Just when we thought we were in the clear as far as seasonal skincare woes go, with summer issues behind us (sunburns, pores perma-clogged with sunscreen and sweat), temperamental skin has reared its head once again. And this time, it’s brought with it a whole slew of issues that are, quite frankly, baffling – and temperatures haven’t even dropped to single digits yet.

Wondering how it’s possible for your skin to transform from super oily to dry and full of breakouts seemingly overnight? You’re not alone. We spoke to four top skincare professionals to learn why our skin is betraying us, and more importantly, what to do about it. 

Read on to learn how to treat post-summer skin, how to prep skin for winter and why fall is the best time to get a facial. 

What are the main skin issues during fall and winter? 

Every pro we spoke to agreed that while there are a range of skin concerns that can arise during this season, the two problems that most people (and most skin types) deal with when transitioning from summer to fall are dryness and sun damage. “Between the air outside becoming drier and indoor heat coming on, moisture is zapped from the skin,” says Lori Beazer, custom cold laser technician at Consonant in Toronto. 

Add in “dehydration from chlorine, sun and alcohol,” says Viviana Quesada, senior spa director at the Four Seasons Toronto, and the effects of an indulgent, carefree summer are evident on your face. 

With increased sun exposure comes more damage to our skin barrier, which allows water to escape our skin, causing dehydration,” explains Praneeta Persaud, skin therapist at Dermalogica. This is especially true in areas where microclimates (i.e. drastically different temperatures and humidity levels between the outside environment and the inside of buildings and cars due to central heating and air conditioning) exist. Persaud explains that our skin loses water in the process of trying to adjust for these constantly changing temperatures. 

If that weren’t enough, Liza Egbogah, doctor of chiropractic, a manual osteopath and clinic director at The [Fix], says that the sun isn’t only responsible for dark spots but also some of the fine lines and wrinkles that have set up residence on your forehead and around your eyes. “During the summer we tend to spend more time outside in the sun, which can result in increased tension from squinting,” she says. 

And it’s not just your skin that might be looking different…

Woke up to find that your jawline and cheekbones have mysteriously vanished? By the end of summer, our faces can appear a bit more swollen. “We tend to be less hydrated in the summer, as we lose more moisture through sweating,” says Egbogah. “We also tend to indulge in more alcohol and salty foods (summer BBQs!), which can result in water retention on our face.” You know how your face looks puffy the morning after indulging in a few Aperol spritzes, and then goes back down to normal in a few hours? Unfortunately, erasing an entire summer of spritzes doesn’t work as quickly.  

That’s all the bad news. Here’s the good news: 

No matter your skin issues, there are tons of options for getting your skin back in great shape post-summer and prepping it for winter. “Fall is the perfect time to recover skin hydration before winter sets in,” says Quesada, who suggests a deep-cleansing facial and a good exfoliation to remove all the dry skin build-up from summer. Follow up with a deeply hydrating facial to lock in moisture. 

If puffiness and water-retention are your main concerns, Egbogah’s signature facial The Face Fix “works to boost lymphatic drainage to say goodbye to the puffiness while defining and lifting the face, and boosts blood flow and collagen formation.” (Welcome bonus: the treatment even releases tension in the facial muscles and neck to help with headaches, jaw pain and congested sinuses.) 

Chemical peels and microdermabrasion treatments are popular to remove superficial dead skin to allow for more effective product penetration,” explains Persaud. Want to take it a step further? She suggests microneedling, a treatment where tiny (like, really, really short and small, we swear) needles are rolled across the skin “to increase skin density and repair sun damage. This can be the perfect fall treatment as your skin requires healing time away from sun exposure.”

Try the following ELLE-approved treatments to correct seasonal skin imbalances: 

Deluxe Sub-Zero Vitality Facial with Cryo Technology

When the sub-zero temperatures hit the skin in a controlled environment, the capillaries automatically flush themselves out, reducing inflammation and enhancing the natural facial contours,” explains Quesada.

Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, prices range from $385 to $410 

The Face Fix Cosmetic Myofascial Release

The multi-step, hour-long treatment involves myofascial release, osteopathic facial manipulation, cupping, Gua Sha and facial rollers, and light face slapping (yes, really). The result? More defined facial contours and smoothed out fine lines.  

The [Fix], $275 

Consonant C3L Elevated Treatment

The nine-step treatment, which was introduced to the brand’s loyal following last year, includes everything from microdermabrasion to cold laser to a high-pressure oxygen spray. “It’s like a full overhaul for the face,” says Beazer.

Consonant Skincare, $245

Dermalogica ProSkin 60-Minute Treatment

The first step in any Dermalogica facial is face-mapping, a skin analysis that kicks off with a questionnaire and ends with a chat with your skin therapist to determine the best, totally customized, facial for your skin needs and goals. “Dermalogica offers 30 and 60 minute ProSkin treatments, ProPower Peel treatments, microdermabrasion and microneedling,” explains Persaud. 

Dermalogica, $100 

Spa My Blend by Clarins at the Ritz-Carlton, Toronto

The Ritz-Carlton Toronto recently revamped their spa offerings, and now offer several new wellness-focused treatments. The Rise and Shine is a vigorous face and body treatment to get blood pumping (and skin glowing). Pair it with the Organic Flora Facial, for deep cleanse that is completely vegan.

Ritz-Carlton, prices vary