It’s officially Fall. The weather is cooling down, the leaves are warming up in color, and I’ve got pumpkin pie on my mind.
Every season has its charm. But I’ve always considered Fall to be the best season for our skin. Want to know why? Well, the extremes of Summer and Winter can be incredibly harsh on our skin, especially if we are not taking special care of it. And in Springtime, although a beautiful time of year, the flowering blooms can cause allergies, which can have a negative affect on our skin.
Each season also has different seasonal ingredients that are known for their different health and skin benefits. These are ingredients that, when consumed either through eating, or applied topically as skincare, can improve your skin health and complexion exponentially. In this article I will be talking about nine of the best seasonal fall ingredients for radiant skin.
Seasonal Natural Ingredients
In the Fall months of September through to November, we’re going to feel the weather cool down. Particularly after the Summer we’ve just had, it’s a welcome change. You’ll also see the fresh produce in your local supermarket change with the season.
You may already know that sticking to seasonal ingredients is always best practice to get the most out of food at the lowest price. Chefs will build a menu off ingredients that are seasonal. Dieticians will tell you to eat foods that are in season. Even in Ancient Ayurvedic traditions they believed in following Ritucharya, where they believe in sticking to eating seasonal foods to maintain good health. Foods that are in season are the most accessible and are at their peak, so the cost will be the lowest, the taste will be the greatest, and the nutrient content will be at their highest.
While skincare is not necessarily seasonal, some of the natural ingredients used in skincare are. It’s always best to treat our skin from the inside as well as the outside. That means consuming good quality, in-season foods, and using good quality, complementary skincare.
To get radiant skin, these are nine of the best natural ingredients to have in your diet and your skincare ritual during Fall:
- Sea Buckthorn Berries
- Licorice Root
- Marshmallow Root
These sweet, mushy fruits are high in potassium and fiber, and have incredible amounts of silica and antioxidants. Silica is known for increasing skin’s collagen production, as well as nourishing and protecting the skin from dryness and signs of aging, while antioxidants are vital in protecting the skin from pollutants and cell damage. Banana is also known to help with skin breakouts and hyperpigmentation.
This serum contains banana fruit juice as the main ingredient, as well as hyaluronic acid to boost your skin’s water content, and a natural retinol alternative called samphire. Samphire helps with pigmentation, fine lines, blemishes, and helps to regenerate damaged skin cells. Add this serum to any ritual, morning or night.
Cranberries are low in sugar, so they taste quite bitter, which is why you’ll often see them with added sugar—something to be mindful of if you want to also add them to your diet. They are incredibly high in Vitamin C, E, and K, which helps with skin’s collagen and elastin, as well as slowing the signs of aging. Vitamin C is also great for brightening.
This serum is designed to protect the skin’s cells from degenerative damage caused by pollution and sun damage. It contains cranberry seed oil; along with plant stem cells from apple and argan; and red algae astaxanthin known for its antioxidant properties. This ampoule will protect and regenerate your skin, while balancing your skin’s pH, which is vital for your skin's health.
Sea Buckthorn Berry
Sea Buckthorn Berries have a bitter apricot-like taste. This botanical is a natural collagen booster and anti-inflammatory. Much like cranberry, it is high in antioxidants and Vitamin C, but Sea Buckthorn Berry also contains all four omega fatty acids (3, 6, 7, 9), which means that it is extraordinarily effective at repairing the skin’s barrier, and keeping inflammation at bay.
My Pick: UpCircle Beauty’s Coffee Face Serum
This best-selling face serum is formulated with 98% organic ingredients, one of them being sea buckthorn berry, of course. Another ingredient is salvaged coffee grounds from the coffee industry in London. Coffee is an antioxidant, known for its protective properties. Other ingredients include rosehip oil, used for centuries in Ayurvedic traditions to exfoliate and brighten dull complexions, and calendula flower known for its anti-inflammatory benefits.
This small seeded fruit packs more than just some sweet tanginess. It’s a powerful antioxidant with vitamins A and C, riboflavin and carotene, all which are proven to improve skin’s circulation, boosting the hydration, and reducing signs of aging.
This eye serum is formulated with a careful selection of natural ingredients like passionfruit, sea buckthorn berry, rosehip oil and coffee oil. It is fast-absorbing, and will help to firm the eye area, while nourishing and hydrating.
Another incredible tangy and bitter fruit is Elderberry. You may have seen this ingredient in skincare before. It’s an antioxidant, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial berry, which helps balance skin’s sebum and oil production. So anyone who has particularly oily skin, inflamed, or are prone to breakouts will benefit from using skincare that contains elderberry.
This face serum has a unique ingredients-list. With ingredients like elderberry, of course; Bulgarian Yarrow oil for reducing inflammation and healing acne; Bosnian helichrysum oils for healing scarring, revitalizing skin tissue, and minimizing sagging; turmeric for soothing inflammation and brightening; and lavendar oil for calming, hydrating, and rejuvenating skin. Use this morning and night for the best results.
Turmeric is quite a strong smelling and tasting spice often used in Indian dishes. Anyone who has an autoimmune or skin condition like IBS, psoriasis, or eczema may already be using turmeric in their diet to help with inflammation. But did you know that turmeric has been used in ancient Ayurveda for thousands of years to treat skin conditions, too? Turmeric is an effective brightening and anti-inflammatory agent when applied topically to the skin.
My Pick: Honua Skincare ‘Ōlena Beauty Oil
This oil is absolutely gorgeous. It has an earthy aroma, and absorbs into the skin very quickly. Key ingredients are, of course, olena (turmeric); noni plant known for its antioxidant properties; kukui nut for nourishment; and kamani oil for protection against cellular damage. These ingredients are native to Hawaii, and are locally sourced or wildcrafted. Use this oil as your last step in your ritual for a boost to your skin’s natural glow.
Fall wouldn’t be Fall without pumpkin. This slightly sweet fruit (that’s right, it’s not a vegetable) has some truly amazing properties when used in skincare. Pumpkin is rich in niacin, riboflavin, B6 and folate, all of which help with skin conditions like acne. It promotes collagen production, and can also reduce inflammation and redness.
This mask is a great addition for the cooler months. We often forget to exfoliate when the weather cools down, when really, we should still exfoliate once a week. This mask has glycolic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid known to break down dead skin cells. It also contains fruit enzymes, natures exfoliant; neem, for inflammation; and sandalwood, lemon and orange peel for brightening. Use this mask once a week after cleansing.
This strong, bitter, sometimes salty and sour root is best consumed as a brewed tea. Licorice root is an amazing ingredient for treating eczema and all kinds of inflammatory conditions. It also has skin brightening properties.
My Pick: Māhealani Moonlit Glow Balm
Māhealani is packed with some pretty powerful ingredients. Aside from licorice root, she is also formulated with deeply nourishing butters like illipe seed, shea, and cacao; hydrating and brightening oils like jojoba, camellia, macadamia, kukui nut, and acai; and vetiver root oil, also effective in minimizing inflammation. Apply her as a last step in your ritual.
Marshmallow root has some incredible hydration properties. Unlike licorice root, marshmallow root is earthy, woody, and floral in flavor. But you are still best to consume it as a tea.
This cleanser is my absolute favorite. For anyone who has sensitive or inflamed skin, acne, oily, dry, or even normal-combination skin types, this is a must have. It is formulated with a number of effective ingredients, like chamomile and calendula for healing and soothing, and pumpkin seed for keeping acne at bay. What I love about this cleanser is how it foams into a luxurious lather, cleanses the skin effectively, but leaves the skin so soft and hydrated.
Healthy and Simple Ways to Add Seasonal Ingredients to Your Diet
As I stated earlier, the best way to get radiant skin is to treat it from the inside and out. I’ve given you some amazing skincare products formulated with these nine effective Fall ingredients. And now here are some super simple ways to add these ingredients to your diet to facilitate even more radiant skin.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but I found that making smoothies is the easiest way to boost my nutrient-intake. I love to make a smoothie first thing in the morning, especially if I’m busy. And if I don’t end up eating a lot of fruits and vegetables for the rest of the day, at least I’ve already had my boost of nutrients. Bananas (frozen work best), Passionfruit, and even Turmeric (just a small scoop) can all go into a smoothie, along with baby spinach, any other fruits you like, and water, almond, or coconut milk.
Breakfast or Dessert
Cranberries, Sea Buckthorn Berries, and Elderberries are all similarly bitter. You can simmer these berries together with some water, and honey or maple syrup on low heat to cook them through (around 15-20 minutes), then keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. Serve a scoop over oatmeal and yoghurt, or chia pudding for breakfast. Or even over some ice cream for dessert.
Anything that comes from a root can be brewed as a tea for 10 minutes. Brew Licorice Root with a cinnamon stick, a slice of ginger root, and water. Marshmallow root can be brewed on its own in some water, or with some loose peppermint tea. You can store tea in the fridge and even serve it cold as a refreshing drink.
Endless Pumpkin Options
There are so many ways you can enjoy pumpkin. As a spiced latte. Slow-baked with cinnamon, salt, and olive oil, and served as a side. Steamed and pureed into chickpea hummus. Baked with oatmeal and chai spices for breakfast. Steamed and tossed in a salad. As a creamy spiced soup. Or, one of my favorites, pumpkin pie.
As the seasons change, always take note of ingredients that are in season at your supermarket. Find ways to incorporate those ingredients into your life, whether it be through eating or drinking, or using them in your beauty ritual. Using seasonal ingredients is the most efficient and cost-effective way to maintain healthy radiant skin all-year round.
Emma Masotti is an Australian now living in Austin, TX, and has been a trained esthetician for over 15 years. She is a sustainable skincare writer, educating and building awareness around proper skin health that doesn’t cost the earth.
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