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Seasonal Self Care for Fall

Fall is the season of balance and change. It's a great time to slow down and settle into routines that support you and make rituals that honor the shifts that are underway. Here are some simple skincare routines and rituals to inspire you:

  • Anoint yourself daily. Cooler, drier weather saps the skin's barrier function and trans-epidermal water loss becomes a major threat to the health of the skin. Help your skin to retain essential moisture by avoiding long periods of time in hot baths and showers, using lukewarm water instead and keeping bath or shower time to a minimum. Find a moisturizer for your body that you love and apply it tip to toe just as soon as you towel off. Whether its a lotion, oil, body butter or mousse, choose something that's noncomedogenic (won't clog your pores), an emollient (formulated to bring water into the skin) and use it religiously.

  • Skip the suds. Wash your face morning and night with a product that gently cleanses the skin without stripping it of vital lipids. A cream cleanser or, if you can't do without a foamy face wash, a gel cleanser that is formulated with gentle surfactants to be non-drying is just the ticket.

  • Wear your SPF. Even when its cool and cloudy, those harmful UV rays predominantly responsible for skin cancer and premature aging break through with the same intensity as they do in summer. We recommend SPF30 or greater made with reef safe mineral sun blocking ingredients. Choose one that you like and use it every day.

  • Use a humidifier. Central heating systems kick on for the first time in months, drawing humidity from the inside air and from the surface of your skin. Humidifiers work to add moisture back to both. Cool mist humidifiers are ultrasonic and diffuse water droplets quietly and effectively. If you'd prefer to use essential oils, then a warm mist humidifier is the way to go. Do what suits your mood and not only will you skin stay moist, you'll soon be breathing easy.

  • Exfoliate. Exfoliate. Exfoliate. Use an exfoliating mask or gentle polish on your face and hands regularly to not only keep them soft and smooth, but to help remove dead skin cells that build up when the skin gets too dry. Fall is a great time to add in a stronger weekly enzyme treatment and monthly professional treatments like microdermabrasion to your routine. A little extra effort, but oh, so worth it.

  • Use hand cream. Not only is the weather drier, but with all the extra hand washing and drying hand sanitizers we're using these days, our hands are taking a beating. Keep a container of rich hand cream in your car, in your bag, and on your coffee table and massage a dollop into your hands any time you remember.

  • Special treatment for problem areas. Elbows, feet and hands that have gotten dry and cracked or ashy deserve special treatment. At night before bed, apply a healing, oil-based cream to clean dry skin, don cotton socks, sleeves or gloves to seal moisture in overnight then settle in for a good night's sleep. Not only will your skin become deeply moisturized, your body does it's best healing while you're at rest so those problem areas will heal too!

  • Eat healthy and drink plenty of water. Enjoy the bounty of the fall harvest: fresh orchard fruits, deep green veggies like brussels sprouts, and hard squash like butternuts and pumpkins are abundant, delicious and loaded with skin nourishing nutrients like pectin, antioxidants, vitamins C and K, and copper.

  • Dress for the weather. Reboot your wardrobe. Layer up, wear sun protective clothing, long sleeves, scarves and gloves to help protect your skin from drying, damaging elements.

When designing your self care routines and rituals, listen to your body and meet yourself right where you are. Be kind and patient -- making positive changes disrupts old habits making new routines feel strange at first. Stay curious and light-hearted. Self care shouldn't feel like drudgery -- if it does, you're probably trying too hard and doing too much. Start small -- pick one or two areas to focus on and address what's most important. Keeping things simple will help your new habits to stick and remain sustainable as long as they serve you. Take your time -- carve out space in each day to take appropriate actions in the areas you're addressing. Take all the time you need. Trust the process and ease into the season knowing you're in very good hands -- your own!

What fall self care routines or rituals are you weaving into your life? We'd love to hear about your successes, challenges, and inspirations so we can deepen our collective learning and continue the conversation. Please leave a comment.

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