These Are the Product Swaps to Make in Your Autumn Skincare Routine

Everyone's favourite season is fast approaching and while it's serving as an unwelcome reminder of just how fast this year is going, there's some good news. It's time for autumn skincare (cue applause), and no this isn't a ploy to get you to spend more money on your face. 

I've always swapped out my skincare whenever I sense that the temperature is about to decline. There's nothing like a metaphorical slap in the face courtesy of a gust of wind, to remind me that my light moisturiser isn't going to cut it. 

It's not just a personal preference either, as rethinking your skincare routine for autumn has some serious skin benefits. First of all, with the sun exposure, sweat, inflammation and dehydration from travelling we probably need a reset. A chance for our skin to recover from all kinds of summer fun and excess. 

Then, there's the seasonal shift as well. In the same way that our wardrobe needs to work with the change in climate and conditions, so does our skin. If you're thinking about adding some new products into your autumn routine, keep scrolling for the ones to switch.


(Image credit: @peonylim)

Nourishing Cleansers

A light cleanser in the summer gave us the refreshing wash that our skin needed. But, as we shift seasons, it's time to put the foaming cleansers to the side and opt for something richer. Thick cream cleansers and divinely scented balms are where it's at. 

I always do a double take at the packaging whenever I use this, as I'm convinced that I've reached for a moisturiser by mistake. This creamy cleanser is perfect for both the morning and as a second cleanse at night when skin is feeling irritated. I may not have any recollection of this particular moment of my existence, but the scent and formula feels so womb-like and comforting.

The definition of 'get it while it's hot', as this modern legend is always selling-out. Firstly, just take another look at that price. Unreal. What's even better is how good a cleanser it is. It always removes a full face of my makeup, eyeliner, eyelash glue and all, without any weird leftover residue. The balm melts into skin before disappearing into a light oaty milk. Truly, iconic. 

Niche reference but I'm going for it anyway, you know when you slice into an oozy, creamy ball of burrata and it spills onto the plate. Well, that's the level of creaminess that you can expect here. I've taken off my makeup at midday just so I can use this. It's that good. 

Gentle Exfoliation

There's a two-pronged approach here, the first is in incorporating some gentle exfoliation into your routine on a regular basis. Depending on the products and your skin type (please don't over-exfoliate, it's not cute) you can use some on a daily basis, but check in to see what works for you. This will help with glow-enhancing, increasing cell turnover and allowing the products you use afterwards to penetrate better.

The second is in less frequent peels with acids that are stronger or have a higher percentage in the product you're using. This is for some of that fresh start energy after the summer months. 

Oh, hello secret skin. Whenever I use this, I always feel like I've uncovered a layer of skin that I've not seen before. I use this pumpkin, pineapple and papaya enzymes solution when my skin is feeling rather weathered. Be it from stress, testing too many products for work or just, you know, life in 2020. My skin is always left feeling smoother, calm and brighter than usual.

Talk about a reset. After a few weeks of my skin being in a constant mood swing, this trifecta of asiatic, lactobionic, and mandelic acids gave my skin a fresh start. This is the equivalent of washing, de-fluffing and organising your autumn cardigans. Prepped and ready for the new season. For an at-home peel, the results are incredible but still feel kind to the skin.

When I first tried this product, it came via a Sephora sample in New York. My points reward for spending an indecent amount of money on skincare. While my bank account was weeping, my skin was living its best ever life. This gentle version is a dream come true for skin that's more sensitive or reacts to other AHA products. I just know that whenever I swipe this on my face that my radiance is about to be dialled up. 

Serum Upgrades

Take your skin on a little at-home date, that involves a mirror and some alone time. Reacquaint yourself with what your skin needs right now, before you add a bunch of serums to your basket. If your skin is feeling dry and already feeling the consequences of cooler weather, then you'll want to focus on hydration. Need a boost in the glow department? Look for brightening ingredients. Same goes for if you've noticed more pigmentation after a few months in the sun, look out for a serum that will target that. Only you (and if you see a dermatologist or aesthetician) know your skin best, so always use serums that work with your individual skin's needs, rather than the latest buzzy ingredient. 

Dewy complexions are an all year round must, so throw out the idea that it's only for summer. The milky texture of this serum, is incredibly calming and nourishing for a vitamin C product. When my skin is looking a bit meh, then I reach for this to balance everything out and give me the coveted Glossier glow. 

I'm already dreading the days when that awful central heating has to come on. I may be concerned about my stuffy nose but I know that whenever I have a bottle of this, I won't be worrying about my skin feeling tight. This is pretty much like watering a neglected plant and watching the soil swell. It does wonders for my skin, especially on the days when it doesn't necessarily look or feel dry but it actually is.

In the same way that I add an extra layer or two underneath my jumper, that's what this essence does. Designed for dehydrated skin, this lotion energises and preps as it also combats the effects of stress on the skin. It's silky soft in texture and feels like such a treat for sealing in moisture before I apply the rest of my products. 

'Tis the season for trying out a vitamin A product. Depending on the retinol product you use, you might encounter some flaking or dry patches, so this feels like the best time of year as the richer moisturisers will help in soothing this. Plus, retinol doesn't love the sun as it can make your skin more sensitive, so while of course you'll need to wear SPF still, you won't have as much sun exposure. 

Medik8 is a must for all your vitamin A needs, there's several strengths, so whether you're a newbie or you've been using it for a while, they've got you covered. This one also includes hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, so you'll get your hydration fix too.

Rich Moisturisers and Oils

As autumn can take its toll, repairing the skin's barrier is the name of the game. There's also something very soothing and cosy about massaging in a buttery soft cream into your skin. Switching your moisturisers and oils will give your skin the chance to repair and restore, but will also work with the cold weather symptoms of irritation and dryness too. If your skin just doesn't get on with thicker products, keep it light and add in a nourishing serum instead. Likewise, if you're not a fan of facial oils, try out a lighter consistency. 

When I'm mourning the days of summers past and falling asleep to holiday memories, this decadent cream sure knows how to make me feel better. It's thick, dense, and almost like a crème fraîche consistency and my skin can't get enough of it. Whenever I use it, I end up spending a good few minutes smiling at my complexion and excitedly touching my newly plumped up cheeks. A true luxurious joy.

I'm a big fan of face oils and an even bigger fan of this particular oil. My group chats will attest to just how much I rave about this product and whenever I get to the end of the bottle, it's a very sad day indeed. In terms of the stats you need to know, there's cannabis sativa seed oil which gives an earthy scent that always makes me feel more relaxed when I massage it in. There's some adaptogens like ashwaganda and a bunch of carefully curated ingredients to ensure the optimal level of hydration and skin-soothing. Honestly, bedtime doesn't feel the same without it.

You can believe all of the social media hype that surrounds CeraVe. It works. Plus, it's affordable. The magic happens with the ceramides that are packed into this moisturiser. Ceramides actually get to the root cause of why your skin is feeling so dry instead of smothering it in a lovely cream that's only a temporary fix. For skin that's repaired and full of hydration, have this to hand.

Up next, the one skincare ingredient this beauty editor can't be without.

Giselle La Pompe-Moore