Hot & Humid Climate: Find the Balance

Maintaining a balanced skincare routine can be difficult for many reasons, but environmental stressors are factors that are completely out of our control. Fluctuating temperatures and weather conditions are two of the main reasons having the knowledge to choose proper products is important. Hot and humid climates are shockingly oftentimes more difficult to manage than those with sub-zero temps. Although many people automatically associate heat with oily, greasy skin, heat is a leading cause of dehydration—especially if you are out in the sun for extended periods of time.

Balancing Heat and Humidity

The bad thing about heat is its tendency to dry and dehydrate the skin, and the good thing about humidity is that it does not strip your skin of its natural moisture. The result of this combination is that it often sends the skin into overdrive, meaning it is endlessly trying to keep its moisture levels in balance.

This balance is exacerbated even further by the difference in exterior and interior moisture levels. Once leaving a hot and humid climate and entering into a dry, air-conditioned or general-heat filled room, the moisture source found in the humidity has dissipated. In the summer, going back and forth between these two contrasting environments means keeping a close watch on your skin’s moisture levels and knowing how to pick products to help retain the moisture balance. In the winter, this means incorporating a humidifier into your daily routine.

What to Incorporate & Avoid

Heat and humidity mean that you want to incorporate both deeply purifying products, as well as daily exfoliation, alongside products that help deeply hydrate the skin without heavier emollients, such as shea butter and beeswax. Things to remember:
Clay, non-foaming gel, or BHA (salicylic acid) based cleansers will help to prevent breakouts that excess oil and perspiration can often induce. In humid climates, this is a necessity.
Daily exfoliation will not only aid in helping to keep your skin clear and dead skin cells at bay, but it will also help the moisturizing steps of your routine to work more effectively. In hot and humid climates especially, you don’t want to feel like you have layers upon layers of product on your face. Without proper exfoliation, product will begin to feel heavy.
Heat and humidity do not mean you get to skimp on hydration—hydration becomes the most critical part of your routine. There are many ways to hydrate the skin, but there is a big difference seen between oils and cream-type moisturizers. Oils replenish, restore and balance the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Lightweight oils, such as rosehip, penetrate the skin’s epidermis quite deeply. On the contrary, cream-type moisturizers oftentimes do not penetrate as deeply, but create an exterior barrier between your skin and the environment.
SPF- Last but not least, sunscreen is one of the most important parts of your routine. Even if you’re stuck indoors for most of your day, sun damage can still occur during your lunch break or walks to get coffee. Remember the peak hours for the most damaging UV rays are during this time. Sunscreens are no longer just thick and heavy, beach-smelling products—textures now range from light and fluid, to even silicone-based products that feel like makeup primers. You can also incorporate SPF through your makeup products.

Learning how to layer lightweight hydration products will be the biggest saving grace. After cleansing and exfoliating, a lightweight hydrating serum and a water-based moisturizer are both good options. Silicone based moisturizers are not as good of a choice in these environments, as they are known to trap the flow of air. You want your skin to be able to breathe.

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