How Climate Affects Skin

Hot or cold, humid or dry – Climate has a profound impact on skin.  As our outermost layer, skin is the organ most vulnerable to external influences.  Climate is one of the major factors that can change the behavior of skin for better or for worse. 

From a technical perspective, there are a variety of climates on Earth.  But when it comes to practical matters of the skin, variations of hot and cold weather have the most influence.  Skin care needs may change depending on the climate you are in, including the changing seasons and when you travel to areas with differing weather.  Additionally, recent changes in the atmosphere mean year-round sun exposure is stronger than ever.

Let’s start with cold climate.

Cold air tends to be dry air with a very low humidity factor.  When less moisture is in the air, skin can be come dry.  Plus, wispy winds can further deplete skin of moisture.  In colder climates or the winter season, our natural sebum oil cannot keep up with the hydration demands of dry skin, which often leads to common dry skin conditions.  The most frequently occurring cold climate skin problems are eczema, dermatitis, rosacea, cracking or scaliness, itchiness, redness or a course texture.  Unfortunately, once skin becomes dry, the vicious cycle of dehydration continues because cracking allows more moisture to escape from the tiny fractures created.  Because dry skin can’t hold in nutrients, each of these conditions can lead to premature aging in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, sagging and dull skin.

Of course the best thing you can do for dry skin is to moisturize with a nutrient-rich cream.  A fantastic daytime and nighttime moisturizer is vital.  During the day, you’ll want a lighter formula like our Natura Veda Moringa-Infused Daily Moisturizing Cream that will invigorate skin and also shield it from dryness, cracking and harmful wind.  At night, select a stronger formula that will work to repair any damage done daytime exposure to cold air and reverse the signs of aging that colder weather causes.  Our Age-Defying Nighttime Repair Cream and Eye Serum both contain Moringa and retinol to deeply penetrate and nourish layers of skin with the strongest non-prescription strength all-natural nutraceuitcals.  (If your hands, elbows or knees are dry too, smear some Moringa-infused cream on them as well to heal the cracking in a jiffy.)

Check out more tips for Winter Skin Care. 

Now let’s warm up and discuss hot climates.

Warm climates are often full of humidity which is good for skin.  But with heat comes sun, which is anything but good for skin.  The sun is your skin’s worse enemy during summertime and in tropical climates.  UV rays from the sun are extremely damaging to skin cells and, besides natural causes, are the leading cause of premature skin aging.  Plus, sun exposure can lead to skin cancer and other forms of cancer.  This is especially true as more toxic pollutants have been released into the air, exacerbating the sun’s harmful effects on skin.  Beyond the sun, hot temperatures cause us to sweat and produce excess oil, which can clog pores and create blemishes.  Heat rashes can occur when skin ducts are clogged and moisture gets trapped under the surface.  And bacterial and fungal infections breed in hot, humid climates, furthering potential skin problems.

Skin needs to remain clean, nourished and protected in sunny, hot climates.  Many people make the mistake of cleaning their skin with abrasive chemicals to keep pores unclogged and acne at bay.  That isn’t healthy or necessary.  Natural ingredients such as coconut oil and plant glycerin are fantastic, natural cleansers, which is why we use them in our Gentle Foaming Cleanser.  Also, exfoliating and preparing a clay mask weekly help deliver nutrients to skin.  Sunscreen and sun protection is always important as well. 

Extreme climates are the hardest to overcome.  Also, going from one extreme climate to another is shocking to skin and can cause skin tantrums.  This is where having a steady baseline of great skin care is essential.  When skin cells are nourished deeply, they are not as volatile and are less likely to have intense reactions to a sudden change in climate.  Preparing skin before going to a new climate can be helpful.  If you know you’ll be traveling to cold weather, start heavy moisturization several days before your trip to hydrate cells as much as possible.  On the flip side, if you’re visiting a warmer climate, be sure to cleanse and exfoliate to keep pores clear and refreshed.  And in both climates you’ll need your mineral-based sunscreen.

Don’t let climate give your skin the run-around.  No matter where you are, keep it natural, keep it nourished, keep it beautiful with Natura Veda.

Erin Stieglitz
Erin Stieglitz