Essential summer-to-fall skincare transition tips you need to start doing right now.

It seems like only yesterday you were giddy with excitement about an upcoming summer getaway. Suddenly, it’s almost time to unpack your cashmere sweater and jacket collection. But it’s not only your wardrobe that needs a transitional tweak. With the air getting crisper and drier, now it’s the right time to take a hard look at your existing skincare routine. Is it still working for you? If yes – great! Save this article in your to-read list and revisit it a couple of weeks later. But if your skin has been acting up – feeling tight or sensitized more than usual, that’s the sign your routine needs some rethinking.

Below, we’re sharing eight tips to seamlessly transition your skincare regimen between the seasons without stressing or overwhelming your skin.

TIP 1. Question a morning face wash.

If you have oily skin, in summer you’ve likely to been washing your face with a cleanser morning and night. But do you still need it? We, humans, are creatures of habit, so it’s easy to continue doing the same thing even though it might no longer be necessary. Unless it’s boiling outside and you wake up feeling sticky and sweaty, it’s better to use just water and follow up with a toner to prep your face for the day.

TIP 2. Switch to a milder cleanser.

While foaming cleansers with stronger surfactants are great for summer to prevent clogged pores, it’s time to switch things up come fall. If cleanse in the am is a must, go for a gentle hydrating face wash and choose creamy, milky lotion-type cleanser for the night. The same principle applies to choosing cleansing water. Check the ingredient list to make sure it’s formulated with mild cleansing agents that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils.

TIP 3. Upgrade your NIGHT moisturizer, keep using your lightweight gels.

We often hear that we should switch to heavier moisturizers AS SOON AS fall is on the corner. But let’s be honest, September is probably the most unpredictable and controversial month in terms of the weather. One day you regret not layering your moisturizer and the next, you wish you’ve opted for a light gel instead. When the weather is playing tricks, we recommend tweaking your night routine first. Ensuring you get enough hydration and moisture at night can help you to get away with keep using a lighter day cream. Look for the cream (or sleeping mask) that has the right humectants, emollients, and occlusives ratio to provide holistic moisturizing benefits.

A quick reminder. Humectants (hyaluronic acid, glycerin) will improve your skin’s ability to draw water from the environment. Emollients (ceramides) will strengthen the skin’s protective barrier and smooth your skin. Finally, occlusives (silicones) will form a protective film on top of your skin to ensure that the skin can hold moisture for longer.

The same principle applies to sheet masks. Choose masks with moisturizing and nourishing benefits that will help to seal all that moisture in. And voila! Follow up with your usual routine in the morning, and your skin will be weather-proof.

TIP 4. Consider adding eye cream.

The eye contour has the thinnest, most delicate skin. No surprise then, it can get dehydrated quickly once the temperatures drop. So, we recommend paying extra attention to an eye area, investing in a special cream or a good moisturizer that can double as eye cream.

TIP 5. Protect, Protect, Protect.

Just because you’ve packed your bikini away doesn’t mean you should do the same with your sunscreen. While the UVB rays (the ones that give you tan) aren’t as strong in fall and winter, UVA rays (the ones responsible for cancer and premature aging) aren’t going anywhere even when it’s icy cold outside. Long story short, protecting your skin from UV damage is a year-round job. So stock up on your favorite sunscreen and apply (and reapply) to the face, neck, ears, chest and any exposed areas to shield your skin from harmful rays.

TIP 6. Exfoliate more? Less?

Ah, that’s the tricky one, and it entirely depends on your skin type. Oily skin types tend to exfoliate more in summer because that’s when skin produces the most oil increasing chances for clogged pores and congested skin. Those with dry skin, however, tend to exfoliate more in colder months because that’s when their skin becomes patchy and flaky. In other words, If you’ve regularly been exfoliating during summer, fall is the time to go easy on your scrubs and peel gels. But if your skin looks scaly, rough to the touch and make-up cakes up,  it’s time to welcome exfoliators back in your skincare routine.

While the UVB rays (the ones that give you tan) aren’t as strong in fall and winter, UVA rays (the ones responsible for cancer and premature aging) aren’t going anywhere even when it’s icy cold outside.

TIP 7. Consider switching bedding.

Even the nicest, softest cotton can cause friction on dry, sensitive skin. Consider switching to silk pillowcases that offer numerous benefits not only for your skin (like keeping it smooth and wrinkle-free) but hair as well.

TIP 8. Invest in an air humidifier.

Usually, your skin draws moisture from the environment to maintain optimal water-oil balance. During fall and winter, as humidity levels drop, your skin can quickly become dehydrated, especially once the heating season starts. We recommend getting a humidifier and turn it on as soon as you get home to help your skin naturally replenish moisture.

The bottom line is, however, you choose to approach the transitioning process; it’s essential not to overhaul your skin regimen all at once. The goal should always be nudging your skin in the right direction and helping it to adjust to seasonal changes without causing stress.

Any other tips to add? Let us know in the comments below!


Ingredient Series: Pearl Extract

A powerful antioxidant to save your post-summer skin.

Nothing screams aging more than sun-stressed post-summer skin. All the summer activities are super fun, but they also leave our skin looking dull, lackluster, desiccated, and as a result way older than it is. The beginning of fall then is the perfect time to regroup and start strategically planning your skincare routine around the ingredients that help to do the damage control.

Among many ingredients that help brighten the skin and fight sun damage, pearl extract is the one that deserves a spotlight. More than a luminous stone, a pearl is a powerful antioxidant that has an abundance of beauty-boosting benefits to give you the healthy glowing skin of your dreams.

Pearl extract or Pearl powder? Are they the same?

Lately, pearl powder and its benefits have become a popular topic in the skincare community. But is pearl extract and pearl powder the same?
Sometimes pearl extract and pearl powder are used interchangeably, and it’s not all that wrong. But they do have their differences. Pearl powder is more concentrated, raw form of pearl. It is made of freshwater pearls that are sterilized in boiling water and milled into a fine powder. This powder can be used as a food supplement or used to formulate creams and serums. But as you might know, the majority of our skincare (think toners, lightweight creams, sheet masks) are water-based. So to make it soluble and thus suitable for more elegant and sophisticated formulations, the powder is mixed with sea mineral water to make a pearl extract.

More than a luminous stone, a pearl is a powerful antioxidant that has an abundance of beauty-boosting benefits to give you the healthy glowing skin of your dreams.

Pearl extract is classified as an antioxidant and contains a number of amino-acids that heal and maintain cells in a human body. It’s very rich in calcium (concentration at 30-80%), magnesium, selenium, iron, silica, and other trace minerals that play a vital role in skin and body health. Pearls also contain unique compound conchiolin – a type of protein called keratin that’ s an essential part of our hair and skin. This protein gives pearls their shimmery luminous look.

What can pearl extract do to help your skin?

Healthy youthful glow. We all know that healthy glowing skin is first and foremost hydrated skin. And pearl extract can definitely help in that area as it’s an excellent humectant. Because of its soothing and restorative effect, pearl extract hydrates the skin and helps to retain the moisture.

Slowing the aging process. Although scientific data on the efficacy of pearl extracts is limited, studies have shown that pearls activate fibroblasts – cells responsible for building collagen and promoting faster wound healing. When applied topically, pearl extract can support cell regeneration process to prevent skin sagging and wrinkles. Its high concentration of antioxidants will help to protect the skin against radical damage. The skin will appear smooth, tight, and plump.

Because of its soothing and restorative effect, pearl extract hydrates the skin and helps to retain the moisture.

Inhibit melanin production. Pearl extract has been shown effective in the treatment of pigmented skin as well as preventing skin discoloration.

Helping acne-prone skin. Since pearl extract is rich in so many nutrients that are vital for skin health, it helps to restore skin balance, promote regeneration, and calm down redness and blemishes.

All in all, be in in a cream, serum, essence or a sheet mask format, pearl is a wonderful natural ingredient to add to your radar for glowing healthy skin.

How stress affects your skin and what can you do about it.

Spoiler alert: it takes more than learning a couple of breathing techniques.

If you’re a living and breathing human, you’ve most likely had those weeks, months even when life turns upside down. Your job responsibilities are spiraling out of control, personal life becomes a complete mess, and on top of that, upstairs neighbors flooded your bedroom. You’re always on your toes, stressed out, tired, can’t sleep, can’t eat. And your skin starts to ACT UP. Flares of eczema, severe dryness and, of course, new pimples popping up daily.

You might think it’s all in your head – as long as you do your best to manage stress, all your skin troubles will disappear without a trace. But in reality, it takes more than learning a few deep-breathing techniques to clear your bout of stress acne or eczema flare. So, what does it take? Read along to find out.

First, you need to understand what exactly happens to your skin when you feel stressed.

  1. Stress triggers an inflammatory response. One of the main reasons why your skin flares up are because of an inappropriate release of inflammatory chemicals. Under normal circumstances, these chemicals are good for you. It’s a natural way to protect your body’s health and fight unwanted viruses that enter the system. But since stress isn’t the flu and there’re no actual viruses to go to a battle with, the inflammation causes your skin to misbehave. If you are susceptible to a particular skin condition, say rosacea or eczema, stress will be a trigger that leads to dry, itchy, irritated patches of skin across your body. Inflammation can also mess with your immune system, making you more prone to infections. On top of that, in some cases, you’re also running the risk of developing an autoimmune disease. Your body starts to attack and damage its own healthy tissue resulting in such conditions as alopecia (hair loss), psoriasis or vitiligo.
  2. Stress sends sebaceous glands into overdrive and contributes to premature skin aging. Stress triggers the production of a hormone called cortisol, which causes your skin to produce more oil. Excess oil leads to pore clogging, creating the perfect environment for acne bacteria to grow. Hello, unwanted acne! But not only that, cortisol increases blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and fat storage while lowing growth hormone. It ain’t called the “aging hormone” for nothing. Stress triggers an inflammatory response.
  3. Stress dries out your skin. Stress damages your protective barrier by destroying hyaluronic acid in your body and makes you more susceptible to dryness. You might have also noticed that whenever you feel stressed, you’ll sweat more than usual, which also contributes to skin dehydration.

If you are susceptible to a particular skin condition, say rosacea or eczema, stress will be a trigger that leads to dry, itchy, irritated patches of skin across your body.

So, then, what can you do?

Don’t get us wrong; learning how to deal with the stress when you’re feeling all the feels is something we definitely recommend doing. It won’t clear up your acne, or calm down inflamed skin right away. But it will help to feel less stressed, which in turn might have a positive effect on your skin.

At the same time, don’t rely on meditation alone. Yes, skincare is probably not what you want to engage with right now actively. But developing a clear, thought-out regimen is crucial to help your skin to become healthy again. Take a step back, look at your medicine cabinet/vanity, and re-think your skincare routine. You need a break, and your skin needs a break, so going on a skincare diet and sticking to the basics is the best thing you can do.

You need a break, and your skin needs a break, so going on a skincare diet and sticking to the basics is the best thing you can do.

Here are a couple of ground rules to follow when building your “stressed-skin-approved” skincare routine.

  • Choose the most gentle and non-irritating cleanser you own. One thing you don’t want to do is to dry out or sensitize your skin even further. But don’t eliminate a face wash from your routine completely, especially if your skin oils are going out of control. You need to keep those pores clean to prevent them from clogging again and again.
  • Don’t use exfoliators, chemical, or physical. Remember, we need to add to our skin, not subtract. And while there are plenty of great gentle peels on the market, your skin is not in the position to handle them just yet.
  • A good moisturizer is your friend. Use a toner if you must, but skip serums and ampules. We’re trying to put as little on our skin as possible to minimize the risk another eczema flare. A nice moisturizer – preferably low pH with ceramides and hyaluronic acid – is all you need to restore your compromised skin barrier.

Don’t use exfoliators, chemical, or physical. Remember, we need to add to our skin, not subtract.

Finally, if you’ve run into a wall and feel like nothing is working, it’s always best to consult a professional. Book an appointment with your dermatologist and see if you might benefit from several therapy sessions to get you through the rough patch. There are plenty of online mental health services that you can use from the comfort of your own home.

Summer skincare DOs and DON’Ts for oily, blackhead-prone skin.

It’s this time of year again. Ever shiny T-zone, make-up that melts after one subway ride and stubborn blackheads. It’s easy to grow desperate – especially when your day at work is jam-packed with meetings where looking presentable is a must. But before you start taking radical measures, remember that summer heat and humidity is a stress for your skin, and your skincare regimen should focus on reliving that stress, not exacerbating it. So, let’s talk about some don’t and dos of a summer skincare routine that will help to balance overheated excessively oily skin and make it healthy again. 


Don’t switch to a harsh alkaline cleanser. It’s a common misconception that you need a stronger cleanser in summer because a low pH one won’t remove sweat and sebum as effectively. True, high pH cleansers do have superior powers, and you might feel instantly “cleaner” (ah, that instant gratification!), but in the long run it won’t do your skin any favors. It will start producing even more oil, trying to compensate for the loss of moisture and you’ll end up with even oilier skin. 


Double cleanse! Even though a one-step cleansing routine trend is gaining popularity in Korea (which is ironic given that Korea started a double cleansing boom), we aren’t entirely sold on the idea. Double cleanse is a way to go if you want to be gentle yet thorough with your cleansing. Use light cleansing oil and finish off with a gentle second cleanser that contains ingredients such as Salicylic Acid, Green Tea or Charcoal to target oily skin concerns.  


Don’t overdo on chemical exfoliators. Wait, what? Do you say exfoliate less? Well, here is the thing. For the same, reason we don’t recommend strong alkaline cleansers, using too many acids is a no-go. It will cause dryness, redness, flaky skin and even discoloration. 


Balance, balance, balance. Salicylic Acid and Beta Hydroxy Acids are extra powerful for oily skin. They help to clear blackheads, reduce and prevent breakouts, so by all means, use them. Just make sure to limit their use to 1 product per routine. For instance, if you opt for a toner with a high acid content, choose a non-acid-containing second cleanser. If you absolutely need to use both, then go for products with lower overall concentrations.


Don’t abuse clay masks. While clay masks should be a staple in your summer skincare routine, using clay masks every day a sure way to dehydrated skin. Believe us when we say this – if there is one thing that is worse than having an oily skin in summer, it is having a dehydrated oily skin. 


Use clay masks 1-2 times a week and opt for milder, less drying types of clay like kaolin or bentonite.


Don’t use pore strips. Just don’t. Please. We understand that it’s super satisfying to pull off a strip and see these little specks of gunk and grime covering the surface. But using pore strips regularly will stretch your pores and ultimately lead to even more blackheads. Besides, they can easily irritate and tear the skin bringing micro spider veins to the surface of the skin. Not a good look.


Be gentle to your skin. The best cure is prevention. Don’t wait until the situation gets so bad you need heavy artillery. Devise a morning and evening pore-care plan (but nothing too complicated!) and stick to it. You’ll be surprised how a consistent routine will change the overall look and feel of your pores. 


Don’t face tan. There is a dangerous rumor circulating in a skincare community that tanning helps to clear out the skin and get rid of blackheads. And it’s the biggest don’t on this list. After spending a day under the sun, you might notice that your skin is seemingly less oily and blackheads are gone. But it’s an illusion. Sun rays dry out the skin, throwing it off balance even further. The result? You guessed it. Your skin will double up on oil production to make up for the missing water. Some skincare specialists also caution that sun damage you’ll inevitably get from frying your face will cause the skin to thicken. Thicker skin is harder to exfoliate, and you’ll have a higher chance to develop clogged pores in the future. 


Try mineral sunscreens as they are great for controlling excess sebum. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide will absorb the oils your skin is producing, minimizing the chance of clogged pores and keeping your complexion shine-free. 

Et voilà! Do you have more tips for managing oily skin in summer? Let us know in the comments below.