As the seasons change, it’s normal for your skin to undergo some changes as well. But leaving your skin dry, irritated, and unprotected during the fall is definitely a no-go. Studies have shown that fluctuations in humidity — heated homes, the cold outdoors, hot showers, and the chilly autumn breeze — can all affect the texture of your skin. These external variables can strip your skin’s barrier function and damage capillaries in the process. And in more intense cases, can develop more permanent skin conditions such as atopic eczema and rosacea.

So how exactly is your skin supposed to cope with all of this? Well, we have put together these five easy tips to help your skin stay healthy and beautiful this fall.

Opt for Thicker Moisturizers and Creams

Tweaking your skincare routine for colder seasons isn’t just trendy — it’s especially important for people with sensitive skin, as extreme dryness can cause a tingling or burning sensation while transitioning between seasons. Switching to sensitive skincare products, or more hydrating formulas like a thicker moisturizer and body lotion will actually work wonders for your face and body. They will compensate for the changes in the air, add more moisture to your skin, and act as a barrier to retain it. You should keep an eye out for products with ceramides, aloe vera, shea, or cocoa butter, as they are extra hydrating and soothing even to sensitive skin.

Avoid Drying Ingredients

Some of these might have worked out fine during the summer months, when your skin wasn’t so dry — or maybe when it was a little too oily, at times. But during colder seasons, using products that contain alcohol and sulfates, especially in cleansers, will strip your skin and leave your face feeling extra tight. Also, avoid harsh exfoliants like glycolic acid. While exfoliating is necessary and beneficial for dry skin, strong physical and chemical exfoliants can end up irritating your skin, doing more harm than good. Instead, opt for oil-based cleansers or cleansing balms, and avoid over-exfoliating in the colder months.

Don’t Skip the Sunscreen

The misconception that sunscreen isn’t needed when there’s no sun needs to be eradicated ASAP. UV radiation is generally greater during the summer, but that doesn’t mean it just vanishes during fall and winter. Proper sun protection is an all-year-round necessity, even if you’re staying indoors mostly, or going for a drive. Dermatologists always recommend a minimum of SPF 30 every day for your face and body, and it’s always a good idea to reapply throughout the day.

Regulate Your Hot Showers and Baths

A hot shower after getting home from a walk outdoors might be very tempting, but staying in the hot steam isn’t actually good for your skin. Use lukewarm water rather than hot water, and aim for a maximum of 10 minutes in the heat. If you take a bath, you can also add a few drops of essential oil to soothe your skin. Your body wash can make a difference too — high alkaline concentrations and detergent soaps will dry you out. As with moisturizers and creams, shea and cocoa butter are great for moisturizing parched skin.

Don’t Forget Your Lips and Under-Eye Area

Remember that your lips and the under-eye area should be part of your skincare regimen. The area around your eyes is one of the most sensitive parts of the body that doesn’t react well to sudden transitions, and your lips will most likely take a heavy beating from the harsh winds. Look for a gentle, peptide-packed eye cream because they are gentler on the skin, and prevent suffering from chapped lips by using a nourishing lip balm or lip oil.

At the end of the day, it’s important to keep the aforementioned tips in mind if you want to get your skin ready for the colder months ahead. And don’t be afraid to consult your dermatologist to get more actionable information on your skin type and the best products for your specific needs.