Fall is finally here, bringing with it over-the-knee boots, chic outerwear, and apparently, a lot of yellow. But your closet shouldn’t have all the fun — your bathroom cabinet deserves an upgrade, too. Specifically, now’s the time to get your summer skincare arsenal ready for the cooler days to come, and that means finding the best fall face moisturizer that'll keep your skin plump is key.
Opting for a thicker, more hydrating moisturizer in the cooler months is the skincare equivalent of bundling up in a cozy sweater: The right formula should create a barrier between your skin and the weather, protecting you from the elements and locking in moisture (which tends to evaporate more easily when the temperature drops). And just like finding the perfect cozy sweater that speaks to your personal style, it takes some shopping around to find the right fall moisturizer for your skin.
TZR spoke with some of top dermatologists and aestheticians to get the scoop on the best moisturizers for the new season, and they pointed to five must-have ingredients to add to your skincare routine: peptides, antioxidants, ceramides, oils, and, as always, SPF.
Ahead, learn all about the cutting-edge ingredients to look for in your next moisturizer, straight from the experts — and shop the most exciting skincare launches of the season.
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Fall Moisturizer Ingredient: Peptides
The key skincare ingredient of the season? Peptides. Peptides are the building blocks of protein, and protein is essential for skin health (for example, collagen is a protein).
“I'd recommend seeking out treatments with peptides,” Dr. Jennifer Vickers of Sanova Dermatology tells The Zoe Report. “These ingredients can help prevent and repair damage caused by sun, pollution, and even the light emitted from our phones, tablets, and computers.”
Fall Moisturizer Ingredient: Antioxidants
Cool air strips the skin of moisture and impairs its barrier, leaving it vulnerable to environmental damage. Antioxidants — a family of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes including Vitamin E and green tea — can help the skin prevent and repair damage from environmental stressors like sun exposure and pollution.
“There are always fads, but I’m personally excited about natural alternatives to traditional skincare creams,” Dr. Neil Sadick of Sadick Dermatology tells The Zoe Report. “NeoStrata and SkinCeuticals both have new-generation formulations with newly identified antioxidants that are clinically effective and over-the-counter."
Fall Moisturizer Ingredient: Ceramides
“People with dry skin need to take extra precautions with their skincare routine,” Dr. Sadick tells us, suggesting ceramide-rich formulas.
Ceramides are fatty oils that naturally occur in our skin and make up the skin’s protective barrier — and since the fall weather can slowly chip away at that protective barrier, it’s important to replenish it via your moisturizer.
Fall Moisturizer Ingredient: Oils
“As temperatures are dipping, its best to switch from water- to oil-based formulations for moisturizing,” says Dr. Sadick, explaining that an oil-based moisturizer will lock in extra hydration, especially for those with dry skin.
Aesthetician Hayley Wood of Therapeutic Skin Coach agrees, but maintains that oils are even encouraged for oily or acne-prone skin. Just look for a formula that’s rich in omega 6 fatty acids “to help balance excess oil production,” like Pai Geranium and Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream.
Fall Moisturizer Ingredient: SPF
Just because summer’s over doesn’t mean you’re safe from the sun. “Even though it is not as hot and there are more gray days, sun protection is still very necessary to prevent signs of aging and lower the risk of skin cancer," Dr. Vickers tells us. She recommends using a moisturizer with SPF 30+ on the daily, no matter what.
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