As pop star, Smurfette, and new mother Katy Perry once so poetically said, “you’re hot, then you’re cold.” She may have been singing about a boy who couldn’t make up his mind, but the same can be said about microclimates—a set of atmospheric conditions that similarly, often can’t make up their mind.
Essentially, a microclimate is a mini climate pattern that’s exclusive to a small area, whose weather conditions are dependent on factors like temperature, humidity, wind, and evaporation.
Managing microclimates can become challenging when your skin is exposed to two contrasting climate conditions back-to-back. Some day-to-day examples include:
- Being inside with a heater that’s pumping out toasty warm air, then stepping outside into the cold, winter air
- Walking outside on a hot, humid, summer day, and then going inside a freezing cold restaurant where the A/C is blasting.
The Effects Of Microclimates On Your Skin
In order to maintain healthy, balanced skin (which is what we’re all aiming for, right?), compensating for microclimates’ effects on the skin is key. Maintaining a consistent skin care routine that’s suited for your skin type is the primary way to do this. But sometimes, especially at the height of winter and summer, your skin likely needs some extra help.
“Typically, these conditions will cause dehydration or a feeling of tightness in the skin,” says Heyday Skincare Educator Jeni Montoya. This is happening because microclimates cause Transepidermal Water Loss—the process by which our skin loses water, and therefore hydration, causing conditions like fine lines and dehydration.
“The environment surrounding us can leach moisture from the skin according to how the temperature fluctuates or decreases,” explains Jeni.
Products To Tackle Microclimates:
Compensating for microclimates is simply a matter of upping skin’s hydration levels. Which product you’ll want to add into your routine will depend on the microclimate you’re experiencing the effects of most.
Start With A Hydrating Oil Cleanse
If your skin is feeling super tight after cleansing, you’ll benefit majorly by adding in an oil cleanse, like this one that’s chock full of hydrating ingredients like marula oil.
Mix a Healing [Moisturizer] + A Nourishing Facial Oil
If your moisturizer doesn’t feel like it’s been doing its job lately, supercharge the last step in your evening routine by combining this soothing, healing moisturizer with a facial oil.
Mix a Healing Moisturizer + A Nourishing [Facial Oil]
Add a few drops of this reparative facial oil into your moisturizer to fuel your thirsty skin’s vital overnight regeneration processes.
Mist To Prevent Mask-Induced Microclimates
If you’re experiencing maskne or other types of irritation from your face mask, spritz this antimicrobial mist on your face and a small amount into your mask before putting it on.
Moisturize + Protect In One
If you spend most of your day in front of a screen (or screens), wearing a moisturizing sunscreen daily will help prevent skin from dehydrating and prematurely aging.
And About The Products That “Stopped Working”?
If you’re leveling up any of your cleansers or moisturizers right now in favor of something more hydrating, there’s no need to toss those out! Save ‘em for a milder season or share them with a roommate or partner whose skin might not be experiencing as much of a reaction to the current climate patterns.
Who should use it, and when?