top 6 tips for radiant skin this autumn

The long warm summer days are behind us and the shorter colder days of Winter are yet to come. When it comes to extremes, these seasons have it.

But in between stands Autumn, the season of transition when we focus on recovering our skin from Summer and preparing it for Winter.

Follow my tips below so your skin is ready before the dry Winter air arrives.

Tip 1: Re-assess Your Cleansers

The cool, crisp air of Autumn may feel refreshing on your skin but the Autumn air is a drier air than the air in summer. Drier air, especially when it's windy, draws moisture away from your skin. So use Autumn to get yourself into a healthy cleansing routine that can also carry you through the dry cold Winter months.

With the air becoming more dry and drawing more moisture from your skin it's important to choose cleansers that don't contribute to this too. Look for cleansers that don't make your skin feel so taut after using.. and, indeed, it might be an idea to avoid soap on your face altogether at this time.

Ideally your cleanser should incorporate oils and should have a gentle foaming agent in them. So do try to avoid SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate). Whilst the oils will be washed off your face they do help the product from being less drying on your skin.

And if you find that your skin is becoming more dry you may want to reduce the number of times you cleanse your skin so you give it a better chance of staying nourished.

Tip 2: Exfoliate Your Body & Feet

No matter what the season, it's important to exfoliate on a weekly basis to slough away dull dead skin cells which haven't fallen away naturally and which can clog your pores.

In Autumn you may wish to use an exfoliating product that has an abundance of oils and butters as not only with it exfoliate your skin but will also moisturise, hydrate and nourish your skin, preparing it for the drier, colder months just around the corner.

Exfoliating in Autumn can also help repair damage caused by exposure to the summer sun, such as sun spots, which will begin to disappear as exfoliation reveals renewed skin.

When it comes to exfoliating your body and feet, use a product that uses salts or sugars as it primary ingredient. The skin on your body and feet can handle a stronger exfoliating product. But, even so, massage the product into your skin gently.

Tip 3: Exfoliate Your Face and Lips

Just as it's important to exfoliate your body to remove dull dead cells, so it's important to exfoliate your face.

However, as the skin on your face is more sensitive and can be more easily damaged, it's important to choose and exfoliating product that is less scrubby. I recommend choosing one which incorporates fruit seeds as it exfoliating ingredient. Salts and sugars are far too harsh for your face and could damage your skin. And even nut granules can be too harsh. As a rule of thumb if the exfoliating product feels scrubby on your face, then it's probably too harsh.

When it comes to your lips, a sugar scrub with a base of oils and butters  is the best choice as not only will the sugars smooth your lips reducing the occurrence of chapped and cracked lips, but the butter and oil blend will leave a coating on your lips that ensures they are hydrated and nourished.

Tip 4: Review Your Moisturising Routine

During the warm summer months, you probably would have found that a light water-based lotion was all your skin needed.

But with the months becoming colder and drier, the moisturiser you used during Summer may not be strong enough to prevent your skin from drying out.

If you used a water-based lotion throughout the summer months, you may want to change to an oil-based lotion or, even, a cream (which is thicker than a lotion). If your skin is already feeling really dry, then you may have to turn to the Queen of Moisturisers, the traditional body butter (which should not contain any water, 'aqua'). The idea is to slowly build up the layers of moisturisers, or swap light layers for heavier layers, as the months become colder.

When it comes to your face, which is exposed more than the rest of your body during these months, you might find that the lotion or cream you've chosen isn't quite enough and you may look to add a facial serum into the mix too. A facial serum should be a blend of oils chosen specifically for your skin type. The serum is gently massaged into your skin after cleansing, until it is fully absorbed. Once it is absorbed you can add a moisturising lotion on top.

Tip 5: Cover Your Lips

Now whilst we've already addressed the importance of exfoliating your lips to keep them smooth and reduce the occurrence of chapped and cracked lips, it is also important to cover your lips with a good-quality lip butter when out and about. The drier Autumnal air can play havoc with your delicate lips if you're not careful. If you leave your lips unprotected they can turn dry, chapped and, quite frankly, unkissable.

I recommend making a good quality lip butter your new best friend. Carry one with you everywhere - you never know when your lips might feel a tad dry and the last thing you want to do is lick them (this only makes dry lips worse, not better).

When I say 'good quality' lip butter, I mean using one that does not contain mineral oil (or petroleum/petrolatum). Mineral oil is a heavily processed ingredient, meaning it brings next to no benefit to your lips and certainly does not provide any healthy nutrients for your lips to soak up. What it does do is dry out your lips and lure you into the viscous cycle of re-applying, increasing the dryness, re-applying... and repeat.

And don't forget - Autumn is the forerunner to one of the year's most romantic seasons, Winter, which is jam-packed with romantic excuses to pucker up your lips (to mention a few: Christmas & all the mistletoe that needs a purpose, celebrating the arrival of a New Year, and... Valentine's) so the sooner you protect your lips and keep them hydrated and nourished, the better.

Tip 6: Don't Forget Your SPF

The sun doesn't feel as warm on your skin, you're even starting to cover up, and you probably aren't spending as much time outdoors now as you did in Summer, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't keep up the routine of applying a product with SPF, especially on your exposed face.

The seasons don't affect UVA rays from the sun - they are just as strong as they were in the summer. While UVB rays (which cause sunburn) weaken, UVA rays (which create fine lines and wrinkles) are just as strong. And remember, either type of sun-ray can cause cancer. So it's just as important to apply SPF during the colder months as it was during the warmer ones.

And when you're looking for a product for your face, make sure you choose a product that is specifically designed for use on the face as SPF products for the body can be heavier and may encourage breakouts, especially if you already have acne-prone skin.