Cherry Woods

With over 28 years in the business, Cherry is a self-confessed Beauty junkie keeping a whole host of famous faces ‘camera-ready in her West london clinic. Best known best for her high-tech facials and her ability to demystify industry jargon with her ‘no boloney here’ straight talking attitude.

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Autumn is a welcome season, full of beauty and change. But, when it comes to the skin, the forecast isn’t good!

As the smell of salty air, sunscreen and the warm glow of Summer fades, you may have also noticed changes in your skin? Autumn often brings breakouts with a mixture of dry, flaky, oily skin. I call it ‘confused skin’.

There are a few reasons this happens:

1.) During the Summer months, relentless application of mineral-based sunscreen, increased perspiration and oil flow results in waxy plugs filling those lovely pores on your face.

2.) In the Summer months the UVB rays naturally increase your cell metabolism, meaning that your skin cell renewal rate is ticking over at a much faster rate than in the Autumn/Winter months. UVB rays also act as a sort of ‘skin-steriliser’ improving spotty skins, but as soon as the UVB light drops off, cell metabolism slows down and we get a kind of ‘bottleneck’ effect of congestion…everything comes to a grinding holt (well, not really, but you get the point!)

3.) The third reason for these undesirable, Autumn skin changes is that all the above is compounded during the long Summer months of applying thicker and more frequent applications of mineral-based sunscreen which are not effectively removed on a daily basis. We forget that sunscreen is designed to ‘stay put’ and so when it comes to removing it each night, you should imagine you have full foundation on (okay if you’re a guy…this might be tricky) and cleanse with the same efficiency as you would removing Make-up.

4.) Change in diet- It can happen so fast, but when the weather is good, and we are exposing more of our skin and therefore care more about how we look, there is a desire and motivation to eat well. Fresh fruit, salads and plenty of water is easy to do, but come Autumn, we don’t naturally reach for the ‘good stuff’ and it’s surprising how the skin can change so quickly.

Simple Solutions:

  • Cleansing is KING. I can’t emphasis how important it is to cleanse well and I’m afraid that there is no ‘one perfect cleanser’ that will fit the bill all of the time as your skin has different needs from day to day, week to week, season to season. Every time you arrive at the bathroom mirror your skin may ‘feel’ different and it may have experienced different challenges. For example, you may have commuted into the city with a full face of makeup in 30c temperatures on a dirty, dusty train…in this case you need  to double cleanse with a pre-cleanse oil (or cleansing balm) followed by a PH balanced wash-off or foaming cleanser (which is specific to your skin type) and then possibly a ph balanced toner on the T-Zone only. Another occasion may be a Sunday morning, you didn’t wear makeup the day before, your skin has not been exposed to environmental stresses…then you could get away with just a PH balanced toner onto damp cotton wool. The point is, assess how your skin is, what it has been exposed to and then choose your whole cleansing weaponry or just a simple toner (and everything in between) This way, you will never become disenchanted with that ‘one holy grail cleanser’ and you will nurture your skins barrier. Over cleansing ( over scrubbing) and incorrectly cleansing, impairs your skins natural lipid barrier and this can lead to pre-mature ageing. When cleansing, don’t forget the eyebrows, around the hairline, under the jawline, nose and chin…all areas where sunscreen, oil and sweat will have accumulated.
  • A.H.A- Introduce a product with gentle A.H.A’s in, these Alpha Hydroxy Acids will exfoliate and clarify your skin right down through the walls of the pore, reducing blockages and encouraging a faster cell turnover so the skin thinks it’s Summer again. Try and avoid physical ‘scrubs’ as this type of mechanical exfoliating can cause micro tears in the skin and ultimately, as they only work on the skins upper surface, the effect is short-lived verses the A.H.A smarter alternative.
  • Don’t over-burden your pores (especially the T-Zone) with unnecessary product. Firstly, application is key, so any product that is designed to stay on the face should be applied in this pattern…. Neck, lips and upper lips, cheeks and outer cheeks to the temples, outer jaw, a light crossing on the forehead and finally, just “kiss” the T-Zone, meaning barely touch it with product.
  • Feed your skin from within- Aside from plenty of water, there are some amazing oral supplements that can transform the skin during the testing Autumn/Winter months and allow a seamless transition. Support your skin with Omegas, Hyaluronic acid and Ceramides. The perfect internal moisture boost, increases your skins natural waterproofing ability, reduces water loss, diffuses redness, reduces surface dryness, regulates oil and so much more. I am currently using Moisture Lock by The Advanced Nutrition Programme.

All these little changes will future-proof your skin against any Autumn skin changes but getting out in the Autumn sunshine will bring a glow to anyones skin. Enjoy!