Skin Care Products a Derm Says You Should Never Use—According to Where You Live

Depending on where you live, the weather can be pretty unpredictable. But while erratic weather obviously plays a serious part in your choice of clothing, it should also affect what goes into your skin care routine as well. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t layer on a parka while on the beach, right? So, why would you slather on a heavy coat of moisturizer to weigh down your skin in that same, hot weather? Ahead, we tapped New York dermatologist, Neil Sadick, MD, for the best and worst products to use no matter what climate you live in.

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Hot & Humid:
Even if hot weather makes your skin feel “moist” with sweat, it’s actually a sign your skin is becoming dehydrated (precious water is escaping!). Plus, humidity opens pores and increases your exposure to pollutants, so it’s essential to choose options like lightweight moisturizers and products in gel form. “Avoid heavy greasy formulations that will seal in sweat and further clog pores,” says Dr. Sadick. “Also, stay away from products with comedogenic ingredients like cocoa butter and coconut oil.”

Freezing Cold:
No surprise here, but cold weather is extremely harsh on your skin, which is why it's essential to use deeply hydrating and protective products when exposed to frigid temperatures. “Avoid lightweight products and stock up on thicker creams,” says Dr. Sadick. “Soap, astringents and products with alcohol and artificial fragrances can be particularly drying so look for soap-free products with a neutral pH instead.” And while rashes are common in this kind of chilly climate, Dr. Sadick recommends skipping cortisone creams as your go-to solution because it can be very drying. Instead, he advises sticking to soothing ingredients like oatmeal.

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Dry Climates (Hot AND Cold):
Contrary to humid environments, dry climates require a skin care routine that hydrates and nourishes the skin on a deeper level. “Avoid products containing artificial fragrances, alcohol or preservatives because aside from drying, they are highly allergenic,” explains Dr. Sadick. “Other ingredients to stay away from are retinoid, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.” While these specific ingredients are known for their awesome acne-fighting powers, Dr. Sadick says the level of exfoliation they provide can be too harsh on dry, sensitive skin.

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