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Acne and the Climate

author image Brenda Barron
Brenda Barron is a writer, editor and researcher based in Southern California. She has worked as a writer since 2004, with work appearing in online and print publications such as BabyZone, "Cat Fancy" and "ePregnancy." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from California State University, Long Beach.
Acne and the Climate
Climate plays a direct role in occurrences of acne. Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt

No one likes dealing with acne, but it's a very real part of life for many people. You can better cope with your blemishes by tailoring your treatments to the type of environment you live in. Climate plays a direct role in how your skin looks and feels, so you can take initiative and treat your skin with kindness according to your climate.

Acne Types

Acne comes in a variety of forms. The easiest to treat are blackheads and whiteheads. These usually don't scar. More severe forms, like pustules, papules, cysts and nodules, can scar if not treated properly. That's why taking care of your skin according to your current environment and accounting for how your skin reacts to treatment is the key to seeing promising results.


Living in a highly polluted area, like a big city, can cause your acne to flare up repeatedly. Pollution in the air carries toxins and irritating substances that can trigger a breakout and make your skin compensate in unhealthy ways, like shedding skin cells more slowly or producing more oil.

Dry Weather

Living in dry climates, whether they are very cold or very hot, can wreak havoc on your skin. Dry weather will dry out your skin, which can cause your oil glands to overcompensate by producing more oil or sebum. Dry skin tends to be flaky, so the dead skin cells will tend to accumulate in your pores along with the abundance of sebum more easily, causing never-ending breakouts.


Humidity can also contribute to breakouts. Common thinking would say that humid air is moist, so it should help your skin stay moist. However, this isn't the case. Humidity causes you to sweat, which can clog up your pores with dead skin cells if you don't cleanse after perspiring. Likewise, humidity can make your oil glands produce even more oil, which leads to additional blemishes. In the end, either weather extreme can be damaging to your skin.


Treatment for acne in harsh climates will need to focus on being gentle and accommodating to your skin. A mild cleanser that doesn't include harsh ingredients like parabens, fragrance or chemicals is best. After cleansing twice a day, you should follow up with a toner to remove dead skin cells and help further clear out your pores. A moisturizer should follow. Make sure it's oil-free and not petroleum-based. Lastly, use an exfoliant once or twice a week to remove sebum and dead skin cells. Also be sure to use a moisturizer after exfoliating to prevent irritation and environmental toxins from entering your pores.

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