Skincare in a tropical climate
Living near the equator comes with its own set of skincare problems: humidity. In humid weather, the pores of the skin are more likely to open or become enlarged which makes skin more vulnerable to dirt, oil, toxins, and pollution from the environment. This increases the likelihood of acne, blemishes, inflammation and other allergic reactions. Here are 3 key steps to keep your skin looking healthy, bright and blemish-free in hot weather.
It’s very important to wash your face in humid weather but it’s equally important not to overdo it – as tempting as it may be to constantly wash your face. Twice a day is just enough: once in the morning and then in the evening. It’s vital that you thoroughly wash the day off your face in the evening, get rid of make-up, dirt, excess oil, pollution and allow your skin to breathe and retain oxygen. Beware of washing your face too much, you run the risk of disrupting your skin's protective barrier and causing it to be more prone to breakouts.
Your skin retains more moisture in humid climates due to the moisture in the air but that doesn’t mean you should skip moisturizer – just pick a lightweight one. Our sweat contains salt and water and when it evaporates it dehydrates our skin. Without proper hydration, your skin will produce more sebum to compensate for the dryness and this can lead to breakouts and irritation. If your skin isn't protected, a flare-up is more likely. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day by drinking lots of water, coconut water and fresh juice. For moisturizer, you can use gel or water-based creams and hyaluronic acid booster serums. A non-comedogenic oil such as jojoba is also a very good option.
Wearing SPF and sun protection is essential in all climates but it becomes even more critical in tropical climates as direct sun exposure is more likely. Sun damage is the biggest culprit for aging skin, the sun emits UVA rays which penetrate the deeper layers of skin and interfere with connective tissues and blood vessels. This causes the skin to lose its elasticity and wrinkle more rapidly. For tropical climates, recommended SPF is 30-50 and above depending on exposure to sun, and it's important to re-apply it throughout the day if you’re under the sun. SPF now comes in many forms from gel textures to powders and tinted moisturizers. This means that you don’t have to worry about sunscreen that leaves a white sheen. Get one that suits your needs and make sure to apply it every day.