Key to the Good Life: Best Fall Face Forward

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Posted By on August 27, 2020
Kimberly Fox, owner of Evolve Skin Bar

Expert advice for seasonal skincare


Sand, salt, sun, chlorine and the sweltering temperatures in Arizona all take a toll on skin. Fortunately, fall offers a chance to repair, revive and rejuvenate.

 “In fall, my clients come in parched and depleted with skin that has become dull from summer fun. And it doesn’t help that we’ve been masked since February, causing breakouts and chaffed epidermal layers,” said Kimberly Fox, owner of Evolve Skin Bar in Scottsdale. A licensed aesthetician and a certified laser therapist, she shares her favorite tips to revive summer-ravaged skin, combat “maskne” and transition into a fresh fall routine. 

Exfoliation Is Key

When a great post-vacation glow turns into dull layers of skin, it’s important to slough off dead skin cells. With proper exfoliation, products and serums will be better absorbed and leave skin more radiant. For chemical exfoliation, Fox turns to retinol — a derivative of vitamin A. “Retinol munches through dead skin cells and helps skin reproduce new cells. It’s good for fine lines, pigmentation, anti-aging and acne,” she said. Fox suggests using retinol three times a week, making sure to apply it at night because it can cause sun sensitivity. She also recommends transitioning to a heavier moisturizer like ceramide cream to prevent scaly skin.

Must-Have for Fall: Pumpkin Wash or Mask

Not only is a pumpkin wash or mask going to smell amazing and give all the fall feels, but it also leaves skin glowing and polished. Pumpkin is a great exfoliant, provides antioxidant support, is naturally rich in vitamins A and C and is packed with alpha hydroxy acid, aka AHAs. Fox’s go-to is Rhonda Allison Pumpkin Parfait Enzyme.

Hydration — Inside and Out

In Arizona, proper hydration goes beyond creams and moisturizers. Fox suggests combating the dryness by having a humidifier at home, which will help put moisture back into the air and promote hydration. She also suggests buying a charcoal water filter for the shower, which reduces the fluoride, chlorine and calcium in Arizona’s hard water. “These things go into your skin, drying you out. The showerhead filters the water, giving you softer, brighter skin. It’s also great for your scalp,” she said.

Of course, the water you drink is essential to keeping your skin hydrated. Fox advises quaffing spring or mineral water. “Chlorinated water from the tap is going to wear on your skin, organs and everything inside. Little things like that make a difference,” she said.

Maskne — Yes, It’s a Thing!

Maskne, or mask-related acne, has popped up along with face coverings. So don’t skip cleansing and look for an oil-free moisturizer to help prevent and clear up those breakouts. The rubbing of the mask can also irritate skin. “My nurse clients have been using a calming skin gel that has a steroid-like hydrocortisone and soothing agents like tea tree, lavender and rose hips,” Fox said.    

And just because your skin is covered doesn’t mean skipping the SPF. Look for an SPF containing zinc, which acts as an anti-inflammatory and reduces swelling and irritation.

Treating Sun Damage

In Arizona, we tend to pigment more in the fall and spring because we are spending more time outdoors. “I love peels to get rid of that damage,” said Fox. A service she recommends is intense pulsed light treatment, or IPL. IPL removes pigmentation and sun damage from the skin, eliminates vascular lesions, promotes collagen and elastin, minimizes pores and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. Many of her clients also get IPL on their shoulders and décolletage, which tend to have a lot of pigmentation.

To learn more, go to scottsdaleskinbar.com.


3 Tips for Better Skin

1. The Right Tools Make a Difference

Gua sha massage tools are among Fox’s favorites. “They’re beneficial for pulling bacteria from the skin. Move the skin around — massage it, love it, get the lymph moving,” she said. “We have bacteria that needs to be pushed through the lymphatic system daily. With gua sha, you are giving your cells love so they are plumping up and regenerating. Spending that extra 10 to 20 minutes a day will make a huge difference.” 

2. Live in AZ? Use Vitamin C!

For Arizona residents, Fox recommends incorporating vitamin C to improve the overall health of the skin. “Vitamin C will combat free radical damage, nourish the skin and give you a natural glow,” she said.

3. Don’t Skimp on Sleep!

Fox recommends eight hours of shut-eye. “Our skin can only rejuvenate while we sleep. Skin is our largest organ. A lot of people forget about that,” she said.

Catie Richman

About Catie Richman

Catie Richman is a contributing writer for Frontdoors Media.