FALL SKINCARE TIPS: How to erase summer sun damage and keep your skin healthy, bright, and blemish-free.


Fall has officially arrived….

The leaves are changing and jumping off the trees, ready for the rake.

The air feels crisp and brisk, hinting at the coming winter months.

Every home, garden and cooking magazine has a pumpkin somewhere on the cover. And you have to be living under a rock not to know that PSL means pumpkin-spiced latte.

And, my office is filled with clients who want to get rid of summer sun damage, including dark spots and premature wrinkles, and fine-tune their skincare regime.

What’s the best way to take care of your skin during the fall season, you ask?

Everyone’s skin is different, of course, but today, I’d like to share a couple of basic fall skincare tips that apply to almost everyone…

- Keep wearing your sunscreen. 

Sunscreen isn’t just for summer! You should wear sunscreen all year round, especially on your face, since your face is exposed to the elements nearly all of the time. Don’t forget your hands, neck and chest too.

Most people don’t know this, but 80% of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds, which means the sun can still damage your skin even if it’s chilly and cloudy outside.

Be sure to know the difference between chemical and mineral protection. Chemical sunscreens use chemical filters to protect you from the sun’s rays by absorbing UV radiation, while mineral sunscreens containing zinc and titanium act as a physical shield between you and the sun, so those UV rays bounce right off you. I prefer mineral based

If you’re looking for a great facial sunscreen that’s not greasy or thick, I like SkinMedica Physical Defense. I also like Alba Botanica Very Emollient Mineral Sunscreen. Another trick I use is to use Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup in powder form, so I get a double layer of protection.

- Moisturize and hydrate. 

Crisp fall air can be drying, and when you’re inside, the heater is blowing all day long. It’s a rough combination that can leave your skin feeling very dry. I recommend using a non-alcohol based toner/ hydration spray to spritz on your face. Then apply a nice moisturizer every morning and evening, right after you wash your face.

And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Aim for 8-10 glasses of water every day.

Here’s a neat water pitcher that includes an “infusion chamber” in the center. You can put lime, lemon, apple slices, cucumber, mint, or any other fruits and herbs that you want into the infusion chamber, along with some ice, and the flavors will percolate into your water. So refreshing! That particular pitcher holds 2 liters (just over 8 cups) so if you fill it up in the morning, and then drink the entire thing over the course of your day, you’ll be right on track!

- Get some professional TLC. 

Even if you’re wearing sunscreen daily, the summer months can still be very rough on your skin. During the fall months, my clients typically come into the office seeking solutions for unwanted dark spots, red spots, patchiness, wrinkles, and even broken blood vessels.

If your skin is looking uneven—with unwanted dark spots and/or red spots—a fotofacial can be a very good treatment option. With this type of treatment, a special device that uses several wavelengths of light targets brown/red spots. BBL is another device that works in a similar way. The pigment granules are released and come to the skin surface like small freckles and then flake off. There’s minimal discomfort during the procedure, which typically takes less than 30 minutes. The fotofacial is one of our most popular treatments at the office. (You can see a few before and after photos in the shared link.)

Prescription creams like Retin-A and hydroquinone can also lighten brown discoloration caused by the sun.

Don’t want to visit a skincare specialist or doctor? For a DIY treatment, try a lemon juice facial at home. Fresh lemon juice contains alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which slough away the outer layer of skin, revealing fresh, healthy skin underneath. With a lemon juice facial, the effects won’t be anywhere near as dramatic as with a professional fotofacial, but it’s a great at-home option to try if you want a very subtle brightening effect.

I hope you enjoyed these fall skincare tips! As always, if you’d like a personalized skincare assessment and treatment plan, you’re welcome to contact the Catalyst Medical Center & Clinical Spa here in Fargo to discuss your options and set up an appointment. Nothing boosts your confidence like having healthy, bright, blemish-free skin, and we’d love to give that gift to you.

Wishing you a positively beautiful week!

~Dr. Sue

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