Why Autumn is the perfect time to improve your skin
The transition between Summer and Autumn is a time when we naturally slow down. Whilst we might mourn the passing of the longer days and lighter evenings, it provides the perfect opportunity to reset our skincare and wellbeing habits.
It's my firm belief that good skin starts from within, and that positive health habits and simple, beautiful skincare products are the recipe for a healthy, glow at any age. As the Autumn Equinox approaches and the night's begin to draw in, here are my favourite habits to boost your skin and help you enjoy a cosy start to the colder months.
1. Use the darker nights as an opportunity to indulge in sleep
Many of us are concerned about dull, tired-looking skin, and we often choose brightening skincare products and eye creams to address the effects of feeling over-tired. But what if we instead chose to bring bedtime forward in order to allow time for adequate rest and rejuvenation, which would help our skin become naturally brighter?
When I lived in the suburbs, it was my preference to stay up later. I would tell myself that I needed sufficient 'downtime' after work, but in reality, I was just adding to my body's stress. I'd go to bed tired, and curse my alarm when it pulled me from sleep the next morning. It was only when we moved to the countryside that I realised the true power of our circadian rhythm, and the importance of allowing it to dictate our sleep cycles. What flowed from my earlier bedtimes was brighter, more vital-looking skin.
Whether you live in the city, suburbs or countryside, use the early days of Autumn as an opportunity to indulge in good quality sleep. To support your circadian rhythm, reduce dark circles and naturally brighten your skin, try to get outside in the morning and early evening so that your eyes take in the changing light. If you can, try to limit blue light exposure in the evening (I wear blue light-blocking glasses if I want to watch TV or use my phone), use soft lighting in your living space, take a candlelit bath or shower, and simplest of all, go to bed when you're tired! Your skin will thank you for it.
2. Use the drop in temperature as an opportunity to eat warming, nourishing foods
I love everything about Autumn, but if I had to choose a favourite thing, it's definitely the cosy, nourishing foods! The warming scent of soups and slow-cooked stews fill our home as we enter late September, and the skin-healing benefits of these gentle foods cannot be underestimated. For the omnivores, bone broths and tougher cuts of meat that need long, gentle cooking are packed with collagen, which is equally good for skin and gut health. For vegetarians and vegans, a cosy bowl of nourishing dhal or a fresh and spicy pho will offer similar health-boosting benefits and are the perfect antidote to a cold day. Root vegetables and greens are in abundance and provide slow-release energy and vital nutrients that help our skin to glow. I choose beautiful, organic meat and fresh produce, and spend many happy hours in our kitchen creating delicious meals to nourish body and soul.
For me, there is nothing better than coming home to a steaming bowl of soup or stew after a chilly evening walk: very Hyggeligt, as the Danes would say. This type of cooking follows the principles of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, which teach us to counteract the challenges of the seasons with foods that bring balance to the temperatures we're experiencing. In my opinion, this harmonious approach to seasonal nourishment is never more satisfying than it is in Autumn and Winter, and offers an abundance of beauty-boosting ingredients to enhance our skin.
3. Use the seasonal shift as an opportunity to replenish your skin
We've not had much of a Summer in the UK, but - wherever you are in the world - I hope you've managed to enjoy some sunshine before the cold, wind and rain return (I feel as though the bad weather has hardly left our hillside home this year!). As the weather shifts and the nights darken, my thoughts turn to nourishing and protecting my skin to prepare it for the chillier months ahead. It's at this time of year that I use Serenity Restorative Night Oil every evening (and sometimes in the morning) to give my skin the extra nourishment it needs, especially on those cold, windy days where Autumn leaves swirl around us on our evening walks! I like to spend a few minutes indulging in deep facial massage so that my skin draws all the benefits of that moisturising blend of camellia, prickly pear, rosehip and helichrysum.
I hope this post gives you some cosy inspiration on how to use this time as an opportunity to care for your skin and reset your wellbeing. If you have any autumnal wellness habits that you like to practice, I'd love to read about them in the comments below.