The Best Way to Switch Up Skin Care for Fall: Q&A With Dr. Jeffrey Benabio, M.D.

Skin Care

As the weather turns crisp, so too might your skin. The cold weather can bring about dry, flaky skin that can be a real pain — both literally and metaphorically. FutureDerm is proud to present Dr. Jeff Benabio, M.D. to give you the 4-1-1 on seasonal skin care. 

Dr. Jeff Benabio is a dermatologist at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, founder of the popular Derm Blog and an award-winning speaker invited to speak at many industry events (here’s a talk on “Reinventing the Physician” at TEDx.) 

*Editor’s Note: Dr. Jeff Benabio is a skin care expert for Dove products.

FutureDerm: How often should someone switch up his or her skin care routine?

Dr. Jeffrey Benabio, M.D.: When his or her skin dictates it. If you notice your skin is becoming drier or oilier, or you’re having a reaction to your normal skincare regimen, then consider a change. Most often, switches are necessitated by seasonal changes that can affect the skin. Just as we change our wardrobe from summer to fall, we should consider changing our beauty routine.

FD: What are the challenges of changing skin care seasonally?

JB: In general, colder weather means drier, itchier, cracked skin. Using moisturizer regularly is a challenge for many people. While they might apply it in the morning after a shower, it can be difficult to reapply throughout the day, say on your hands that bear the brunt of cold weather.

I advise my patients to be sure that they are using Dove* products, which are not soaps – they are mild cleansers – and have moisturizers built into the products. For example, many men use harsh soaps to stay clean. When the weather changes from humid to dry they often notice the problem they’ve caused – dry cracked skin that can no longer hold up in this regimen. By changing to products such as Dove Men +Care Aqua Impact Face and Body Wash ($6.49, amazon.com) they can cleanse and moisturize their skin, keeping skin feeling and looking healthy.

FutureDerm recommends Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ($21.98 for two, amazon.com) for a soap-free, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic cleanser that’s highly recommended by dermatologists.

FD: What types of skin care do readers need for Fall? Winter? Spring? Summer?

JB: In spring and summer often conditions like acne become more important. Also in spring and summer many people need antiperspirant as well as deodorant. Just as using body wash that is not damaging to skin, using antiperspirant such as Dove Men +Care Cool Silver ($7, amazon.com) is highly effective without drying or irritating skin. Fall and winter they need to focus on moisturizing and using products that help keep their skin healthy and protected. Winter can also be a time when dandruff worsens. Switching to a shampoo that treats dandruff such as the Dove Men +Care Antidandruff Shampoo ($5.39, amazon.com) might be needed that time of year.

FutureDerm recommends Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Deodorant ($13.33 for four, amazon.com).

FutureDerm recommends Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Dandruff Shampoo ($16.98 for two, amazon.com) and Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Dandruff Conditioner ($12.98, amazon.com) for dandruff.

RELATED: A Celebrity Stylist & Dermatologist Teach How to Get Rid of Dandruff — Forever

FD: What are the biggest season-related skin care mistakes you see?

JB: In the summertime, not wearing sunscreen regularly and reapplying. In the wintertime, not moisturizing frequently enough or using a soap that is drying.

FD: What should a reader buy if they have $50 to spend on skin care? $100? $200?

JB: Products that feel good on their skin and that they will use. I can’t tell you how many women come to see me with bags full of expensive cosmetics that they don’t use or use sporadically (often for fear of using up the products too quickly.) I’m an advocate for affordable skincare products. Oftentimes a $10 facial wash has the same active ingredients as a $40 facial wash, but you’re paying for the name, packaging, etc. For example if I were to advise my teenage nieces what to buy with $50, I’d recommend an OTC facial wash, spot acne treatment, facial moisturizer, body moisturizer, and broad-spectrum sunscreen.

FD: Is there a best season to get particular dermatologic procedures?

JB: No. However, in general it is best to not have a tan when undergoing cosmetic procedures, particularly laser treatments. Having a tan can lead to long term discoloration that could be avoided in some if their skin is not suntanned.

**Editor’s Note: This post contains affiliate links.

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