Seasonal facials are essential to maintaining healthy skin all year long. That being said, facials should never be a one-size-fits-all approach—after all, as the seasons change, so do your skin’s needs. Fall is the perfect time to repair and clarify the skin, while winter is best for calming, hydrating and maintaining a good skin barrier. Spring should be dedicated to brightening your complexion, and summer is a moment to focus on prevention and protection. (More on each of these later!)
Even if you live in an area without drastic temperature changes during the seasons, all skin types can benefit from four quarterly facials every three to four months. No more, no less! Monthly facials, or even facials every six to eight weeks, can lead to sensitized skin, barrier damage and dehydration—plus, the cost and time is totally unnecessary. Similar to your at-home skincare routine, it’s always important to rotate and space out clinical, active ingredients with your facials.
Need a hand? Here are my ingredient recommendations and skin issues to tackle based on each season of the year.
Skincare Facial Recommendations for Each Season
Fall Facial Recommendation: Repair
The summer sun can cause damage and dehydration, leading to dull, dry skin, uneven tone and hyperpigmentation. Not to mention, the excess sweat mixed with heavier products like sunscreen can clog pores and worsen breakouts. For these reasons, fall is a great time for repairing sun damage and replenishing the skin. You also want to focus on hyperpigmentation and treating acne more rigorously.
Exfoliating ingredients like glycolic, lactic, malic or fruit acid peels are best for tackling discoloration and breakouts, especially when the sun is less intense. Glycolic acids are best for those with acne or more severe hyperpigmentation, while lactic and malic acids are a good choice for those with more balanced skin in need of mild to moderate sun damage repair. Lastly, fruit acids are a great choice for those with sensitive skin—plus, you can use them in your everyday at-home skincare routine.
Other ingredients that are beneficial to use in combination with exfoliating ingredients are niacinamide, licorice root extract and gluconolactone. The benefits of this facial could also be maximized by adding microneedling or a photofacial with light or laser treatments.
Winter Facial Recommendation: Hydrate
Winter is the best time to hydrate, calm and strengthen the skin barrier. Cold, harsh weather can compromise the skin barrier, leading to dry, irritated, red and inflamed skin. You may want to start your session with a few gentle exfoliating ingredients to remove dead, dry skin cells—however, your main goal should be to hydrate, plump and calm.
Look for facials including hydrating hyaluronic acid, plumping peptides and barrier-repairing ceramides. You might even opt for calming antioxidants or even CBD. Keep in mind, adding microdermabrasion to lift away dry, dull skin will help your skin absorb these active ingredients more completely. Bonus: winter is the perfect time to incorporate a facial massage into your facial.
Spring Facial Recommendation: Brighten
Spring is the season to brighten and refresh the skin, but it’s also a time for rejuvenation. Focus on ingredients such as vitamin C and retinol. Other ingredients to look for in a spring facial are alpha arbutin, azelaic acid and linoleic acid. Ultimately, your focus should be on brightening your skin after the long winter months and rejuvenating with a gold standard ingredient such as retinol. This may also be paired with some light exfoliation, microblading and red light therapy.
Summer Facial Recommendation: PreventSummer is all about prevention. This is a time to get a quality antioxidant facial that helps combat both sun and pollution damage. Keep in mind, it’s important to balance detoxifying ingredients, which help prevent breakouts, with moisturizing ingredients, which keep your skin from getting dehydrated. A good mix of antioxidants such as vitamin C, niacinamide and ferulic acid paired with a mild exfoliating acid like lactic acid and ceramides for hydration are a great combination for the summer. This is also the best time to stock up on a quality facial sunscreen for daily use that won’t clog your pores. Lastly, consider spray tanning—for obvious reasons.