I won't lie, but it has been very, very hot and humid here in Vietnam. Going outside is like walking into a sauna when you compare it to the comfort of an air conditioned room that I sleep in! Changing from different climates can wreak havoc on skin, especially those extreme climates like this humidity here in Vietnam.
Humdity refers to the amount of water vapour in the air, when in climates with high humidity, the effectiveness of sweat and cooling the body via evaporation of sweat becomes less effective, thus sweat seems to just 'sit' on top of the skin (and will ultimately have an effect in clogging pores). In humid weather, the pores of the skin are more likely to open or become enlarged which makes the skin more sensitive to gathering more dirt, oil, toxins and pollution from the environment. When we are exposed to too much humidity our skin becomes more prone to skin problems such as acne, blemishes, eczema and other allergic reactions. I have posted some skincare tips for those who will be travelling to more humid climates or who are currently experiencing a humid climate to help keep you skin looking healthy, brighter and blemish free!
Cleanse, Cleanse, Cleanse!
I cannot stress the importance of washing your face properly in humid weather but also be careful not to over do it either. Twice a day is enough - once in the morning and a double cleanse in the evening before bed is plenty. If you wash your face too much (no matter how uncomfortable it is), you run the risk of irritating the skin as over cleansing can disrupt the skin's protective barrier and cause the skin to be more prone to breakouts or general irritation. Cleansing in humid weather is so important as the skin produces more oil and sebum than it normally would in this particular climate.
By cleansing the skin in the morning, you are clearing the skin of any oil and dead skin cells that would have been created due to general heat/sweat or from your skin regenerating and repairing itself overnight. It is therefore imperative to cleanse first thing in the morning before applying any serums, moisturisers or make-up. It also helps with preventing excess oil production later on in the day (that is the last thing that you want in humid weather!) and therefore prevents further breakouts or acne if you are prone. I usually like to use something quite lightweight in the morning such as Fresh Beauty's Soy Face Cleanser or any cleanser by Tata Harper.
Cleansing in the evening is possibly the MOST important cleanse of the day! If you cleanse in the evening you are not only getting rid of the day's make-up, dirt, excess oil, pollution etc from your face but you are also allowing the skin to breathe and be exposed to oxygen. Oxygen is vital for the skin to repair itself overnight, leaving make-up, oil and dirt on your face acts as a barrier on your skin. This therefore inhibits the body's natural reparative process. Leaving the 'day' on your face also can clog your pores which will eventually lead to enlarged pores and breakouts on your skin. For the evening, a double cleanse is probably best - the first cleanse an oil, balm or cream cleanser would be perfect to rid the make-up, pollution, dead skin cells and oil produced over the course of the day. A second cleanse would typically follow, with a cleanser of your choice (no foaming cleanser please!). The act of double cleansing would be sufficient to thoroughly clean the skin and allow for cell regeneration, preventing breakouts and overall healthier looking skin in not only humid climates but all weather.
Keep Your Skin Hydrated
Your skin will retain moisture a lot better in a humid climate due to the 'moisture' in the air but it doesn't mean that you should skip the moisturiser - just opt for a more lightweight version. When we sweat, our sweat contains salt and water, which when it is evaporated it can actually act to dehydrate the skin. Without proper hydration your skin will produce more sebum to compensate for the dryness and this can lead to breakouts and irritation. Those who suffer from eczema or any forms of skin irritations will know that keeping the skin hydrated and moisturised is important to protect the skin from any flare-ups. If the skin isn't protected or the skin's barrier is compromised, a flare up is more likely to happen and it is even more uncomfortable in a humid climate.
It is therefore so important to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day by drinking lots of water, applying a lightweight hyaluronic acid booster serum such as Hylamide Low Molecular HA or my personal favourite, Indeed Lab's Hydraluron and use a lightweight, water or gel based moisturiser. I personally love (and use) Sunday Riley's Tidal and Darphin's Hydra Skin Light. If you are holidays in a hot and humid climate, tropical fruits such as watermelon, pineapples and drinking coconut water is also a really fun way of staying hydrated and cool (not to mention tasty as well).
Dirt Is Your Friend
Just to make it clear - I am not talking about the dirt that you are exposed to when you are on the go but dirt in the form of a mud or clay mask/cleanser can work wonders for your skin. Mud and clay acts as a purifying agent for your skin and helps to draw out any impurities and soak up any excess sebum to the surface of your skin. When you wash the clay/mud mask off, you wash away the dead skin cells, dirt, oil and any bits that can be clogging your pores. It deeply cleanses your skin, revealing a brighter, smoother and healthier complexion.
Applying a clay/mud mask 2-3 times a week can do wonders for your skin in humid climates as it will help to deeply clean your skin and draw out any extra impurities on a deeper level in which your cleanser can not get into. It is also a wonderful way of helping to keep that excess oil production at bay, as these masks will help soak up any excess oil on the skin. It is also important to note that not all masks are made equal and it is important to find the right one for your skin type. Some masks can be quite irritating or very drying for the skin - it always important to test first before trying and important not mask too often! My personal favourite is the Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask which you can read about here.
Sun-Protection and SPF
It is so important to be protected by a good SPF whether it already be in your moisturiser, foundation or as a separate component, sun protection in a hot and humid climate is integral. Sun damage is one of the biggest culprits in ageing skin as the sun emits UVA rays which penetrates into the skin's deeper layers and interferes with the skin connective tissues and blood vessels. This interference causes the skin to loose elasticity and is what will cause the skin to wrinkle and 'age' more rapidly. The sun also emits UVB rays which is what causes sunburn or tanning. Both UVB and UVA are triggers for skin cancer whether it be enhancing or increasing the likelihood for cancer within the skin.
Wearing a good SPF (sun protection factor) is important in hot and humid weather, especially if you are going to be exposed in the sun for quite some time. The SPF generally has a rating and this rating is calculated by comparing the amount of time needed to burn sunscreen-protected skin vs. unprotected skin. SPF refers to the ability to deflect UVB rays. I have been using both my Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation with an SPF of 30 as well as wearing the lightweight Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face Sunscreen with an SPF of 50. I am also currently looking into purchasing one of those powdered SPF Mineral Sunscreens which I can reapply on the go.
Ladies (and gents!), do you have any other handy skincare tips to keep your skin looking its best in a hot and humid climate? Let me know by sharing your tips and thoughts in the comments section below! I would love to hear from you!