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How to Tailor Your Summer Skin Care Routine Based on the Climate You Live In (Because It Makes a Difference!)

Do you live somewhere with dry heat or high humidity? Here’s how to tailor your summer skin care routine based on climate.

Can you believe that summer is right around the corner? Seriously, where did the time go? Along with swapping out your cold weather wardrobe and planning vacations, switching up your skin care routine should be on your summer checklist.

Curating the perfect summer skin care regimen is not just about replacing thick creams with lighter ones. You should also keep the climate you live in in mind, as this will inform what types of formulas and ingredients to look for. Below, we share their best summer skin tips for humid and dry climates, with a little help from experts.

If you live in a humid or wet climate…

It’s not just your hair that humidity can mess with! Shlomit Heller, a San Francisco-based licensed esthetician and founder of Shlomit Skin Ecology, tells us that when exposed to humidity, the skin will adapt to and protect itself from the environment by altering its function, which can lead to an overproduction of oil. “The heat experience during humid weather causes discomfort on the body as a whole and causes excess sweating as the body’s way of naturally cooling itself down,” she says. “In an effort to bring balance, the body, and skin in particular, may overproduce oils that create an environment that is optimal for excess bacteria production that could lead to acne and congested skin,” she explains.

By now you’re well aware of the fact that no matter what season it is and where you live you should always be wearing sunscreen. However, in a hot and humid climate, you’ll want to focus on protection along with avoiding shine. Choose a lightweight, fast-absorbing sunscreen like the Thank You Farmer Sun Project Light Sun Essence that offers a semi-matte finish and broad spectrum protection.

Because of the constant need to cool down in a humid climate, many people are exposed to what Shiri Sarfati, a Miami-based licensed esthetician describes as “artificial air”, which is the result of blasting your air conditioner all day. This means that you should incorporate a daily serum into your skin care routine (if you already haven’t) in order to help properly hydrate the skin.

Humectants like hyaluronic acid work well in humid climates because they’re basically water magnets. “Humectants draw moisture into skin cells and hydrophilic barrier lipids to keep skin soft, flexible, and smooth,” says Heller. Another ingredient to look for is niacinamide. Sarfati explains it can “help refine skin and keep pores looking tight all summer long.” A serum that contains both is the Benton Snail Bee Ultimate Serum.

Other recommendations include using a clay mask (such as the Mamonde Pore Clean Clay Mask) up to three times a week for a deeper cleanse, and applying an astringent after cleansing in order to purify the skin from any environmental aggressors.

If you live in a dry climate…

As someone who has moved from a humid climate to a drier one, I fully understand the effects that both scenarios could have on the skin. From my experience living in Los Angeles, my biggest pro-tip for surviving a dry summer is to invest in a humidifier. Your skin and your pores will thank you each and every morning!

RELATED: How My Skin Care Routine Has Changed Since Moving From NYC to LA

You want to avoid products that strip your skin of moisture and disrupt your moisture barrier such as harsh cleansers and toners since low humidity levels can already increase water loss from the skin. The Plant Base Nature Solution Hydrating Bamboo Water is a toner that helps restore the moisture barrier with bamboo extract, plus it contains natural oils for an added lightweight layer of hydration.

I also apply a lightweight gel-based moisturizer at night, plus a face oil both in the morning and at night. You want to look for ingredients that seal moisture in, especially if you’re using humectant ingredients that can actually make skin more dehydrated in dry climates since there isn’t moisture in the air for it to draw from.

While a face mist may seem like a treat to some of us, it’s almost a necessity for dry climate citizens. Living in these conditions can lead to tightness and discomfort in the face without the proper upkeep throughout the day. A few spritzes of face mist can help with both of these concerns and give your skin an extra dose of essential nutrients throughout the day. While they’re refreshing, facial mists like the Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Essence Mist can also provide a complexion boost and help prevent unwanted dullness.

For SPF, look for a hydrating sunscreen that can even double as a daytime moisturizer. The Neogen Day-Light Protection Sun Screen SPF 50/PA+++ contains hydrating rose and raspberry extracts, for example.

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