For most of us it’s a no-brainer to swap out our skin care products when the season transitions from summer to fall. When we go from fall to winter, however, it’s easy to assume that the same products will get you what you need — but that may not be the case. While fall weather might be colder than the summer months, there can also be a drastic difference between the temps outside in October and the temperature in December and January — markedly if you live in a climate that gets all four seasons (or if you live in New York, 11).
In the case of your skin care, that means yet another swap you’ll need to make. Fortunately it can be both easy to do and affordable, especially if you’re shopping for your favorite skin care products at Target. They have the same derm-recommended ingredients for year-round glowing skin, and the hydrating properties you need for that dry, cold winter air. Check out some of our favorite picks to help you ease into your winter skin care routine seamlessly.
When that winter wind starts to bite, reach for products formulated with hyaluronic acid. A naturally occurring compound, as per the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), despite its name, hyaluronic acid isn’t actually an acid. It’s a molecule produced in the body, made from enzymes, with the ability to bind and retain water molecules. As we age, it decreases in our bodies, which is where products formulated with hyaluronic acid can be beneficial. It’s a top derm-recommended ingredient due to its ability to boost the skin’s moisture retention, which in turn can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve skin brightness.
Due to its immediate and long-term efficacy, derms recommend hyaluronic acid year-round, but most especially for those dealing with a dry complexion or hoping to re-plump their skin. New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD also lauds hyaluronic acid for its ability to play well with other ingredients.
“There’s no need to worry about using too much of this ingredient; you can layer it on as a serum or in your moisturizer even if your concealer contains [HA] too,” he says. “Hyaluronic acid is like the popular kid at school who is friends with everyone. It can be combined with almost all other skin care ingredients since it helps to hydrate, plump, and protect the outer skin layer.”
In addition to hyaluronic acid, your derm is likely to suggest adding retinol and vitamin C to your skin care routine as well. These derm faves have anti-aging properties that can also benefit the skin during the cold weather months.
Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A (or retinoids), is the derm go-to for wrinkles. According to the Mayo Clinic, retinol and vitamin C work as antioxidants that protect the skin from free radicals that break down skin cells. They can prevent and repair sun damage, as well as wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. In addition, a study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that applying retinol topically impacts cellular and molecular properties of the inner and outer layers of the skin.
“Retinol enhances cell turnover and can prevent skin cells from sticking together within the pores,” Zeichner explains. “I love when my younger patients in their twenties are using retinol. Strengthening the skin early in life will give you a stronger foundation on which you will age. This ultimately can minimize the risk of developing wrinkles to begin with.”
4 Products To Help Transition From Your Fall To Winter Skin Care Routine
Incorporating all of these top derm-favorite ingredients into your skin care routine is as simple as reaching for products formulated with these potent powerhouses.
For anyone already dealing with fine lines, wrinkles and dark circles in the eye area, this eye serum is a must-have. Formulated with hydrating hyaluronic acid, and caffeine — which soothes inflammation and increases the circulation of blood — it smooths fine lines and crow’s feet and brightens the look of dark circles over time. Use the triple-roller applicator to massage the serum into the eye area and instantly reduce the look of puffiness.
For a dose of hyaluronic acid for your overall complexion, opt for this face serum. Suitable for all skin types, it helps to reduce wrinkles and boost the skin’s radiance and elasticity. It combines high-molecular weight hyaluronic acid (to hydrate the skin’s surface and lock in moisture on top) with low-molecular weight hyaluronic acid (to absorb easily to help re-plump the skin and smooth its texture). Apply it to the skin while it’s still damp after cleansing to maximize the serum’s hydrating benefits.
For a daytime fall to winter face cream, reach for this moisturizer that combines the hydrating powers of hyaluronic acid with the potent anti-aging properties of Pro-Retinol and antioxidant properties of vitamin C. It hydrates dry skin while playing defense against wrinkles and dullness. It’s even suitable for sensitive skin. With an added layer of sun protection (thank you SPF 30!), it’s the perfect go-to for anyone who constantly forgets to apply sunscreen after their moisturizer.
If you want to reap the benefits of these top dermatologist-recommended ingredients at night when you don’t need the sun protection, reach for this fragrance-free version. Also formulated with Pro-Retinol, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, it deeply hydrates just like its daytime counterpart, while improving rough skin texture and brightness, reducing wrinkles and replumping the skin for a younger, healthier look.
Written by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn