Fall is the perfect time to up your beauty and wellness game with healthy habits. Starting with skin, the colder, dryer weather strips moisture, revs inflammation, and causes flakiness.
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That cold-weather assault on skin extends to hair and scalp health, as the skin on the scalp can become just as dry and dehydrated as that of our face and body. “Without even realizing it, we start to take warmer showers and blow-dry our hair more often in the fall season, which can dry out the scalp and hair,” says Dr. Tess Marshall, ND. “This can change our hair’s texture, lead to breakage, and cause inflammation in the scalp.”
To top it off, factors like holiday stress, cold and flu season, and changes in eating and drinking habits (read: festive treats and booze) can affect everything from gut health to cortisol levels to metabolism. All of these underlying issues tank our wellness and may lead to hair thinning and skin issues.
With these fall self-care and beauty tips, you can support your hair, skin, and wellness to look and feel your best this season and beyond.
1. Get your vitamin D and don’t slack on SPF
Whether you get it from the sun, the foods you eat, or a supplement, vitamin D keeps your bones healthy and has been linked to decreased cold and flu susceptibility. You can get the daily recommended amount of vitamin D in your Nutrafol and by eating calcium-rich foods like yogurt, egg yolks, and dark leafy greens. Don’t forget: Just because it’s chilly and overcast doesn’t mean the sun’s UV rays aren’t impacting your skin. Wear SPF any time you go outside.
2. Crank up your humidifier
Humidifiers aren’t just for babies and tropical plants. Whether you opt for a cool or warm mist machine, humidifiers are a soothing addition to your fall self-care. They moisten the air to hydrate and soften chapped skin, ease congestion, and even prevent static electricity. And it’s true that your plants will love it, too.
3. Go organic and limit sugar and processed foods
One of the biggest fall health tips that you can carry on year-round: “Resist the urge to start carb-loading and eat a diet high in whole foods and organic vegetables,” says Dr. Marshall, who cites metabolism and gut health as common root causes of hair thinning. Try swapping sugar with plant-based sweeteners and enjoy hair-healthy fall foods like pumpkin (the real stuff, not a pumpkin spice latte), nuts, cruciferous veggies, and chickpea pasta.
4. Grow out your brows and lashes
We love a bold hair color change or big chop for fall, but there are other ways to enhance your natural beauty and switch up your look. One of our favorites? Growing fuller, thicker lashes and brows. Give your tweezers a break and try nourishing brow and lash hairs with castor oil every night to encourage growth. Bonus: In clinical studies, women taking Nutrafol reported better lashes and brows, so don’t forget to take your four a day!
5. Don’t overdo it with physical exfoliants and retinoids
We get it — your skin is dull and flaky and you want to sandblast it with exfoliants and brighten it with retinol. However, going too hard on physical exfoliants and retinoids can dry you out even more this time of year. Give your skin breaks and consider swapping retinol for vitamin C (another brightening powerhouse) and opting for a chemical exfoliant like lactic or alpha hydroxy acids, which will eschew flakes in a much gentler fashion.
6. Supplement with powerful antioxidants
Some of our favorite antioxidants for autumn and winter are curcumin, resveratrol, and astaxanthin, which is 600 times more powerful than vitamin C. All of these nutraceuticals fight oxidative stress in areas of the body that affect skin and hair health — which is why they’re key ingredients of Nutrafol. They’re also a boon for aging gorgeously.
7. Keep a steady sleep-wake schedule and create a sleep sanctuary
Maintaining a sleep schedule of getting up and going to bed at the same times every day is a gift to your immune system and infection-fighting white blood cells. Experts recommend between seven and nine hours of sleep per night for most adults. If you have trouble falling asleep, try turning your room into a sleep sanctuary by investing in blackout curtains, using aromatherapy, limiting screen time, and switching to silk pillowcases. If you take Nutrafol daily, the stress adaptogen ashwagandha can also promote peaceful slumber.
8. Sleep in moisturizing socks and oil your cuticles every night
What could be cozier than socks infused with vitamin E and jojoba oil? There are a ton of different gel socks that release moisturizing oils onto your skin as you sleep. You can up the ante by coating your feet in Vaseline or lotion before putting on the socks. While you’re at it, rub some apricot oil (or any absorptive oil) on your cuticles before bed. Adding these simple practices to your fall self-care routine will keep your hands and feet soft all season long.
9. Nourish your hair with all the nutrients and support it needs
Humans just tend to move more, eat better, and be happier in the summer months. For those of us who are indulging a little more, exercising a little less, and experiencing higher stress (hello, holidays) in the fall season, our overall wellness takes a dip and our hair needs more support. A supplement like Nutrafol can give your hair the nutrients it needs to counteract the multiple factors (stress, nutrition, metabolism, hormones, and environment) that affect hair health during this time — and always!
10. Meditate and move your body
Meditation has been shown to help lower blood pressure, cortisol, and other markers of stress, while regular exercise has also been linked to managing cortisol levels. The good news is people are embracing digital platforms for their meditation and exercise more and more, which means you can support your wellness from the comfort of your own home through apps (we love Headspace) and online workout classes. Try meditating in the morning or on your break; all you need is five to 10 minutes and a quiet setting. If you only add one fall wellness tip to your routine, this is a great one.
11. Keep stress levels in check with ashwagandha
The year 2020 shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to stress, which is a top culprit of hair thinning and shedding. According to Nutrafol co-founder and chief medical advisor Dr. Sophia Kogan, MD, you may notice hair thinning three to six months after a stressful event. She recommends the stress adaptogen ashwagandha (found in Nutrafol) to help your body adapt to stress and defend your hair growth cycle from stress as a root cause of hair thinning. Bonus: Ashwagandha is known to help with better sleep, mood, and higher libido.
12. Reduce toxins in your hair and beauty routine
Ingredients frequently found in hair care products, such as phthalates and dioxane, are common offenders of endocrine disruption, aka messing with your hormones’ normal functioning. “Transitioning to moisturizing, nutrient-infused clean products can help preserve the health of the scalp and hair shafts during temperature changes,” says Dr. Marshall. “Don’t forget to find a heat protectant cream if you are switching from air-dried summer hair to blow-drying.”
For more fall wellness tips and ideas, follow Nutrafol on Instagram.