As summer winds down — as disappointing or delightful as that may be, depending on how you feel about heatwaves — it’s time to address any skin concerns that may have stacked up and prep skin for the busy days ahead, whether they’re taking you back in the office or to the classroom (virtually or otherwise).
Summer can do a number on skin, and this one was no exception: Between lazy days in the sun and the requisite face masks for indoor activities, you might be experiencing more dark spots than usual, contending with maskne, and managing redness. If that’s the care, consider this your skincare bootcamp to prep your skin for fall. With cold days ahead — but not yet on the cal — this is the ideal time to tackle each and every concern. Here’s how.
Skin Concern: Dark spots
Summer is dark spot season — no surprise there, seeing as UV light is one of the primary factors in both the development and darkening of hyperpigmentation. (They’re called sun spots for a reason.) “All types of skin are susceptible,” says Jeanine Downie, M.D., a dermatologist in Montclair, NJ. “Those with darker skin tones to begin with often end up with patches, rather than spots, however.” Once fall rolls around, you might be seeing more in the mirror.
If dark spots have crashed your party, here’s how to give unwanted pigmentation the heave-ho.
The goal is to approach dark spots in two ways: from above, and from below. From above means dealing with dead, pigmented skin cells. Stepping up your exfoliation routine can help slough them off more quickly; try using Watermelon Glow Hyaluronic Clay Pore-Tight Facial, which contains a blend of chemical exfoliants (think polyhydroxy acid, PHA, and beta hydroxy acid, BHA) and a manual exfoliant (super-fine blueberry seed powder) to gently buff them off. Then, to tackle them from within, look to ingredients that interfere with the pigment production process. Vitamin C is a winner here, since it inhibits an enzyme that’s key to creating those dark spots. Find it in Pineapple Bright-C Serum. And, of course, don’t skip out on sunscreen even through fall and winter, since more sun will just unravel all your efforts.
Skin concern: Summer maskne
Maskne isn’t exactly a seasonal thing, but the humidity (and requisite sweat) that accompanies summer doesn’t exactly help matters. “The mask, coupled with heat and sweat, clogs the pores and creates an increase in bacteria and cysts,” says Michele Green, M.D., a cosmetic dermatologist in New York City. “Wearing these masks outside in the hot summer weather is making maskne even worse.” if that’s left you with breakouts on your lower cheeks, chin, and jawline — well, we feel you.
These breakouts can be stubborn, but good news: They’re not impossible. The difference is that this type of acne, or acne mechanica, is linked to a damaged skin barrier — which means fortifying your barrier, then, can help speed up healing. After taking your mask off, clear out your pores with Watermelon Glow Hyaluronic Clay Pore-Tight Facial, which has a hyaluronic acid-infused kaolin clay to draw out impurities that may have gotten embedded during the day.
Once you rinse, apply the Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum to skin; it contains five skin-identical ceramides to replenish the lipids so often lost when you’re dealing with barrier damage. And finally, make a preemptive strike by switching your usual face cream for a lightweight moisturizer, like Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer. It delivers hydration to support skin and cools things down with a gel-emulsion texture. Don’t forget to toss your reusable masks in the laundry every week, since bacteria and grime can build up on the inside and get up close and personal with your pores.
Skin concern: Redness
Sorry — it’s not just dark spots. The sun wreaks all sorts of havoc on skin in the summer, and that could mean redness particularly in lighter skin tones, not to mention sunburns and inflammation for all, come September. For the former, it’s caused by “a temporary alteration in the pigmentation of the skin after injury or inflammation,” says Caren Waintraub, M.D., a dermatologist in Boca Raton, FL. Not only that, but it could also lead to flares of existing skin conditions, such as rosacea.
Redness can happen for a number of reasons — here’s how to get to the bottom of yours.
Whatever the cause, the first order of business is the same. “Repair the skin barrier by replenishing the ceramides, lipids, and fatty acids deficient in your skin,” says Waintraub. You can snag all of the above in our Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum, which features all of the above — five ceramides, assorted lipids, and a range of fatty acids. Use it consistently to have skin calm and ready to handle anything that may come your way this fall.
Skin concerns: Clogged pores
Got clogs? You’re not alone. In fact, research shows that sebum production spikes in the summer months. Translation: If your skin is naturally oily, it will get even oilier. Fortunately, certain ingredients can offset that. Niacinamide has been shown in studies to lower the rate of sebum production in skin, which in turn limits its potential to clog pores and lead to congested skin.
Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops — which you might already know and love as a highlighting serum to take your makeup to the next level — also contains vitamin B3, so you can both tamp down the grease and get a lit-from-within glow at the same time. (It also visibly brightens skin over time — just saying.) Using it as a serum? Try mixing it in with your moisturizer or foundation, where it’ll also give skin a subtle radiance. Start using it now and you’ll see the calm, mattifying benefits by the time you need to pull out your parka.
Read more about how to prep skin for fall: