Turning A New Leaf: Fall Skin Care Must-Haves

illustration by: ella byworth

It’s time to dust off those ankle boots and bring out your favorite leather jacket because fall is in full swing. But just as your closet needs some adjusting during the crispier autumn months, so does your skincare routine!

“Like you shop for a fall wardrobe, the same needs to be done for your beauty wardrobe,” says celebrity aesthetician Joshua Ross. “As you’re shopping for your fall skincare products, look for hydration boosts – oils, serum, and cream-based masks.”

In case you need some extra help upgrading your beauty cabinet for the chilly fall temperatures ahead, here are our favorite fall skincare must-haves to ensure your skin doesn’t go crazy during the coming months.

Bubbles and Butter Artisan Skin Care Body Balm

Less humidity might make for nicer hair days, but the drier fall weather – not to mention all those long sleeves – can cause skin to become flaky and itchy. Made with ingredients like shea and avocado butter, these body balms penetrate deep to help soothe and soften skin.

In the fall and winter months, we lose an average of 25 percent of our skin’s moisture vs. in the spring and summer months,” said Nicole K. Lundy, creator of Bubbles and Butter. “Our balms’ star ingredients are shea butter and avocado butter, which deliver a combo of antioxidants and healthy fats, and leave the skin radiant and glowing.”

Dove DermaSeries Gentle Cleansing Body Wash and Face Bar

If you’re anything like me and have experienced painfully dry skin during the cooler months, then you know that regular old soap simply doesn’t cut it.

Colder weather is your cue to add more moisturizing products to your routine,” said NYU dermatologist Evan Rieder. He recommends the Dove DermaSeries, which offers a hypoallergenic body wash and face bar that comforts dry, itchy skin without any irritating soaps or fragrances. It’s also one of my go-to cleansers right now.

Essentiel by Adele Moisturizer

A great moisturizer is crucial in keeping your face looking fresh all autumn long. Celebrities like Jenna Dewan and Chloe Grace Moretz love Essentiel by Adele, which contains ingredients like hyaluronic acid for heaps of hydration and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), a food-source sulfur compound that is said to have many health benefits.

“Sulfur is the third most plentiful mineral in the body. It’s found in all cells, and most concentrated in skin, hair and nails,” said model Adele Uddo, who created the line. “Sulfur helps bind keratin proteins in skin, hair, and nails, and is essential for the body to produce collagen, which keeps skin looking soft and firm.”

JAFRA Royal Extra Hydration Serum

Made with royal jelly, a substance secreted by worker honeybees and fed to larvae being raised as potential queen bees, this hydration serum is one of my new favorites. It also contains seaweed and Vitamin E, which noticeably hydrates the skin, making your face look supple and plump.

ISDIN Melatonik 3-in-1 Night Serum

Dr. Vivian Bucay, a San Antonio-based dermatologist and member of the Women’s Dermatologic Society, told me that during the autumn months, her go-to brand for night serum is ISDIN.

“This serum is not too heavy, but it adds the right amount of hydration for crisp fall days,” she said. “I recommend adding it to your nighttime regimen, or as a substitute for a retinoid.”

This night serum also contains melatonin — a chemical found naturally in the body that stimulates antioxidants to neutralize free radicals caused by UV, pollution, and oxidative stress.

Glyderm Glycolic Peel

Changing weather can stress out our skin, causing breakouts. That’s why New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Marnie Nussbaum recommends an in-office glycolic peel to help exfoliate the skin (with glycolic acid) while maintaining hydration (with hyaluronic acid).

“The skin cells may build up over the cooler seasons and therefore cause a dull appearance,” she told me. “My GlyDerm peel series helps maintain a natural glow during the winter.”

ZOE by QykSonic Beauty Brush

For at-home exfoliation, I’ve been a long time user of the Clarisonic face brush. But recently I discovered the ZOE Beauty Brush, and I must say that I’m a big fan. Made of medical-grade antimicrobial silicone, ZOE is a 3-in-1 sonic beauty brush that cleanses, massages and applies skincare products. This allows serums and creams to be absorbed deeper into your skin for better results. Plus, you can avoid rubbing all that residual dirt that builds up on your hands throughout the day from getting into your pores.

LXMI Serum Soaked Sheet Masks

Who doesn’t love a good sheet mask, especially during transitional months where our skin can feel strange and out of whack? These new sheet masks by LXMI contain nilotica – a raw nut derived from the Nile River.

“It’s packed with oleic acid – a fatty acid that your skin needs– as well as vitamins A, E, and K to help improve complexion, fine lines, and discoloration,” said LXMI founder and CEO Leila Janah.

What’s even better: LXMI has a social mission behind it. Founded in Uganda, the brand provides harvesting jobs to local women, paying them three times the local wage.

Skinade Daily Collagen Drink

Sometimes it’s not so much what we’re putting on our skin, but what we’re putting into our bodies that can make a difference. For leading New York City cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Doris Day, it all starts with a daily collagen drink.

“All age groups, men and women, can benefit from supporting their skin with a skincare drink like Skinade, whether used to prevent skin aging or to counteract the visible signs,” she told me. “Skinade is designed to trigger collagen production in the dermis, the lower layer of the skin where it naturally lives and which is difficult to reach from the surface.”

Dr. Day said it’s also worth noting that collagen drinks like Skinade work on the skin as a whole organ and therefore, can have a positive impact on skin all over the body. “With innovations in ingestibles, they become a very result-driven way to care for your skin and boost your skincare regimen.”


Cooler fall temperatures often come with grayer days; however, most experts agree that this isn’t a free pass to skip out on sunscreen.

“Never let that summer habit stop,” said Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, medical director of Mudgil Dermatology in New York. “Wear sunscreen every day, even if the sun isn’t out.”

My sunscreen of choice right now: hint sunscreen, an SPF 30 formula that comes in three delightful scents: pineapple, grapefruit, and pear. This product is super easy to apply and doesn’t feel sticky or greasy on your skin like most products out there. It’s also oxybenzone and paraben free, two ingredients whose safety has been called into question. Pro tip: use this continuous spray sunscreen for setting your makeup!

No matter what products you add to your arsenal this season, it’s most important to listen to your skin.

“Treat skin the way it’s responding to the climate,” said Ross. “Keep in mind that you’re never going to have one specific skin type. You might be oily in the summer, and then in the fall, your skin may become more combination. The season change is a great reminder to assess your skin needs, rather than just focusing on changing your routine because of the season itself.”

About the Authorw2mh2ct4_400x400

Adria Greenhauff is a freelance writer and editor based in Miami, FL. She has covered food, travel, and lifestyle for numerous online publications, including FoodableTV, The List, Vivala, AOL Travel, Miami New Times and Recommend Magazine. She also works directly with brands in the food and hospitality industries, using her creative voice to convey the stories of brands like Darden Restaurant Group, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Miami Culinary Institute at Miami Dade College.

When she's not working, Adria enjoys true crime podcasts, iced coffee, and Broadway musicals.