Did you know that environmental factors like heat, wind, low humidity, and high altitude can directly impact your skin? As a matter of fact, the place you call home plays a role in how your skin feels and looks. Since it’s the largest organ in your body and undergoes a lot of daily wear and tear, your skin may lose moisture and feel uncomfortably dry in certain climates. Research by the National Climatic Data Center identified some cities that are toughest on your skin. Fortunately, New York was not listed among them. Find out which cities top the list.
Highest Mean Temperature: Miami, Florida
Hot, humid weather is not a problem for skin. However, these conditions require constant air conditioning all year round, which depletes moisture from the indoor air and the epidermis, which leads to very dry skin.
Lowest Humidity: Las Vegas, Nevada
The drier the atmosphere, the faster moisture in your skin cells evaporate. Every time you bathe or shower you remove natural oils from your skin, which allows water to evaporate into the atmosphere. Las Vegas is a city that is exceptionally hot and has the lowest humidity level in the U.S. This factor has a drying effect on skin. To help lock in moisture, damp skin should be slathered with a thin coat of moisturizer after swimming, bathing, or showering.
Most Frequent Days Above 90: Phoenix, Arizona
Miami is known for continuous heat, but Phoenix is known for its sizzling-hot temperatures and is the second-driest city in the country. As a matter of fact, the mercury in Phoenix reaches 90 degrees Fahrenheit on an average of 169 days a year. These conditions require maximum air conditioning, which dries out the skin and makes it difficult to lock in moisture.
Sunniest City: Yuma, Arizona
Yuma has a whopping 242 cloudless days annually and is considered the sunniest city in the U.S. While this may seem like a dream to our local New Yorkers (especially after a very rainy spring season), it’s far from ideal for the skin. Overexposure to sun can really dry out the skin and make it look like shoe leather. The damage from UV light can lead to burning, peeling, and dryness, so wearing sunscreen in Yuma is an absolute must in order to prevent cancer, wrinkles, and dryness.
Lowest Mean Temperature: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Sioux Falls is one of the chilliest cities in the U.S. and has 167 days of 32 degrees Fahrenheit annually. The city is known for marathon blizzards, and in l989 it snowed for 77 hours straight. This weather requires constant indoor heating, which lowers the humidity as well. The dry heat accelerates water loss from the skin cells, causing tight, dry, and itchy skin.
Soft Water: Seattle, Washington
Seattle is located in a region with the softest water in the U.S. This type of water has a low mineral count, which reacts with soap by creating much more lather than hard water. Although soft water users don’t have to worry about mineral residue on the skin, they’re not problem free. When soft water mixes with soap, it creates extra foam that’s difficult to rinse off. This in turn raises the pH level of skin, which can cause skin irritation and dryness.
Most Stressful City: Chicago, Illinois
It’s obvious that high levels of stress can easily cause blemishes. In a recent Forbes.com study, Chicago earned its reputation as “America’s Most Stressful City” due to its rising unemployment rate, high population density, relatively poor air quality, and expensive gas prices.
Extreme Weather: Kodiak, Alaska
This beautiful island is located on the coast of southwestern Alaska and is known for its wildlife, diverse scenery, and changing weather. Residents in this area can often experience four seasons in one day. Kodiak gets about 84.5 inches of snow a year, and its freezing temperatures are aggravated by strong winds that go down to negative-zero wind-chill factors. These dramatic weather changes can wreak havoc on skin, leaving it dry, itchy, and thirsty for heavy-duty moisturizers. The ongoing joke in the town is: “Just wait another five minutes and the weather will change.” I’m guessing that being a weather forecaster in this town is a challenging job.
Pollution: Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
Daily exposure to pollution can have the same impact as smoking. Living in a polluted environment can really age the skin, making it appear wrinkled and sallow. This city has one of the highest concentrations of soot, ash, diesel exhaust, and exposure to chemicals, metals, and aerosols. According to the American Lung Association, Pittsburg was nominated as one of the most polluted places in the U.S.
High Altitude: Denver, Colorado
Denver sits 5,280 feet above sea level, which makes it a very dry place to live. The arid air sucks moisture from the outer layer of skin, while the high winds accelerate the process. When the cold weather arrives, the necessity for indoor heating adds insult to injury, creating a recipe for disaster.
Highest Average Wind Speed: Amarillo, Texas
Wind speeds evaporation of moisture from your skin in a similar manner to the way a blow dryer deals with wet hair. Those living in Amarillo should certainly stock up on moisturizers.
New York is an expensive place to live, the city that never sleeps, and life goes on no matter what conditions we endure. As the weather becomes more and more erratic these days, giving New Yorkers cause to complain, it seems the grass is not necessarily greener in other parts of the country.
Risselle Naimark is a Professional Freelance Makeup Artist and Skincare Consultant. She carries an extensive line of personalized skincare, cosmetics, and anti-aging products. Risselle is also available for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, makeup lessons, and all of your beauty needs. She can be reached at 718 263-5517.