And no, I’m not talking about the global change in temperature.
I’m talking about moving to a new climate area.
When moving to Turkey, there were a lot of changes and differences I expected. Change in currency, language, even the likelihood I would gain weight from all the amazing food if I wasn’t careful… (spoiler alert: I was careful)
But what I didn’t plan for was what the Mediterranean climate would do to my skin.
I had spent the entirety of my life (until now!) bogged in the southeastern US climate region, characterized by ridiculous humidity and heat in the summer… And a bit more dry and moderate winters. While living in Florida I took advantage of my new found insurance (thanks University of Florida!) and finally got around to treating my mild hormonal acne with topical treatments. Why not pay $40 every year and a half for flawless skin? Am I right? Besides a regular acne wash in the morning and night, I would occasionally get slightly dry skin around my eyebrows due to the medication I applied daily. Nothing a little ponds humectant couldn’t fix!
For the most part I would characterize my skin as combination normal and slightly dry, not particularly oily nor terribly dry.
Let me emphasize the would.
After moving to Turkey it took me a while to get a hold of acne wash (should have brought mine with me… Lesson learned), and I had a massive breakout that I am still recovering from. Even worse, my usual trouble regions (forehead and chin) spread to my temples too. Oh well, nothing I can’t fix with my new acne wash and normal meds!
Until my skin dried out.
I’m talking ashy. If you don’t know ashy, Google it. It’s not okay.
So suddenly, thanks to a new climate, I went from normal skin to very dry.
First thing I did was invest in a little face cream. I would continue washing my face with acne wash upon waking up and before bed, apply my medication, but then use lotion on my whole face in the morning.
Those dry, flakey, and rough feeling patches still wouldn’t go! Even my moist and dewy foundation would cling unfortunately to those trouble spots! Even more, the acne persisted. Those red bumps under the skin that just won’t erupt into the top of the skin where it can heal… You know what I’m talking about.
So I got the bright idea to exfoliate the dry spots, certainly it was a build up of dead skin.
Wrong… Dry skinned people, don’t do that. You will end up with abrasions that take even longer to heal.
Then I began moisturizing after washing my face in the morning and night, but the feeling of tightness and dryness still persisted.
Finally, I found a routine that works. I’ve had to limit my use of acne wash and medication only to the trouble spots in the morning and night (forehead, chin, and temples), while limiting my cheeks and nose to a water rinse. Any soap I use strips the little oil I do have in my skin. In order to treat the dry spots quickly, I’ve had to moisturize around five times a day for a week. I know it sounds like a lot, but my skin drank it up… My dry patches quickly resolved and the acne reduced. While many bloggers and youtubers may warn of being careful with moisturizers… Sometimes, dry skin needs a lot of help. I plan to try other brands and see if there’s something I can use less frequent with the same effect.
When my oily skinned friend visited the Mediterranean for a cruise, her skin cleared up in a matter of days… It appears the dry and hot climate is perfect for the oily among us (dare I say the majority?). But for those like me, dry skin will exacerbate.
So to make a long story short (a little late for that)…
When moving to a new country, consider the climate and how it may affect your skin.