Along with swapping out your wardrobe and planning vacations, switching up your skincare routine should also be on your checklist of things to do when it comes to climate and seasonal changes.
Just as your skin gets drier in winter and oilier in summer, different climates can also affect your skin. So whether you’re dealing with humidity, dry heat, or cold weather, here’s a guide to help you figure out the skincare regimen you should have based on your climate.
Warm and Humid Climate: Lightweight Products for the Thick Air
One of the biggest skincare concerns for someone living in a warm and humid climate is dealing with excess oil, shine, and of course, pimples. This is why it’s important to use lightweight skincare products that won’t add to the already thick air but will sufficiently hydrate your skin without leaving it greasy and prone to breakouts. To achieve this, your best option is a lightweight, gel-based moisturizer that contains hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin, as these two humectants will help draw moisture from the environment into the skin and keep it there.
One huge mistake that many people whose skin gets super oily in humid environments make is using harsh cleansers that contain drying and irritating ingredients to strip the natural oil and achieve a mattified complexion. But doing this will actually cause more harm than good, as stripping your natural oil will dry out the skin to the point where it will trigger the oil-producing glands to produce more oil to compensate for the dryness. Therefore, choosing a gentle, hydrating cleanser is better, even if the result isn't always the mattified complexion you desire.
It's important to remember that you need to give your skin what it needs, not what you want.
If you live in a warm and humid climate, you also need to consider using sunscreen to prevent additional skin damage done by high UV. And when it comes to makeup, opt for water-based formulas and powder products as they’re less likely to slide off your face in the humidity.
Product To Try: CeraVe Foaming Cleanser ($16)
Warm and Dry Climate: Hydrating Your Skin Is Essential
If you live in a warm and dry climate, chances are your skin is on the drier side as well. To combat dryness in a warm climate, you have to think of ways to keep your skin hydrated without causing it to become oily by using overly emollient skincare products, such as heavy moisturizers and oils. Instead, you need to focus on using something hydrating and lightweight, such as a hyaluronic acid-based serum that you would then follow up with a lightweight moisturizer to lock all that moisture into the skin without having to deal with a greasy layer left behind.
Avoid using skincare products, and especially cleansers, that contain drying and stripping ingredients such as alcohol denat, witch hazel, and exfoliating acids, as these will only further dry out your skin. Additionally, using sunscreen is a great way to moisturize and protect your skin from UV damage, so if you live in a warm and dry climate, don't forget to make this an essential step in your morning skincare routine.
Lastly, when choosing makeup for a warm and dry climate, go with something that will help add moisture to the skin and won't accentuate dry patches, such as a tinted moisturizer or a hydrating foundation.
Product To Try: Vichy Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum ($20)
Cold and Dry Climate: Heavy-Duty Moisturizers for Dry and Flakey Skin
During the winter months and in the midst of colder temperatures, low humidity reigns supreme. This is why the skin tends to be driest in the winter months, which is when you should turn to heavy-duty moisturizers to compensate for the lack of hydration and natural skin protection provided by our natural oil.
While dry skin might finally mean a break from sweat, excess oil, and dreaded pimples, this skin condition doesn't come without drawbacks. Dry skin is notorious for looking dull and flakey, feeling tight and stretched, and developing conditions such as eczema, which can be extremely uncomfortable and challenging to manage.
Avoid hot showers, as this will deplete your skin of its natural oils.
And it’s not just your skin that feels dry in colder climates – your lips do too. So besides using a heavier moisturizer that contains ingredients like barrier-protecting ceramides, lipids, and other emollients, you should also consider using a lip balm or chapstick that includes ingredients such as beeswax or petroleum jelly as they help create a barrier on the lips and lock in moisture.
When it comes to makeup, look for products such as cream-based foundations or BB balms that don't contain ingredients such as alcohol denat to further dry out the skin.
When the weather is super cold and dry, make sure to avoid extremely hot showers, as this will deplete your skin of its natural oils. Instead, opt for lukewarm water if you can or shower for shorter periods of time. Having a humidifier in the room where you sleep will also help to add some much-needed moisture back into the air and your skin.
Product To Try: La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 ($16)
Hot Climate: Waterproof Essentials
If you live in a place that has a Mediterranean climate, meaning mild and pleasant winters and super hot summers, chances are your skin gets pretty sweaty during the day. To combat this, always opt for a mild and gentle cleanser that doesn't contain drying and stripping ingredients. Additionally, using exfoliating toners that contain ingredients such as alpha or beta hydroxy acids a few times a week is generally recommended to keep your skin clear and free of breakouts.
Adding a hydrating serum that you would follow up with a lightweight moisturizer is recommended as this will balance your skin and keep it from getting too oily. Choosing a waterproof or mattifying sunscreen is also a good idea, especially if your skin gets very oily alongside being sweaty during the hotter days of the year.
When it comes to makeup, it's essential to avoid heavy, full-coverage foundations and opt for lightweight tinted moisturizers instead. When using these, make sure to follow up with a little bit of powder to prevent them from sliding off your face in the heat.
Product To Try: Paula's Choice Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 ($35)
Mild Weather: Keep it Simple and Efficient
If you live in an area with mild weather, you're lucky as this means your skin doesn't have to deal with the extreme conditions that can cause havoc. This is why a simple skincare routine that consists of cleansing, toning, moisturizing, and sun protection is all you need to maintain healthy and happy skin. You can also add a hydrating serum to the mix if you feel like your skin needs an extra boost of hydration, but other than that, there's no need to overcomplicate things.
You can use a simple skincare routine because your skin doesn’t have to deal with extreme conditions.
If you’re dealing with skin concerns such as acne, hyperpigmentation, or uneven texture, you should consider adding an active ingredient such as retinol or vitamin C to keep these at bay and achieve a beautiful and healthy skin glow.
When it comes to makeup, you can pretty much use whatever you want as your skin isn’t prone to getting too oily or too dry.
Product To Try: L'Oreal Revitalift Derm Intensives Night Serum with 0.3% Pure Retinol ($40)
Living in a Polluted City: Protecting Your Skin from Damage Is Key
If you live in a constantly polluted city, your skincare routine should be focused on protecting your skin from all the damage these pollutants can cause. Pollution is more sinister for the skin than most people are aware of, as some chemicals or free radicals cause a breakdown of proteins, DNA, and cell membranes by stealing their electrons through a process called oxidation. This doesn't only lead to loss of skin firmness and elasticity, but it can also lead to some forms of skin cancer.
This is why protecting your skin by using good antioxidant products such as vitamin C, vitamin E, retinol, and niacinamide serums, as well as sun protection, is essential. Using a physical or chemical exfoliant a few times a week will also help to slough off any dead skin cells that have been damaged by pollution and will help your skincare products penetrate deeper and work more effectively.
Finally, make sure to double cleanse your face every night to remove all the dirt, grime, and pollution that has accumulated on your skin during the day.
Product To Try: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($170)
No matter what climate you live in, there are some skincare essentials that you should always have in your routine, such as cleansing, toning, moisturizing, and sun protection. However, depending on the climate you live in, there might be some other steps that you should take to ensure that your skin stays healthy and happy.
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