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These Are the Skin-Care Products You Should Never Use, Based on Where You Live

Where you live determines more than your zip code, it also affects what you should—and shouldn't—put on your face.

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Hot and humid

If you live in a place that’s hot and humid year-round, you’re most likely use to that constant sticky feeling—a feeling that you probably don’t like and most definitely do not like on your face. In this type of climate, a good cleanser will be your life savior. “Heat and humidity can make the skin feel greasy and oily, so the right cleanser is needed to remove dirt an oil from the skin,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research and assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai in New York City. Dr. Zeichner recommends avoiding hydrating face washes and instead sticking with something more lightweight like foaming cleansers (and avoid making these face-washing mistakes too.)

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Cold and windy

Cold and windy pretty much seems like the worst climate to battle. Not only are you freezing cold, but the wind adds an extra hellish element that causes chapped lips (make sure you apply that thick lip balm) and is extremely drying on the skin. This is where a hydrating cleanser, and of course, a thick moisturizer come into play. “Wind combined with cold weather dries out the outer skin layer, stripping the skin of natural oils that protect the skin barrier,” says Dr. Zeichner. He recommends avoiding skin-care products that can further irritate the skin, like retinoids, and swapping them out for peptides “which stimulate collagen without causing irritation,” he says. And avoid these showering mistakes in winter.

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Hot and dry

Don’t let the heat fool you: Just because it’s scorching hot doesn’t mean you should skimp on moisturizer. The heat can actually dry out your skin, so adding a light moisturizer is necessary. “Avoid oils and oil-containing moisturizing products as they may weigh down the skin,” warns Dr. Zeichner. “Instead stick with a light gel moisturizer or hyaluronic acid serum.” And again, a good cleanser is key. Moisturizing is essential, but it’s also easy to screw up, leaving skin greasy, pimply, or even drier.

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Dry and cold

“Low temperatures stress the skin and may interfere with its ability to retain hydration properly,” says Dr. Zeichner. Thus, you’ll want to stay away from any exfoliating scrubs (both physical and chemical) that may cause flaky skin and even burns. “Instead, listen to what the skin needs, which is hydration,” he advises. “Choose a petrolatum-based product that forms a protective seal on the skin to help repair the barrier.” It’s not easy to have good skin, and thanks to the abundance of skin-care advice, it’s hard to know fact from fiction. Follow these hydrating tips for dry skin.

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Acne-prone skin in any climate

If you have acne-prone skin you’ve probably tried loads of different products on the market. Using an exfoliator like scrubs, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid can help keep unruly blemishes at bay. Scrubs are great at removing buildup from pores and killing acne-causing bacteria. Just be extra weary using an exfoliator if you live in a cold and windy climate as they are drying. And acne-prone / oily skin doesn’t mean you should skimp on moisturizer, just find a lightweight one instead.

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Mature skin in any climate

It seems like the importance of moisturizer is a common thread for all skin types in all climates, but moisturizer is even more important for those with mature and/or dry skin. Both mature and dry skin needs hydration no matter what. Opt for a hydrating moisturizer, a good peptide serum, and of course, a moisturizer. Having hydrated skin will ensure a nice glow and stop pesky flaking. Check out these anti-aging products to try something new.

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Sensitive skin in any climate

When it comes to sensitive skin, less truly is more. Sometimes the more you put on the face, the itchier, redder, and more blemish-y it’ll become. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to stick to a simple skin-care regime of cleanse, tone, and moisturizer. It’s also in your best interest to stick to products that are all-natural and fragrance-free, as any additives may cause your sensitive skin to get out of whack. Tired of bumps and blotches, rashes, and dry patches? But scared that adding an extra step will only make your sensitive skin worse? These lifestyle hacks for a sensitive skincare routine will put your mind at ease.