Skin Hydration Guide for Dry Climate
Four steps to hydrated skin I use to cope with the dry climate after moving from NY to SF.
Nabilah Kabir
November 18, 2019
A year ago, I moved from the vibrant fast-paced city of New York to the bustling, less fast-paced city of San Francisco. Growing up on the east coast you get used to the changing weather. The changing leaves signal the emerging of sweaters, cozy boots, and dry skin. I figured living in SF would be the same as constant fall in NYC. However, as I embarked on my new journey, I quickly realized that a new neighborhood isn't all that I needed to get used to. While I struggled to get used to SF, I also had to get used to the onslaught of tiny bumps that now invaded my skin.

Fun fact about SF – it's a microclimate made of multiple microclimates. The temperature fluctuates throughout the day and it's a rule to always bring layers no matter where you go! Your skin likes consistency, so because of the constant temperature fluctuations your skin has to work harder to maintain a balance.

While the age old "drink more water and hydrate your skin" works for some people, my skin seemed immune to my efforts. After much research and time trying different products, I finally found products and items that helped my skin adjust to the drier SF climate.

If you find yourself moving to a dry climate or in the middle of winter, here are some steps that can help your skin adjust!

  1. Double up on moisturizers. Dry air tends to suck the moisture from your skin. Think about switching out your moisturizer for an oil - I use The Ordinary's 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil. Another trick is to layer your moisturizer with an oil (remember moisturizer before oil!).

  2. Hydrating serums. I loveee taking hot showers. It is my way of relaxing and destressing after a day (or in the morning). However, hot showers can also strip your skin of moisture. So to make sure I am locking in extra moisture I integrated a hydrating serum into my routine. I use First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum ($35) or you can also use The Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($7) for a more affordable option.

  3. Use a peeling solution. In dryer and colder climates your skin can actually become duller looking. Dry skin can lead to an excessive buildup of dead cells, making it appear dull. To combat, I started to exfoliate once a week. My favorite so far are The Ordinary AHA 30% +BHA 2% Peeling Solution ($7) and Etude House Berry AHA! Bright Peel Mild Gel.
  4. Use a humidifier. SF is not your typical Californian city. While there is ample sunshine, it lacks the 70 degrees plus weather we all imagine when picturing CA. The temperatures drop at night and most apartments only have heating, which can cause low humidity inside which leads to water evaporating from our skin. This can cause cracking, flaking and irritation. I ended up investing in a humidifier to help keep the air moist. Not only did it help my skin feel less tight and dry, it also helped with dry throats throughout the night.
All of this being said, my suggestions are just a guideline! These are the products and methods that worked for me to get my skin back to its peak health. You can check out different products that are perfect for your skin with Glowism's app. It will compare your favorite products against your specific skin type to help you get the perfect product. While the climate is uncontrollable, skin health is not. Pay attention to your skin and switch up your routine. After all we have a different wardrobe for each season, why not a different skincare routine?

Nabilah Kabir
Skincare junkie. Cat lover. Fashion & selfceare fanatic. @lifewithnabs
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