Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Colorado (or any dry climate) Skin Care

The famous Flatirons in Boulder
(This was written prior to my leaving Boulder in 2017.)
Over the past few months I have seen several new clients who have recently moved to Boulder. Almost everyone lived in a more humid climate than Colorado, whether in Texas, Oregon, or the East Coast. Because of the higher altitude here, the air is drier; it simply has less moisture in it, and this can and does adversely affect all of us—skin and body.

I have to say, hydrating elixirs are a must in a dry climate. Some clients who have oily or perhaps even normal to oily skin don’t feel the need for extra hydration. Although in some cases, some of these oilier skin types do—especially in a climate like Colorado. I have written several posts about adding extra hydrating components to your skin care routine. See links below for more detailed information.

One year when I was still living in Dallas, I had two clients who moved to Denver. They left Texas with its humid, flat environment for the beauty of Colorado. It wasn’t long after their moves that they called me, frantic about the dryness they were both experiencing. The air in Denver was very dry, and the water was hard. (The water in Colorado contains a high-mineral content that is drying to the skin.)

I started out having them exfoliate with a gommage every day or at least two to three times per week. (Exfoliation always rescues your skin from dryness and/or dehydration.) This will lessen the dead cell buildup on the surface of your skin making your moisturizer do its job just a bit better. The more dead skin, the harder it is to keep your skin feeling moisturized.

One of these clients also had oily, problem skin. I couldn’t change her moisturizer because I first needed to address her overactive oil glands. It was the surface of her skin that was dried out, not her oil glands. If she had gone to a department store, they might have started her down the road to disaster—moisturizers and other products for “dry” skin. Her skin wasn’t dry; it was dehydrated. This is always an important difference to be aware of. Be sure to read Is Your Skin Truly Dry or Just Thirsty for important information.

Next I had them both using a hydrating elixir mixed into their daily moisturizer (morning and evening). This added extra moisture to the skin’s surface without adding extra oil. The combination of the two, exfoliation plus a hydrating elixir, seemed to do the trick.

Yet another step you could include into your daily routine is to add a hydrating gel underneath their daily moisturizer. Like an elixir, this added layer of moisture can help with dehydration on the surface. Gel-type hydrating masks would be the most useful, using in a thin layer under your creams. So you’re not overdoing it, I’d recommend either an elixir or a gel mask vs. using them both at the same time. You could experiment and use one AM and the other PM, eventually switching off to see if one works better during the day or at night.

I later heard from these clients and both were finding success with adding some extra steps and products to their routine. Sometimes that’s all it takes, but knowing what is the right information for you and your particular issues is usually your biggest hurdle.

Whenever you move to a new climate, your skin will probably go through a bit of a change while adapting to the new environment. In time all will probably settle down and get back to normal. However, this new normal may involve products or steps in your skin care routine that you didn’t feel you needed before.

For more information, see: