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Your Skincare Guide: Fall Edition

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Washington chapter.

If your skin is anything like mine, you know that the wind and rain of autumn weather tends to deflate and dehydrate your sensitive skin. As someone who’s always on the hunt for the healthiest, budget friendly skin products, I wanted to throw together a quick and easy guide to some skincare essentials that will help keep your skin soft and glowing even as summer becomes a tragically distant memory. 

Face Wash: Essential 


The first step in a skincare routine is washing your skin of all the dirt and impurities built up over the day. I have combination and sensitive skin, so certain products can irritate my redness or cause my skin to breakout. I found Aveeno’s Ultra Calming Foaming Cleanser to be perfect for my sensitivities, and clear off my makeup without drying out my skin. Another alternative is Neutrogena’s Fresh Foaming Cleanser which I have heard is gentle and lightweight while still getting the job done. 

We all have those nights where we just want to knock out and go to bed without the hassle of the entire skincare routine. For those cheat nights, I recommend having Garnier’s Micellar Cleansing Water handy—it’s a cleansing water that you just wipe on your face with a cotton pad to get rid of your makeup before finally passing out from a hard day’s work. 

Moisturizer: Essential 

Moisturizing is one of those essential steps for obvious reasons—you need to hydrate your skin! I’m obsessed with finding products that have good ingredients but are still budget friendly. Thus, for a moisturizer I’m currently using Pacifica’s Dream Youth Day Night Face Cream. Pacifica is a natural drugstore brand that is 100% vegan and cruelty-free, so it’s great for staying in a budget while making sure you’re not putting harsh chemicals and parabens on your face. After I use up this one, I’m going to try Pacifica’s Cactus Kale Stress Recovery Lotion

Face Mask: Essential 

Face masks are essential during midterms when rising stress levels seem to correlate exactly with increased acne and blemishes (at least for me). Not only will they calm your inflamed skin, but they will lower your stress as you take a break from studying for a refreshing face mask. Freeman’s Dead Sea Minerals Anti-Stress Mask has taken the spot of number one facemask since high school. After I use it, I always see instant results of my skin feeling smoother, softer, and brighter. For an alternative, my friend swears by Formula 10.0.6’s Deep Down Detox Ultra Cleansing Mud Mask for that real facial experience and deep pore cleansing.

Toner: Optional 

A toner isn’t absolutely necessary for a skincare routine, especially when you’re trying to keep it minimal. However, for those of you interested, I highly recommend it as it has done wonders for smoothing out my skin and keeping breakouts at bay. Every night, I put Thayer’s Witch Hazel Toner on a cotton pad right after cleansing, and wipe off the excess makeup that might have been left behind. Seriously, I’ve already gotten a friend into it and she agrees that it’s amazing. Alternatively, I’ve heard that Pixi’s Glow Tonic helps with overall complexion and brightness. 

Serum: Optional 

This is a new step that I’ve recently started so results are still pending—however, I have high hopes for this as a skin hydrator. I started using a serum because even with moisturizing, drinking water, and taking care of my skin religiously, my skin still felt dehydrated. My friend told me about Hyaluronic Acid Serum, a type of substance that retains 1000x its weight in water, so when you use on your skin, it’s supposed to add moisture to your skin better than an actual moisturizer can. For those of you interested, you can try it out with me!

Extra Protection: Optional 

For a little extra protection, Aquaphor’s got you covered. I don’t know about you, but even with all the water I drink and chapstick that I keep on me 24/7, my lips are always cracked! Only intense lip balms and Aquaphor have been able to help. When I put it on right before bed, my lips feel soft in the morning! Aquaphor is multi purposed so it can also be used to hydrate cracked knuckles, dry elbows, spots of flakiness, or whatever else you might need for quick healing and protection. 

With these products on your bathroom counter, you’ll be prepared for anything—even a repeat of Friday’s freak snowstorm—and your skin will thank you for it.