How to Do My Fall Skincare Routine

It's all about acids, retinoids and copper peptides.
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Fall skincare routine

Recently, I shared my minimalist skincare routine—the products I'd use if I had to edit things down to just a few key essentials. 

But running a skincare website means that I'm usually putting a lot more on my face than that! 

So I'm back with another routine for you, and an update on everything I've been using, testing and loving this fall (plus the order in which I'm layering my products). 

In case you missed my previous seasonal routines, this is what I was using in the summer, spring and winter.

For this fall 2018 edition, we'll be covering:

  • My latest skincare goals
  • My morning skincare routine
  • My nighttime skincare routine
  • My extra skincare treatments

I have tons of new products to show you, so let's dive in!

My Fall Skincare Goals

Fall skincare routine

My fall skincare routine product lineup.

First, a quick update on where my skin is at, and what I'm trying to achieve with this routine.

  • Acne: If you recall my summer routine, I was breaking out more than usual, which thankfully isn't the case anymore. I haven't been dealing with any active breakouts, just doing my normal preventative measures so that my skin stays clear! 
  • Pigmentation: I'm always freckle city in the summer, but they seemed to fade fast this fall, so I haven't felt the need to do anything hardcore with respect to pigmentation. In fact, I'm taking a little break from vitamin C AND niacinamide (my usual pigmentation-fighters) in this routine, since they didn't really fit with the rest of the products I wanted to test. I think acids are enough for me, right now, but I'll switch things up next time! 
  • Hydration: My skin hasn't felt any drying effects from the colder weather as of yet, so moisture actually isn't a huge focus here (but I'm sure will be in the winter). I'm mainly relying on eye creams and a face oil—no essences or creams for the moment.
  • Anti-aging: I like to get back into anti-aging in the fall, when I'm getting less sun exposure. So I've introduced (or reintroduced) AHAs, copper peptides, retinoids and microcurrent. In particular, I'm hoping I can get some results around the eye area (which is always the first to show fine lines). We'll see what happens!

See my tutorial on how I check ingredients to determine which products I'm comfortable using in my routines (and therefore recommending to YOU!). Most things here, I purchased on my own, with the exception of the retinoids, micellar water, cleansing brush, lash serums and one of the masks.

Although I consider foundations to be skincare, I'm not going to go through my skin makeup this time, because I'm still using the same products as in the summer (basically all RMS Beauty!).

My Morning Skincare Routine

1. Cleanser:

Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser

Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser

Now that the weather has cooled down, I like a more nourishing light cleanse in the mornings. I just bought the Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser and love it just as much as the Brightening one! It has a jelly-like texture that transforms into a creamy lather, and rinses away clean. I think any skin type could happily use this.

2. Acid / Serum:

COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid and Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum

COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid and Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum

After cleansing, I ALWAYS apply an acid—a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), to be exact. But in the spirit of testing new skincare, I thought I'd try something new for a change! My plan for this routine was to do a combo AHA-BHA product in the mornings, and then stick with my usual BHA at night. 

So, I've been wearing the new Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum, which contains seven different AHAs and BHAs, including willow bark and sugarcane extract. Unlike most acids, which tend to be liquid, it has a creamy serum texture. And it's actually very moisturizing! I would say if you are looking for an all-in-one type of product that gives you hydration with a little bit of exfoliation, this is a perfect choice.

That said, I started to notice I was getting an oilier T-zone while using this product, as it's just not as good at controlling oil production as a full-fledged BHA. To fix that, I'm now using my favourite COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid (reviewed here) on my forehead and chin, and the Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum everywhere else. Something to consider if you find you need a stronger acid in certain areas—you can always mix and match!

3. Eye Cream:

Indie Lee I-Waken Eye Serum and Derma E Hydrating Eye Cream

Indie Lee I-Waken Eye Serum and Derma E Hydrating Eye Cream

I've historically struggled with eye creams making my skin super-sensitive, and even crepey. But here are two that don't! I'm alternating between Indie Lee I-Waken Eye Serum, which is new, and Derma E Hydrating Eye Cream (which is just new to me). Both are lightweight, non-greasy and fast-absorbing, so they're great for daytime under makeup. 

4. Face Oil:

Herbivore Orchid Facial Oil

Herbivore Orchid Facial Oil

Then I wait about 20 to 30 minutes to give my acids a chance to work their magic before I apply moisturizer on top. For this routine, I'm trying out Herbivore Orchid Facial Oil. This is an all-natural oil blend, with fractionated coconut, camellia, jojoba and squalane oils. So far, I really like it! It's thin and sinks in fast, similar to pure squalane, and should be quite stable since it contains only saturated and monounsaturated oils. The scent is heavenly!

