If there was ever such a thing as a "good hair season," fall would be it. Summer's humidity has finally departed and autumn's crisp, cool air keeps fly-aways and frizz at bay naturally. So take advantage!
1. Let Your Locks Free
Streamline your hair autumn hair care regimen dropping thick frizz-fighting creams, heavy glossing products and sprays. If you feel you still need a little control, opt for a lighter, airier option. Now that you've got the weather on your side, there's no need to weigh down your tresses.
2. Shop Seasonal Produce -- For Your Face
One of the best remedies for chapped and wind damaged skin caused by fall's cooler temperatures also happens to be a favorite autumn staple -- pumpkin.
Not only is it highly moisturizing, it's also rich in vitamins A and C, which nourishes, conditions and protects your skin with antioxidants.
Make your own pumpkin mask by mixing two tablespoons of cooked pumpkin with one tablespoon of honey. Leave it on for 10 to15 minutes, then rinse with warm water. If you opt to buy, look for facial masks with concentrated pumpkin-seed extract to revive dry skin.
Related: Best Healthy Skin Beauty Buys
3. Layer on the Lip Balm
Autumn's chill leave our lips more prone to chapping, flaking, and cracking. "That's because lower humidity and colder temperatures dry out skin, and lips are part of the skin system," says Elizabeth Hale, clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine.
Keep your lips soft by always wearing a good lip balm. Look for products with conditioning ingredients (such as petrolatum) as well as sunscreen (such as octinoxate). Don't rely on glosses, which actually attract sun.
4. Exfoliate Over-Exposed Skin
"During the summer, people pile on products and sunscreen, so by fall your skin is usually ready for a detox," says Barbara Close, founder of Naturopathica -- and author of Pure Skin: Organic Beauty Basics.
Slough off that dull layer of skin cells and even out skin tone. "I like fruit enzyme masks applied in a warm shower because the steam helps them penetrate," says Close.
5. Even Out Sun Spots
If you're ending summer with a few more patches of dark skin than you started with, you're not alone. Pesky splotches on your nose, cheeks, forehead, eyelids, and decolletage are a common result of too much time in the sun.
Lightening creams, which use bleaching agents, are more assertive, often reducing splotches within a few weeks of use, but the best natural approach to smoothing your spots is gentle exfoliation.
Get the most out of your exfoliating by picking a gentle exfoliant (such as lactic acid) combined with a plant-based skin lightener, suggests holistic dermatologist Julia Tatum Hunter, M.D. A few natural pigment suppressors to look for on the ingredient list: mulberry root extract, licorice root, azelaic acid, found in wheat, barley, and rye, and kojic acid.
6. Calm Damaged Skin with Chamomile
Spending all day outdoors was great while it lasted, but now it's time to come back inside and assess the damage it did to your skin. Summer burns, bug bites, and rashes can leave your skin looking less than perfect come fall -- especially after too much itching.
Try a DIY chamomile spray to calm inflammation caused by all three. These blossoms have a strong chemical constituent that inhibits oxidative stress (from sun damage or skin conditions like hives or eczema) and is palliative on irritated skin.
To make: Place a chamomile tea bag in 8 ounces of boiling water. Cool and pour into a spray bottle to spritz on skin as needed. You can also soak a clean cloth in the tea to make a compress.
7. Boost Your Color
As the leaves are turning vibrant colors, make sure you hair keeps up. Whether you embrace your hair's natural hue or color-treat them, there's always room for more vibrancy and shine -- especially after a summer of color-stripping sun and surf.
But don't rely on a fumy, bottled enhancer for results. Instead, restore your shade with nourishing foods from the pantry.
8. Get a Fall-Inspired Look
A new season calls for a switch into seasonal makeup shades. Autumn is all about warm, earthy colors -- rich browns, mossy greens, deep purples, and shimmering golds.
Start with your lips: Seasonal berries offer the freshest range of reds, says Jessa Blades, an organic makeup artist based in New York City. To find the right red for you, swipe a bunch of shades on the back of your hand to find the most flattering color.
"It's not until you see how it complements your skin that you'll know your perfect match," explains Blades. If a bold, red lip is too much for you, dab on lipstick with your finger to get the precise amount of color you want. To keep your look subtle, try a sheer blush and a simple neutral shadow. "The natural world is all about balance -- that also applies to makeup."
9. Oil Up to Restore Moisture
Not only did the lack of rain dry out the air over the summer, it also sucked the moisture from your skin. Clear skies means more exposure to harmful UV rays that dry out your skin.
One way to hydrate and restore your skin is with carrier oils -- skin-lubricating natural oil, cold-pressed from seeds. When they're scented with an essential oil or dried herb, they carry the properties of that ingredient to your skin. Alone, these skin softeners can be used all over the body to lock in moisture.
Sunflower: Contains vitamin E and has a light, nonsticky feel.
Grapeseed: Perfect for oily skin because it's not greasy.
Olive: Best for dry, itchy skin.
10. Nourish Your Nails
Your nails can become brittle as the weather changes. Keep them well filed to avoid snags that lead to ripping and breakage. Also avoid fast drying nail polishes as they contains isopropyl alcohol (IPA) which causes them to become even more brittle and flaky.
Nourish your nails and hands with a thick natural moisturizer. Rub hands with warm almond oil, avocado oil, or light olive oil, or apply an oil-rich hand and nail cream. Pay particular attention to the nail and cuticle areas.
Fall is a great time to take stock of your pet care routine, too.