Moving countries can pose a number of different issues for your skin. Firstly the change in environment can take some time to get adjusted to, secondly, minor discrepancies in water quality, hard or soft water, (yes there is such thing), and weather can have an effect on the complexion and texture of your skin.
I've been in Vancouver, 6 months...holy shit! Just had to take a minute to digest that fact. And within those 6 months, my skin has been through hell. It's been incredibly temperamental, I have had bursts of dermatitis - something I've never experienced, minor breakouts on my chin from all the hormonal imbalances, heat rash from indoor heating, scaly patches on knees (thanks to the yoga). Ultimately, the air is not as humid as it is back home, so the lack of moisture is wreaking havoc on the tone and texture of my skin. If you're from Vancouver and you're thinking "how is Vancouver not damp enough for you, it rains like ALL the time.." well let me tell you. It rains in Auckland too, but is still partially warm, even in winter, so that humidity is essential for softer skin, and the water is slightly harder than Vancouver so the calcium deposit is minimal so cleansing is much easier.
Things I've learnt:
- Use a toner - a glycolic one once a week and a normal alcohol free one every day after cleansing.
- Keep it simple, seriously, no need for fancy cleansers. The Lancôme Crème Mousse Confort cleanser is a dry skin saviour. It foams so it's still satisfying but doesn't leave you with that tightness that some foaming cleansers have. Cetaphil is also a go to.
- Hydrate. Just do it. Either with a nourishing non-comedogenic oil or hyaluronic acid moisturizer. Please don't just go using a coconut oil from Wholefoods, because it doesn't work. Let me tell you, I'm Indian, I grew up using this stuff on my hair, in cooking, and although it's been touted as an all-purpose miracle oil, y'all in the West take this to a whole new level of crazy. First it needs to be refined, secondly, it must be heated and applied to the scalp, never to the skin - it's anti-bacterial yes, but does it prevent acne, no. This stuff can actually CAUSE breakouts if you're acne prone. So please avoid it. Use an dermatologically tested (non-comedogenic) oil, perhaps argan, jojoba (which is similar to human sebum) or neem oil (if you want to smell like my grandmother). I could go into a rant about coconut oil, because the hype is totally NOT worth the breakouts, so click here for other alternatives.
And as an end to this article - here are my two favourite moisturizers for your skin when you are transitioning to a colder climate or just going into winter.
Clinique DDM+. Well this was Mr JH's favourite, can you believe it. He loves this stuff and I just happened to steal it. It's incredible, it's not natural by any means but I'm not about to go into that rant just now. It's quick to absorb and repair and I absolutely love this stuff. Again, you'll have to pair with an SPF separately, but it's totally worth it. What's more? It's non-comedogenic so there's a much lighter risk of you breaking out. Upside: the pump.
Aesop's Camelia Nut Hydrating Moisturizer is incredibly hydrating, bear in mind it does have essential oils, so please do some research before purchasing. They are always very kind in offering samples to try before you buy. I typically wear this at night or as a base for my foundation before heading out as it doesn't contain SPF (no flashback) and it absorbs quickly without leaving a tacky residue. Pair with MAC Cosmetics' Prep and Prime Moisture Infusion for super hydration. Downside: it's in a jar. Not as hygienic, but use a metal spatula or even a q-tip and you're good to go.
That's all for now! Hope y'all enjoy. x