5. Sunscreen

Kosmea Moisturising Lotion SPF 30 and Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream SPF 30

Kosmea Moisturising Lotion SPF 30 and Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream SPF 30

Real talk: I only wear sunscreen in the fall and winter if I'm going to be outside between 10 am and 3 pm for more than 15 or 20 minutes. Otherwise, I just don't get enough exposure to justify wearing it (and no, my desk is not near a bright window unfortunately!). 

The two sunscreens I've got on standby are Kosmea Moisturising Lotion SPF 30 and Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream SPF 30 (both reviewed and swatched here). Since they're tinted, I can wear them instead of foundation.

6. Tinted Lip Balm:

Herbivore Coco Rose Lip Tint in Coral and Lilah B. Tinted Lip Balm in B. Savvy and B. Cheeky

Herbivore Coco Rose Lip Tint in Coral and Lilah B. Tinted Lip Balm in B. Savvy and B. Cheeky

My last morning skincare step is tinted lip balm, which I wear instead of lipstick in the cold weather to prevent chapping. (Okay fine, I rarely wear lipstick at all these days if I'm being honest!) 

I've added two new brands to my rotation, and would recommend both! Herbivore Coco Rose Lip Tint in Coral gives more colour payoff than expected, and has a modern, semi-matte, creamy opaque finish. Lilah B. Tinted Lip Balm has more "grip," and really coats your lips with long-lasting moisture. I'm wearing B. Cheeky in the photo; it's like a warm red. The other shade, B. Savvy, is a sheer plum-berry with super-subtle shimmer. 

My Nighttime Skincare Routine

1. Makeup Remover:

Shiseido Facial Cotton and L'Occitane 3 in 1 Cleansing Water

Shiseido Facial Cotton and L'Occitane 3 in 1 Cleansing Water

Right now, I'm doing micellar water as the first step in my double cleansing routine, followed by a regular cleanser. I'm testing a new one, the L'Occitane 3 in 1 Cleansing Water, and it works very well! I do a few pumps onto my Shiseido Facial Cotton and swipe it all over as a first pass to get off my makeup. (For mascara, I just hold it to my lashes for about 30 seconds or so, and it comes right off.)

2. Cleanser:

Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser

Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser

Next, I'm using the Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser to clean my skin. This is a sulfate-free gel that would be suitable for all skin except dry. It cleans really well, has no scent, and doesn't leave my skin feeling tight.

3. Cleansing Brush:

Foreo Luna 2 for Combination Skin

Foreo Luna 2 for Combination Skin

I use the Drunk Elephant Cleanser in conjunction with my usual cleansing brush, the Foreo Luna 2 for Combination Skin. I actually have quite a few different Lunas, but this one is the best, in my opinion! It gives your skin a very thorough clean, and leaves you with a super-smooth, baby-soft texture. And its silicone bristles NEVER get musty like the Clarisonic... you can leave this in the shower, no problem.

4. Acid:

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Acne Clearing Pads and B. Kamins Anti-Blemish Pads

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Acne Clearing Pads with White Clay and B. Kamins Anti-Blemish Pads

Next, it's time for another acid treatment. Like I said, I'm doing BHAs at night—but I'm actually branching out from COSRX for a change! I recently discovered and bought two new BHA products; both are pads with two percent salicylic acid as the active ingredient. I was a little nervous, because the Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid has the same amount and I find it drying... but I haven't experienced that, or any flakiness/irritation at all.

I'm alternating between the new First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Acne Clearing Pads with White Clay and the B. Kamins Anti-Blemish Pads. They're keeping my skin bright and clear... and what's great about the pads is that they're saturated with enough "juice" to do your face plus your chest, back, neck, ears, wherever. 

5. Lash Serum

Latisse and NeuLash Lash Enhancing Serum

Latisse and NeuLash Lash Enhancing Serum

For longer lashes, I'm still doing Latisse, but only every other night or every third night. Once I finish it up (which will be very soon), I'm switching to NeuLash Lash Enhancing Serum. Hopefully it will maintain my results!

