Autumn Skin Care Transition Q&A with Dr. Rivers


Thank you for all of your questions for Dr. Rivers.  As always, if you have anymore inquiries please email us at

  1. What are some of the biggest skin changes that can happen in the fall?

    Main skin changes in the fall are related to a drop in humidity both inside and outside the home. Your skin can become more dry, scaly and even begin to itch. Your face may appear less luminous as a result and eczema may develop on your body.

  2. Are these changes really that significant that I need to adjust my skin routine?

    It depends on the person. Some of those with oily skin will probably not be too bothered by the seasonal change, whereas someone with dry or normal/dry skin may be affected if they do not modify their skin care regimen.

  3. If so, what products should I change out or swap?

    Topical retinoids (vitamin A derivatives, tretinoin, some acne products) may contribute to drying in excess of seasonal effects. Exfoliating products, toners, and repeated facial cleansing with cleansers that remove too much of a person’s natural oils may also contribute to excess drying. If someone requires or wants to continue using these products, then they should consider using a moisturizer after the application of these other agents. Additionally, you could use a mild cleanser (surfactant type, non-soap).

  4. How do I find out if my skin has changed in the fall? What are the symptoms to watch out for?

    Changes may include but are not limited to some of the following: skin may dull in appearance, scaling of the skin may develop, eczema may occur on the body and the skin may itch.

  5. Do skin types matter here? Will some skin types change more severely than others?

    Yes, skin type matters. Not so much the colour of one’s skin, but rather whether or not you have a dry, normal or oily skin complexion. That said, if someone with a darker skin type develops very dry skin (primarily body) with associated eczema, the skin may heal leaving dark or lighter areas (post inflammatory hyper and hypopigmentation) that can take months to resolve.

  6. Are there certain foods that I should avoid so I don’t break out?

    With regards to acne, the answer is a definite maybe. Some foods are associated with acne such as, for instance, dairy products and foods with a high glycemic index. For some people, a specific food will consistently cause a break out and then, the specific food may be avoided.

  7. Summer is over, so do I still need to incorporate sunscreen into my fall routine?

    Yes, yes, yes. Although the sun is not as strong during the winter months, UVA levels do not change appreciably throughout the year and these ultraviolet rays can cause damage to the skin. However, on rainy days or during snow storms probably not necessary. Remember – spring skiing. UV levels increase by 4% for every 300 m elevation.

  8. How do I fix my sun damage from the summer? My skin has lost its summer glow!

    Prevention should be first and foremost – sun screen during the summer. A good skin care regimen consisting of the basics should be considered: cleanse, use a serum, apply a moisturizer. A mild facial peel used once a week will help exfoliate dry skin and restore lustre. For brown spots, a lightening cream will be of benefit. Finally, if the damage is extensive or if you want a more rapid improvement to your skin, consider a laser treatment or an intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment.

  9. How much does sleep have to do with my skin’s appearance?

    Sleep is important for our overall health and longevity. Sleep deprivation can appear as the darkening of circles under the eyes and a general pallor to the skin.

If you have a question you would like answered by Dr. Rivers, please email us at Dr. Rivers also has developed a range of skincare products to help the patients in his Vancouver clinic manage facial redness. He is offering a free, 15-day supply of his Redness Control line for a limited time.

  1. The Main Fall Skin Changes
  2. Skin Routine Adjustments
  3. Routine Change Recommendations
  4. Symptoms to Look Out For
  5. Skin Types in Fall
  6. Foods to Avoid Breakouts
  7. Sunscreen in the Fall
  8. Fixing Sun Damage
  9. Sleep and the Skin's Appearance