Not that we’re getting anything like fall temps these days, but once the weather does start to dip, many of us will start noticing a change in our skin. For many of us, our skin welcomes the change in season with a brand new set of acne. How sweet!

To combat adult acne, we have to fight smart. We simply can’t use the same products we used in our teens because the cause of adult acne is not the same as the excess oil production that occurs in the teen body. Acne occurring in your 20s, 30s, and 40s is likely linked to hormones and stress. Plus adult skin tends to be drier when compared to that of a teenager.

So what’s a grown up to do?

First, ditch the harsh ingredients in your stash. 10% benzoyl peroxide might have worked wonders when you were 16, but now it’s just too drying. A treatment containing ingredients like 1-2% salicylic or sulfur are less drying alternatives. Both work as exfoliants to help slough away dead skin cells thus keeping the pores clear of the gunk that can cause acne.

Second, you might need to change your moisturizer. As the weather cools, your skin will have different needs than it did in summer. Look for slightly creamier moisturizers that contain antioxidants (which include grapeseed oil, glycolic acid, Vitamin C, etc.) and of course SPF. Sunscreen is particularly important for skin of color because we tend to have to also deal with pesky hyperpigmentation once the acne clears and it helps prevent dark spots from further darkening.

Third, speaking of hyperpigmentation, though it’s a year-round issue for us, acne is typically the culprit that sparks it. According to Dr. Neal Schultz, a board-certified dermatologist with 30 years of extensive training and experience in all aspects of dermatology, three things are needed to fight brown spots: 1. a “bleaching” agent (hydroquinone, kojic acid, etc.) to fade the spots, 2. an exfoliant (i.e. chemical ones like glycolic acid, lactic acid, or retinoids), and 3. sunscreen (to prevent the spots from darkening in addition to protecting the skin from UVA and UVB rays). Put that into routine practice and you’ll be packing up dark spots like Beyoncé in the “Irreplaceable” video every time they rear their ugly head.

And finally, while the skin goes through a natural process to repair itself and shed dead skin cells, this process tends to slow down when the weather gets cooler. This results in dull skin that lacks radiance. Bring back that glow with regular exfoliation. Whether you use a chemical or physical exfoliant, you’ll be banishing the shine-stealing layer of dead skin and exposing a renewed surface over time. Once every 2-3 weeks will do for most skin types.

If you need a new beauty arsenal for fall, I’m a huge fan of skin care kits because you can practically get a brand’s most popular and effective products all in a compact, easy-to-use size at a great price.

Check out some to try in the widget below:

What skin care issues do you encounter once the weather turns?

~Danielle

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