Fall Tips for Sensitive Skin

Love it or hate it, #pumpkinspicelatte season is here… and that can wreak havoc on sensitive skin.

The pore-blocking summer heat is a thing of the past, and it’s not (yet) the snowy season when we’re tempted to cover our skin in nothing but pure coconut oil (or bear grease). So why are symptoms like irritation and breakouts so common during transitional seasons?




  1. Shifting humidity

As the season gets hotter or colder, levels of humidity in the air go up or down accordingly. That causes our skin to adjust, and sometimes over-compensate by producing excess sebum. Sometimes our skin cannot respond adequately, causing flakiness, dryness, and irritations like eczema or dandruff. (1) It’s especially frustrating when we get oily and flaky skin at the same time.

Our favorite remedy:

Avoid going straight for heavy oils, which don’t actually moisturize skin. Instead, look for products with hyaluronic acid, and seal in the moisture with a non-oily gel-based booster.

  1. Pollution

Recent research has uncovered the skin-aging effects of pollution, especially in urban areas. Pollutants like carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds cause an increase in fine lines, loss of elasticity, and irregular pigmentation.

Unfortunately, in autumn, our pollution exposure may increase as we spend more time in enclosed spaces and there’s more traffic on the roads. Fuel use for heating also goes up, causing more emissions in the air.

Our favorite remedy:

Protect your skin with a product that provides full-spectrum protection against air aging. And why not get a couple of air-purifying plants for your office or home?

  1. Lack of sunlight

When the days get shorter and cooler, we get less sunlight -- and we produce less vitamin D. That can provoke eczema, acne, skin dryness and inflammation. (2)

Our favorite remedy:

We’ll never tell you to neglect your SPF -- but you do need that vitamin D, baby. And if you’re not getting it from sunlight, the best way to get it is through supplementation, either in pill form or liquid oil suspensions.

The most common form is Vitamin D3, which is extracted from wool lanolin, but if you’re plant-based there are many vegan alternatives available online and in healthcare stores.

Feed it

Outdoor dry weather and indoor heating weaken the moisture barrier of the skin. This is the time to get preemptive and hit the moisturizer, especially if you stopped using oil-based skincare in summer.

If you’re on the very dry end of the spectrum, skin oils are great for this. But they can sometimes feel heavy, especially in transitional seasons.

Our skincare hero in autumn is hyaluronic acid because it moisturizes and soothes at the same time.

As a humectant, it draws moisture into your skin. It calms rosacea and several types of irritation. And it doesn’t clog your pores like petrolatum or other heavy skincare ingredients.

Look for serums or creams that include hyaluronic acid or vegetable-based moisturizing ingredients like coconut or argan oil.

Rub it down

When summer comes to a close, that gorgeous glow inevitably starts to fade. All of a sudden you can get unexpected unevenness of tone or skin texture.

Gentle exfoliation helps to keep skin looking even and feeling comfortable. In autumn we like to make our own exfoliant using 1 Tbsp (15 ml) each of acacia honey and brown sugar. Rinse off gently with warm water.

Watch out for heavy-duty scrubs or anything containing menthol — they can irritate your skin and cause pollutants to be absorbed into the sensitized epidermis.

Keep the nasties away

One of the downsides of autumn is that we get more exposure to certain types of pollutants. Traffic gets heavier from the end of summer onwards as we head back to work and it gets cold outside. Indoors, we’re getting heating emissions and indoor chemicals.

Pollutants cause irritation and speed up signs of aging.

The simple solution is to stop them from getting in. We use biosaccharide gum-4 in the formula for Anti-Dose, a vegetable-based skin matrix that blocks pollutants while letting your skin breathe. It just came onto the market and we think it’s an incredible innovation.

We’re also keeping our indoor air clean by getting an air purifier and indoor plants (to replace the ones we killed with our terrible gardening skills…).

One last tip that’s good all year round:

Keep it soothed

A lot of products that are marketed to sensitive skin contain fragrances and other optional ingredients that can cause irritation. Especially essential oils.

Nothing says “welcome back, autumn!” like eczema and flare-ups. So the more sensitive your skin is, the more we recommend avoiding essential oils and other fragrance ingredients. We’re committed to making the Dose Skin line fragrance-free for this reason.




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