Autumn’s a beautiful season. The leaves, the light, the colours, the cosy. On the flip side, it’s the season of colds and dry skin. I’ve noticed my skin changing as we get further into autumn; I’ve had a cold for over a week and my nose is pretty ravaged.
What to do? What to do?
October is the perfect time to up the ante with extra-moisturising products; the darker evenings (and bunged-up nose) are the perfect excuse for extra pampering before bedtime.
Here are some autumn rituals I’ve been enjoying and some seasonal skincare tweaks I’ve made. I hope you feel inspired too.
Apple Cider Bath à la CAP Beauty
CAP Beauty’s seasonal alters: such a beautiful idea. I haven’t made one yet but it’s on my to do list.
CAP Beauty’s gorgeous High Vibrational Beauty: Recipes and Rituals for Radical Self Care is a feast for the eyes. It’s such a lovely source of inspiration for seasonal well-being; the ideas and rituals are simple and rewarding.
One of their suggested autumn rituals is The Autumn Bath. All you need is a bottle of organic apple cider vinegar and a bath. I bet many of you have a bottle of The Mother tucked in a kitchen cupboard lingering from a forgotten salad dressing recipe, just like we did.
Apple Cider Vinegar: a store cupboard staple.
This one is so easy. Run a hot bath and add a cup or two of apple cider vinegar. Jump in, lie back and relax. To turn up the relaxation, I like a hot cup of tea, a couple of candles and some relaxing music to go with my autumn bath.
Is there anything nicer than a candle lit bath on an autumnal evening before bed?
Candles, tea and vinegar. All you need for the Autumn Bath.
Why Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple Cider Vinegar is antibacterial and alkalizing; it has loads of amazing benefits for your skin and hair. The book points out that what goes on your skin, goes into your body: an apple cider bath can aid digestion, inflammation and joint pain.
I’ve added apple cider vinegar to a couple of baths and I’ve noticed that my skin is much softer afterwards. I can’t vouch for better digestion but I’ve enjoyed warm baths on cold nights and tucked myself up in bed relaxed, decongested and with much softer skin. What more could you want from an autumn ritual?
Skincare: The Autumn Edit
My skin needs much more attention during autumn and winter. Winter is the most problematic season for my skin, but I can feel and see some seasonal changes in my complexion already.
I’ve changed some products in my skincare routine since my last clean beauty post.
I’ve switched to Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser, Sukin’s Hydrating Mist Toner and Green People’s Hydrating Calming Serum. I’ve only been using these products for a week. They seem to be working well, especially the butter cleanser but it’s too soon for a full review. I’m still using Nourish’s Radiance Brightening Moisturiser from summer, Weleda’s Almond Soothing Cleansing Lotion in my nightly double cleanse and the end of a bottle of Buddha Beauty’s Jasmine and Chamomile Night Cream sent to me as part of a product trial earlier in the year.
Simply the best.
Weleda’s Skin Food is a reliable salve for any extra dry bits. It’s been perfect for soothing my cold ravaged nose. It doesn’t sting, so it’s great for children too.
SOS Mask: Great for dry skin in cooler seasons.
At the moment, I’m still going with my tube of Mádara’s SOS Instant Moisture + Radiance Hydra Mask. This is a nice treatment to pop on before bed; I like that you can leave it on overnight. I’m using it twice a week for extra hydration. I don’t know if I need to mask this frequently but it seems like a good habit to get into before winter.
My skin is always at its best when I keep up with a good skincare routine. It takes about a week to get it back into shape if I fall into bad habits, such as leaving make-up on overnight or forgetting to use serum before face cream.
In the morning a quick cleanse with the butter and a warm muslin cloth, spritz of toner finished with serum and moisturiser means that my skin is fresh enough to do the school run without make-up or is prepped ready for make-up. Sometimes I exfoliate my face in the shower if it’s particularly dry or flakey. Good morning skincare really is the foundation for better make-up. If I skip the cleansing, toning and serum stages I run the risk of my foundation sticking to my cheeks and nose. It’s also nice to grab a few minutes to myself and take a few big breaths before facing the outside world.
I’ve spoken about my love of a double cleanse at the end of the day before. 10 minutes of pampering and looking after my skin is a cornerstone of my self-care regime. Nothing in my good night facial has changed since summer, except a few of the products, detailed above and the twice weekly face mask.
If you missed my summer rituals post, I start my goodnight facial with an oil or balm cleanser, which I massage into my skin. I remove this with a hot cloth or flannel. I then massage a cream cleanser into my skin to remove all last traces of oil and make-up. I use the other side of the hot cloth to remove this. I try to spend as long as possible massaging my skin, especially with the first cleanser, using the heat of my fingers to warm the products and boost circulation. After cleansing I spritz toner all over my face. I then massage in a pea-sized blob of serum. I’ve been leaving this to settle while I brush my teeth and before massaging a richer night cream onto my face, neck and décolletage.
It’s easy to forget about your feet once summer’s over. At this time of year, mine are hibernating in socks or tights, under the duvet or tucked into a blanket on the sofa. Except on Sunday, when I’m at yoga. Now I know that no-one’s looking at my feet and that I’m the only person offended by my chipped varnish and uncared for heels. But it’s been making me feel less together as I whip my socks off in downward-facing dog to see very chipped varnish. I kind of feel that the person who regularly makes the 9.15 Sunday morning yoga class is the kind of person who should have neat toe nails and smooth heels.
Some foot love and nail care, with or without varnish, is a nice and easy ritual.
Start by soaking your feet in the bath or a bowl of hot water. Add your favourite bath oil or essential oil. Once you’re feet are soaked (straight after your bath or about 15 minutes if using a bowl), exfoliate with your choice of tool. A pumice stone is a great eco option. Clip your toe nails and file. I have a glass file – these last much longer than emery boards and can be recycled when blunt. Rub some oil into your toe nails and push your cuticles back very gently with a cuticle stick, or your fingers. Massage your feet, especially your heels, with a rich cream. If you have a willing partner or friend, ask them to give your feet a massage. Foot rubs are my favourite! You may have to repay the favour though…
Put your feet up and leave loads of time for your nails to dry.
Ethical Nail Varnish
Zoya make Big10 Free nail varnishes and boast an impressive range of colours. They finish just as well as conventional brands like O.P.I. and Jessica. They’re my go-to for ethical nail varnish. Their Autumn 2018 colours are stunning. I’ve already got a few different shades in my drawer, so I don’t need any more but I’ll admit that I’m tempted.
When it comes to painting my toes I leave plenty of time for drying: 1 hour for just drying; 2 hours before socks go back on. This is a great job to do in front of a boxset or favourite TV programme. Once completely dry I like to rub some more cream or balm into my heels, pop on some socks and jump into bed.
What are your favourite autumnal beauty rituals? How are your feet faring after summer? Do you find you get itchy skin as the weather cools? What’s your favourite flaky skin salve? Do you double cleanse? If so, which are your favourite cleaners?