When you go from a winter wonderland to a tropical paradise, your skin feels the heat.
One thing you can always count on as winter approaches? Dropping temperatures. So, we get how the idea of leaving behind the freezing cold for the warm sunshine is all too appealing (hello, vacation season!). But is your skin as excited about taking the trip? Not so much. Here’s why: Going from one extreme climate to another is tough on your skin (think dehydration, sensitivity, and breakouts galore!) and can leave you experiencing skin chaos on your vacation. Something about an inflamed complexion just doesn’t scream “vacay” to us. To have happy, glowing skin during your winter getaway, read up on the climates around you, then read on to find out how to acclimate your skin to your next destination.
Reason #1: Sudden Temperature Changes Can Trigger Skin Flare-Ups
As the seasons change, your skin naturally adjusts to the changing environment. The changes in temperature and humidity are gradual, allowing skin to better handle the extreme conditions as they reach their full effects. During this transition, skin carefully maintains its proper balance of moisture by producing an adequate amount of oil. When you go on vacation, however, there is no gradual change from polar climate to tropical or desert conditions. This sudden change causes your skin to go into shock and work quickly to adjust to the new climate. For example, the tiny blood vessels in your skin may rapidly expand, which can lead to redness, inflammation, and more noticeable veins (they get puffier and darker) resulting in undereye circles. Additionally, when your skin isn’t adjusted to the climate, it will show in the form of excessive oiliness or dryness, uneven redness, and breakouts.
Reason #2: Humidity Levels Invite BacteriaCold air doesn’t allow much to get in or out, so pores are much more restricted in polar climates. When bacteria infiltrates the skin, it can get trapped. Without adequate moisture in a dry climate, the trapped bacteria can’t do much damage to your skin—this is because bacteria need moisture to survive and thrive. When you suddenly travel to a humid climate, this causes your pores to open up and your sweat glands go into overdrive, giving bacteria the moisture they need to start multiplying. It’s practically an invitation for your polar-acclimated skin to become a breeding ground for bacteria. The result? Say hello to breakouts and inflammation on your vacation!
Reason #3: Dry to Humid Shock Can Cause Oiliness
Cold air doesn’t hold a lot of moisture, so winter air is much drier than warmer seasons like summer and spring. This dryness can lead to dehydrated skin because skin loses its moisture through evaporation. To combat extreme dryness, skin produces more oils to compensate for the lack of hydration. When your skin's glands produce excess oil, and you suddenly travel to the opposite climate, your skin is still producing the extra oil it’s used to in your home climate. Only now your skin is no longer losing as much moisture through evaporation, so you experience excessive oiliness. This leads to your skin becoming too moist, which not only causes acne breakouts, but can also cause skin infections, rashes, and can make pre-existing skin conditions worse.