And now that Summer 2011 is dead and buried, it's time for the annual fall beauty must-haves list. Don't stop applying the SPF daily, stay moisturized, and don't forget to let your face breathe every once in a while. You're the only one who thinks you need all that foundation and powder. Promise.
DERMALOGICA DAILY MICROFOLIANT
All those cheap exfoliating cleansers with the giant beads too harsh and drying for your skin? A longtime favorite for such mattifying products as the Oil Free Matte Block With SPF, this unique powder scrubs super-gently enough for daily use. Distribute about a half teaspoon onto your very wetclari hands, lather up into a cream-like texture and apply to your face. Rinse, then follow up with toner and moisturizer. I've never had a product so widely recommended to me by multiple aestheticians. Some even say this product is perfect if you're using Retin products to treat acne or have rosacea, as the microfoliant strips away any flakiness that may result without irritating. Try a travel-size bottle of it before committing: Amazon has an 0.45-ouncer for $7.58. Available at Planet Beauty and Ulta locations, $50 for 2.6 ounces.
CLARINS VITAL LIGHT SERUM
Dump all that makeup you use to cover up what you think are your imperfections and work on your skin instead. If you've got dark age spots on your face, this helps correct that while also evening out your skin tone with its gentle formula that glides onto the face. According to several of my guinea pigs I tested the serum on, using the product once a day resulted in a more luminous, bright look to the face, as that tends to dull with age. The serum's ultimate ingredient is called Hexylresorcinol, which is claimed to help curb dark spots during the pigmentation process. Available online at Sephora.com or Clarins counters, $85.
KERATOSIS PILARIS REGIMEN This problem has plagued me for as long as I can remember: Tiny, dry bumps dotting the back of my upper arms and thighs that only get worse in cooler weather. Some call it chicken skin, some call it ugly, but it took me years to learn the real name for it: keratosis pilaris (KP), a common genetic follicular condition. And, seriously, it really is common: An estimated 40 percent of adults are affected by it. Sure it's not debilitating or really all that hideous, but when it has plagued you your entire life, it'd be nice to do something about it. Going to the dermatologist will get you some cream that gets rid of the KP, yes, but it'll also come back as soon as you discontinue use.
A slightly more affordable solution: DERMAdoctor's KP regimen duo. Start off with the KP Duty dermatologist body scrub, with chemical and physical medi-exfoliation—basically a chemical peel and microdermabrasion treatment combined—to help the skin absorb the next step. Follow up with KP Duty moisturizing therapy cream, which helps eliminate inflammation at the base of each hair follicle. Just know this: For the first time in 26 years, I no longer suffer from chicken skin. Available online at Dermadoctor.com or Sephora locations everywhere. KP Duty scrub, $44; KP Duty dermatologist moisturizing therapy for dry skin, $36.
This column appeared in print as "Fall Beauty 101."