6. Retinoid:

Shani Darden Texture Reform and CyberDerm RetinErase

Shani Darden Texture Reform Gentle Resurfacing Serum and CyberDerm Retin+Erase

Then I wait about 30 minutes before applying my retinol. (With the gap in pH levels, you want to incorporate a wait time in between acids and retinoids.) Since the end of August, I've been using Shani Darden Texture Reform Gentle Resurfacing Serum, which is a milder version of her Retinol Reform (reviewed here). I still got great results from this product, even though it's not as strong! I'll do a proper review soon. I've found Shani's retinoids to be super-effective for my skin, preventing breakouts and giving me a glow.

Alas, I'm almost done the bottle (sob!), so I have CyberDerm Retin+Erase waiting in the wings. It contains the same non-irritating retinoid that is in The Ordinary's Granactive Retinoids, but in a higher concentration. I'll review this one as well if there is interest!

7. Eye Cream:

Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum

Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum

By the time my retinoid is on, I can be sure that the Latisse has sunk in as well, so my eye cream won't interfere with it. I'm using Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum, another new product for me this season. I was on the fence about it for ages, due to the aforementioned sensitivity issue, but I finally pulled the trigger and I'm glad I did! 

I really wanted to try this as it contains copper peptides—which I believe are as effective as retinoids, if not more so! It hasn't irritated me, so I'm excited to have found an active product that I can tolerate around the eyes. 

8. Lip Balm:

Lanolips 101 Ointment Multi-Balm Coconutter and Lanolips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm

Lanolips 101 Ointment Multi-Balm Coconutter and Lanolips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm

Last but not least, lip balm. Both Lanolips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm and new Lanolips 101 Ointment Multi-Balm Coconutter are rich in lanolin (an ingredient I swear by). The only difference is that the latter also has a bit of coconut oil, vitamin E and a sweet flavour. 

My Extra Skincare Treatments

Red Light Therapy:

Red Light Man Red Light Device

Red Light Man Red Light Device

Red light has become a nightly staple for me—it's anti-aging, anti-acne and just a super-relaxing way to end the day. (All you need is about 10 minutes for a treatment.) I use the Red Light Man Red Light Device, and I'm not aware of any other light that is as powerful! You can read more about red light therapy here.

Microcurrent:

Live Clean After Sun Aloe Vera Gel, NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device and Jason Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel

Live Clean After Sun Aloe Vera Gel, NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device and Jason Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel

I'm getting back in the habit of microcurrent again, which really must be done on a continuous basis to get and maintain results. I was doing it a lot in 2017, but then fell off the wagon! This time, I'm going to try and document my progress with the NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device, since I know many of you are curious about it. (Still debating whether or not to get the ZIIP as well!)

They say you need to use it with the Gel Primer, which was actually JUST reformulated as a silicone-free leave-on product. I have the old, siliconey version and I'm not crazy about it, so until I buy the new one, I'm trying aloe vera instead—either Live Clean After Sun Aloe Vera Gel or Jason Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel. I'll keep you posted!

Face Masks:

Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask and Schaf Restoration Mask

Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask and Schaf Restoration Mask

I'm focusing on using up two face masks this fall. One is my Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask, which sadly is no longer blue! Apparently, it's normal for it to turn this grey-green colour over time, and does not change the efficacy. This is an AHA-BHA mask, and I feel like I don't really need it when I'm already doing daily acids, but we'll see! I find it very similar to their Brighten Mask, which also has an aloe vera base and fruit enzymes.

The other is the new Schaf Restoration Mask, a brightening, moisturizing clay mask with a unique buttery texture. What I like about this mask is that it's high in niacinamide, an ingredient I otherwise didn't have in my routine this time! But because it has almond oil, I want to get through the jar fairly quickly.

Conclusion

Fall skincare routine

My fall skincare routine is anti-aging and anti-acne.

There you have it—all the things I'm doing to my skin this fall season! 

I don't think I've ever introduced so many new products at once, which is something I always say NOT to do. Oops! However, the difference here was that I'd been using the same types of ingredients before—acids, retinoids, oils. So I was confident that my skin would respond positively (which it has!).

If you're new to a particular active ingredient or product texture, like oil, or if you have reactive skin, definitely be more careful. Which is hard, I know... and I'm probably not helping matters by showing you all these amazing new products, am I? Not to be an enabler, but they're honestly all SO GOOD!

Let me know what you think—and you can always check out my free Better Skin in 7 email course for more on building a skincare routine. There are lessons on cleansing, exfoliating, sunscreen and more; just sign up right here to get them in your inbox!

Shop My Skincare Routine

Have you tried any of the products I'm using?
What's your fall skincare routine?

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