/ceramides (the "building blocks" of healthy skin) to really support the skin. Lately, I've been loving Dieux's Instant Angel Moisturizer and Rhode Skin's Barrier Restore Cream. In especially dry areas, I like to apply Avéne's Soothing Skin Recovery Cream, and I'll even do some "slugging."

In the AM:

1 - I'll cleanse only once with a gentle cleanser like CeraVe's mentioned above.

2 - I apply a Vitamin C serum, always. I have tan skin that is prone to hyperpigmentation and Vitamin C has been key in maintaining an even skin tone and avoiding dark spots. Currently, I'm using ISDIN's Melaclear serum.

3 - I also apply a Niacinamide serum (Dieux's Deliverance serum) to help with evening out my skin tone and texture, as well as address irritation.

4 - I apply the same moisturizer from the PM.

5 - I follow with SPF, always. There's not as much daylight in the Fall but that doesn't mean you should skip sunscreen! I've been using ISDIN's Eryfotona Ageless SPF 50 consistently for four years now because it has a nice tint that matches my skin, and goes on really well under makeup. I've also been loving Summer Fridays Shade Drops SPF 30. PS – Don't forget your neck!

What products are essential to your fall skincare routine and why?

I'd say a thicker moisturizer, a lip mask and a face oil if you have extra dry skin.

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Brittaney Trent

Licensed esthetician and skincare expert

How are you switching up your skicare routine for fall?

This fall season I'm adjusting my nighttime routine to ensure my skin is getting the hydration it deserves and needs to stay healthy. During the night your skin is in recovery mode, and at night is when transepidermal water loss (TEWL) happens, causing you to wake up with dry, tight skin — which also causes lines and wrinkles. The cold, dry, fall air can exacerbate TEWL, so it’s important that your night routine replenishes your skin.

What products are essential to your fall skincare routine and why?

Although I'll be sharing my nighttime routine for the fall, I must take the time and say, no matter the season, make sure you're using SPF during the day, every single day. UV rays can happen rain, snow or shine.

For my fall routine, I'm using a heavier, cream-based moisturizer that's super hydrating and non-comedogenic — meaning it won't clog pores. Then, I apply a couple of drops of a non-comedogenic face oil to help seal in the moisture. Doing this at night will help your skin soak up all of the moisture overnight.

Lastly, don't forget about your body care routine. Your body should be considered part of your skincare routine, because the skin is your body's largest organ of course. Before bed and especially after showering, I like to layer on an ultra-hydrating body moisturizer, because just like your face, your body needs replenishing of moisture from the dry fall air and being indoors more.

What products are essential to your fall skincare routine and why?

Good Light's Order of the Eclipse Hyaluronic Acid Cream is my absolute favorite moisturizer because it deeply hydrates your skin and helps your skin hold on to water much longer. I also love The Ordinary’s 100% Plant-Derived Squalane because it's non-comedogenic face oil, that not only hydrates your skin but helps support and boost your skin barrier. Lastly, for my body, I like 54 Thrones African Beauty Butter. I absolutely love using shea butter all over and this one is formulated with two types of unrefined, African shea butter that provide maximum hydration — leaving my body smooth, soft, and with a glow that doesn't just come from the sun.

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Dr. Dhavel Bhanusali

Board-certified dermatologist at Hudson Dermatology and Laser Surgery

How are you switching up your skincare routine for fall?

I tend to favor heavier creams instead of lotions and gels. I also have my patients add creamy moisturizers and decrease the amount of exfoliation they do for their skin. It's important to remember that with showers if they are steamy, they are likely too hot. Usually, medium temp water for five minutes or less is ideal — and moisturize after pat-drying once you get out. If it's too hot, it can strip away the good oils and do more harm than good.

What are the key steps in your fall skincare routine?

Cleanse daily to remove debris and keep the pores clear. Also, using a creamy cleanser or cleansing oil is great.

Add in a moisturizer — bonus points if it has an SPF 30 or higher. At night, cleanse and apply your retinol. Dermatologists can custom create prescription options with ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide via Skin Medicinals. Add in a thicker moisturizer. Rhode Barrier Restore Cream has shea butter, acai, squalane, peptides, and is a great pair for your retinol.

What products are essential to your fall skincare routine and why?

Aveeno Positively Radiant with SPF 30 is a great richer moisturizer with SPF 30. It also has soy to help with hyperpigmentation. Another top pick is Skin Medicinals Retinol which has hyaluronic acid, turmeric and niacinamide. Last but not least, I like Rhode BRC which has squalane, peptides, shea butter and niacinamide.

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Jenna Rennert

Beauty & Fashion Expert, former VOGUE Beauty Editor

How are you switching up your skincare routine for fall?

When the weather dips, I love adding a cleansing oil into my routine. My all time favorite is Sekkisei — I use it first thing in the morning to wash my face and follow immediately with my SK-II Essence. Year round, the essence is a non-negotiable for me. This combo is great because it doesn't strip my skin and makes my skin feel hydrated, and not tight, immediately after waking up.

Around this time of the year, I will also up my exfoliation game. A wise derm friend once told me that this transitional time is the best time to slough off all that dead skin from the summer and get the glow going. I use my Ole Henriksen Goodnight Glow religiously every night, but right now I'm adding in a physical exfoliation step a few times a week. IS Clinical’s Tri-Active Exfoliating mask is major for instantly smoothing and brightening my skin.

In the evening, instead of using a gel cleanser, I love using a cleansing balm, like Augustinus Bader or Elemis. It helps gently remove makeup and clean your skin without over drying it.

What are the key steps in your fall skincare routine?

One of my favorite ways to maintain hydrated and happy skin is to pat on a face oil at the very end of my routine. I've been doing this for probably ten years and I swear by it. My tag line that I am always preaching is — go to bed shiny and wake up glowy.

I also often do a double cleanse at night if I'm wearing a lot of makeup. But if I don't, I love using a creamy cleanser this time of year. Chanel La Mousse is my absolute favorite — I have been using it since I was an assistant at Vogue and found in the beauty closet late one night — intsant obsession!

What products are essential to your fall skincare routine and why?

My favorite cold weather hack is slathering my feet in Nivea Creme and putting on socks before bed. Goodbye dry heels! I also cannot get enough of the La Mer hand cream. It's so luxurious and makes you feel like a queen as you doze off. I'm really not a cuticle oil person (too fussy!), but I always always swipe on a thick layer of Sara Happ's Dream Slip on my lips. It's an overnight lip mask and is the only lip treatment that works this well — trust me, I have literally tried everything. When I wake up in the morning not only is the product still on, but I swear my lips are softer.

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