Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How to Cleanse Skin by Climate


Cleansing Skin in Dry Climates

Dry climates account for more than a quarter of the world's landmass -- more than any other climate. In the United States, dry climates can be found in western states such as Arizona, Texas and New Mexico.

As the name suggests, dry climates can dry out your skin. They can also cause some skin conditions -- such as eczema, psoriasis and nummular dermatitis -- to flare up [source: WebMD]. To prevent overdrying your skin, keep your showers short and pat yourself dry. Though it may seem counterintuitive, taking long showers further dries your skin and can cause irritation [source: Medicine Net]. Also, try using a moisturizing body wash that's specifically formulated for dry skin, and use it only on areas that really need to be cleaned like your armpits and genitals. As a general rule, if part of your body is dry and itchy, avoid using soap on it [source: James]. In fact, when you're in a dry climate, you may want to shower only every other day [source: Medicine Net].

No matter how you cleanse your skin in a dry climate, the most important step comes afterward: moisturizing. You need to use a moisturizer daily, but steer clear of water-based lotions -- just like your shower, they can further dry your skin. Try using baby oil or a petroleum-based moisturizer instead and apply it within three minutes of bathing or showering to help your skin retain moisture [source: American Academy of Dermatology]. Products that contain shea butter, aloe vera or almond oil are also good moisturizers [source: Christensen].

While dry climates can have a negative effect on your skin, too much moisture can also be detrimental. Read on to learn how humid climates can affect your skin.


More to Explore