It’s safe to say most of us love a holiday somewhere hot and sunny. If you live in a cold country, there’s nothing better for your soul than jetting off to a warmer climate. Or maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who gets to enjoy the heat all year round?
Hot weather is a challenge for your skin. And if we add humidity to the mix, we’re talking a whole lot of extra impact on your skin. Here are some easy hacks to help your skin weather the heat.
Keep your cool – inside out
The first thing you need to do is keep up your water intake. Warmer temperatures mean you sweat more. Drinking enough water will keep you hydrated and help eliminate toxins.
We know this is easier said than done, but try to avoid sugar, salt and carb-heavy food. Instead, stock-up on seasonal veggies and light protein, which will help boost collagen production.
Munching on antioxidant-rich foods like berries will protect your skin, and the omega-3 fats found in oily fish like salmon will keep your skin supple from the inside out.
How your skin copes with heat
The basic mechanics of how your skin responds to heat are simple: Heat causes your skin to perspire (the water evaporating on the surface cools it down) and create more sebum (oil) to protect itself. And the pores – the openings on the surface – dilate as a result.
Your skin type will dictate how you experience heat and humidity.
People with drier skins will find this a welcome relief from having to layer serum, cream and oil on their faces to keep it comfortable and hydrated.
Those of us with oily skin types will feel worse off. The sweaty, sticky layer not only feels suffocating but the combination of extra oil, skin cells and daily pollution can get stuck in the enlarged pores, causing congestion, breakouts and blackheads.
BUT we know that stripping skin of its natural oils can cause just as much havoc as the heat, so what’s the solution? HINT: it’s about understanding the difference between dry and dehydrated skin.
Dry skin is genetic (you’re born with it and have it for life). It lacks oil and is considered a skin type. Dry skin has small sebaceous (oil) glands and produces very little oil. So the extra oil product can feel like a boon.
CAUTION: Humid heat can trigger eczema and irritation in skin that is prone to these.
Dehydration is caused by external elements
Dehydration is a skin condition that can change often, especially due to hot weather, sun exposure, air conditioning or diet. It could result from something as simple as wiping your face repeatedly to mop up perspiration. This can compromise your skin’s protective barrier, allowing water to escape, so the skin dehydrates.
It’s about our skin’s protective barrier
You know that sensation of tightness and pulling on your skin when you use a harsh cleanser? That’s a sign of a compromised skin barrier.
This means that the protective barrier shield – a film of lipids and water that sits on the surface to keep water in and nasties out – is stripped away.
Every skin type, including oily skin, can become dehydrated. This is an important thing to understand. This means it is lacking water, not oil. For this reason, an oily skin can be shiny and have plenty of oil, but it could still feel tight and dehydrated at the same time.
Our skin tends to lose less moisture in humidity compared to dry heat, as the excess sebum holds it in place, but it is something to monitor.
How do we give our skin its water?
The best way to prevent dehydration is eating healthy, water-containing foods such as fresh fruits, veggies and drinking enough water.
Then, make sure to invest in hydrating skin products containing hyaluronic acid and aloe vera. Our favourite lightweight moisturising ingredient is hyaluronic acid. It’s the gold standard for skin hydration. This is thanks to its ability to hold 1000 times its own weight in water. It occurs naturally in the body, so doesn’t have any side effects and won’t cause irritation. The sponge-like effect means that it will help your skin not only retain moisture, it will also plump fine lines and wrinkles.
Wash, rinse, repeat
CAUTION: Warm, wet heat is also a recipe for bacterial infection, so it’s important to maintain good hygiene and look after your skin.
Where does any good skincare routine start? With correct and thorough cleansing. In hot and humid climates, all skin types will benefit from a gentle and effective cleanser that removes grime and excess oil, without stripping the skin of its protective barrier and causing even more sebum production.
- A cleansing formula with a mild exfoliating action is best. When used in conjunction with your regular chemical exfoliation, your skin will be kept clear and healthy. Our Cloud Factory Cleanser is a gentle foaming formula that contains no fewer than 5 fruit acids to gently dissolve dead skin cells, dirt and excess sebum.
- Follow this with a good, balancing toner to restore the skin’s pH and protect its barrier. Our Bounce Back Balancing Toner is the ideal hot and humid climate hero. Packed with clever actives, the formula will inhibit the bacteria that causes acne, boost the production of healthy skin cells, and balance the production of sebum.
- Once or twice a week, give your skin a deep exfoliation to remove surface debris, clear out the pores and reduce excess sebum. The best option is a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) called salicylic acid. This group of acids are oil-soluble, so they’re ideal to use on oily skin. Our Clean Slate Exfoliating Pads contain salicylic acid, as well as Centella Asiatica and English Chamomile extracts that work together to fight inflammation and irritation, while green tea leaf extract and arginine reduce the signs of ageing, and sodium hyaluronate restores the skin’s moisture levels.
The second issue hot and humid weather creates is pigmentation. It’s well known that UV rays trigger the production of melanin pigment in the skin’s melanocyte cells. But scientists are discovering that heat (Infrared radiation) itself can cause just as much uneven pigmentation in the skin. How and why, we hear you ask?
Well, the most likely theory is that heat causes blood vessels to dilate, triggering inflammation, which, in turn, activates melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) to make more pigment to protect the skin.
What can you do about it?
The most obvious thing is to keep your skin as cool as possible, and then do some active protection.
TIP: Consistency is important. Staying on top of pigmentation is a tricky task at the best of times, but it’s essential in warmer climates. You can’t apply sunscreen or serum every few days and expect to see results. Use sun protection and your treatments regularly.
- Use gentle exfoliation twice a week to reduce the appearance of dark marks.
- Get daily antioxidant protection from your serum as well as diet.
- Personalize your care to cater for your skin’s needs. Our personalized routines are designed to fit in with your skin needs, your lifestyle and environment. No matter what you need from your skincare, we have formulations to cater to those needs. It starts with a simple skin assessment and, from there, we personalize your routine for you. Every personalized routine contains 2 Serums, one each for Day and Night as well as a Day Cream and Night Cream to address your skin concerns.
We can’t stress enough the importance of broad-spectrum sun protection. This will ensure that your skin is protected from all wavelengths of UV light. Remember that both UVA and UVB rays cause damage – UVA penetrates deeper, and causes skin ageing, while the shorter UVB rays hit the skin’s surface and cause burning. Our Sunny Side Up SPF30 Mist will have you perfectly protected without feeling sticky or greasy, thanks to its super-fine misting applicator. Remember to reapply often to keep the ideal level of protection.
Texture is important
It stands to reason that oil-free formulas are your friend in hot and humid conditions. Your skin will be producing enough of it to keep you covered. If you feel very greasy, it’s worthwhile looking for mattifying formulas to reduce the shine.
- Make sure the products you choose are non-comedogenic, which means they are unlikely to clog pores and cause breakouts.
- We recommend not wearing makeup in very humid climates, but if you have to, avoid using thick or greasy formulas like primers, and full-coverage foundations or concealers, as these are just a breakout show waiting to happen.
- Rather use multitasking beauties like BB Creams so you get your moisture, even skin tone and baseline sun protection in a lighter texture.
- Carry blotting papers with you to absorb excess shine.