Nearly everyone understands how cold weather and low humidity cause dry skin conditions, but the effects of heat and humidity remain somewhat of a mystery. While a hot and humid climate does offer some advantages for your skin, it also has some serious drawbacks of its own.


The Effects of Heat and Humidity on Your Skin

High relative humidity provides certain moisturizing benefits, but when humidity is combined with heat, the effect is largely neutralized. Heat causes your skin to become somewhat porous, which allows moisture to dissipate through the process of perspiration. At first, sweat may appear to give your skin a healthy glow. But, excessive sweating may ultimately lead to dehydration and skin dryness if the lost fluids are not replaced.


While perspiration is a vital mechanism the body uses to cool down, it can mix with dirt, grime and bacteria to clog your pores. This can lead to a variety of undesirable skin conditions and can contribute to the development of acne. For those who are already suffering from acne, humidity may be particularly troublesome since oil glands increase production and can cause more serious breakouts.

Since heat is usually associated with sun exposure, the potential UV damage can dry your skin and produce excess oil. This is especially true in warm climates where people spend a great deal of time outdoors.


How to Reduce the Effects of Heat and Humidity

Fortunately, there are a variety of simple steps you can take to help protect your skin from the harmful effects of heat and humidity:

* Keep Your Skin Clean: When you are perspiring freely, it is important to cleanse properly. This includes using an oil-free cleanser to dissolve the accumulated oil and grime on your skin. Using a non-drying cleanser twice a day will help keep your face clear and shine free.

* Reduce the Oil: Even if you cleanse properly, high heat and humidity can leave you with a greasy face by noon. To avoid the mid-day shine, apply a mattifying product prior to using moisturizer, sunscreen and makeup.

* Use Moisturizer Carefully: If your skin becomes oily when exposed to heat and humidity, you may not need to apply a moisturizer during the day. A high-SPF sunscreen may be a better option for providing UV care and adding additional moisture to your skin.

* Exfoliate: Instead of simply flaking away, high humidity causes dead skin cells to cling to your face and body. This can clog pores and aggravate unwanted skin conditions like acne. An oil-free exfoliate will help remove dead cells and maintain the permeability of your skin.



Proper Face Care in all Conditions

Whether you live in a subtropical climate year round, or you only experience these conditions during the summer, your skin doesn’t need to suffer the effects of heat and humidity. Employing some common sense strategies for proper face care will keep your skin looking healthy and beautiful.