Skincare Showdown: Tropical vs. Temperate Skincare Routines


The skin is the largest organ of the human body, so it goes without saying that we have to take good care of it. However, skincare can get a little intimidating when you don't know where to start. From cleansers to creams to serums, there's a lot to take in, but all it takes is a good amount of research and a better understanding of factors that affect your skin, like your lifestyle and the environment.

This time, we'll be talking about the latter: the environment. Depending on where you live, the care your skin needs to be at its best varies. 

How the Environment Affects Your Skin

When it comes to skincare, the first thing most people think about is their skin type. While this is an important aspect of proper skincare, it's also important to remember other aspects to consider when choosing the right products for your skin. This includes internal factors like genetics and hormones and external factors like your diet, lifestyle, and environment.

Environmental factors like the amount of sunlight and temperature can have a significant effect on your skin. For instance, the sun emits UVA rays, UVB rays, and HEV light, damaging your skin if you don't protect it. UVA rays and HEV lights can cause premature skin aging, while UVB rays cause sunburns and are often linked to cancer. In addition to this, all three can cause hyperpigmentation, age spots, and melasma. So if you live in an environment that gets a lot of sunlight, it's important to protect your skin with sunblock.

Aside from sunlight and temperature, water quality, pollution, and even wind can dictate your skin health. All these factors into the current condition of your skin, and while some habits may be hard to change, the easiest way to improve your skincare routine is by adjusting it according to your environment.

But before that, let's get to know the basics of skincare.

Skincare Basics

If you're a newbie to the skincare world, most skin care routines have a basic system: cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. While there are other products you can add to enhance your skincare routines, it's best to start with the basics and build your routine from there.


This is the first and most important step to any skincare routine. After a tiring day, there's nothing better than cleansing your skin of all the dirt it's accumulated throughout the day. This is where cleansers come in. They're in charge of removing any extra dirt, oil, sweat, and makeup and give you a fresh slate to apply other products for easy absorption into your skin.

There are different kinds of cleansers available in the market: gel, cream, foam, clay, oil, and more. Each type of cleanser provides different benefits for different skin types, which is why you need to know your skin type when you're picking out products for your routine. For instance, cream cleansers are better for dry and sensitive skin, while gel cleansers are better for oily and combination skin.


Simply put, toners are like supplements that give your skin extra hydration and helps get rid of dead skin cells. Toners are applied after cleansers for both morning and evening routines. The best way to apply toner is with clean hands, but you can use thin cotton pads. Like cleansers, there are different kinds of moisturizers for different skin types. However, a general rule when it comes to toners is to choose one that is alcohol-free. If you have acne-prone skin, consider getting a toner with AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) or salicylic acid.


The skin on your face, ears, and neck are susceptible to environmental changes, which is why it's important to protect them with moisturizer. Moisturizers give your skin a healthy boost to make sure it stays hydrated and protected from irritation. Just like the last two products we mentioned, different moisturizers suit different skin types, such as gel moisturizers for oily skin, creams for dry and combination skin, and lotions for combination skin.

Tropical Skincare vs. Temperate Skincare

Tropical Skincare

Tropical areas usually see scorching and humid environments. We react to heat by sweating, which can be a nightmare for your skin. Sweat can stick to your skin along with excess oil, clogging your pores in the process. Aside from that, you're more likely to be exposed to the sun often.

In such hot and humid weather, it's not a surprise to get oily skin. Combat this by double cleansing, a process where you use a cleansing oil or balm to remove excess dirt, oil, and other impurities from your skin. Follow this up with the cleansing product of your choice to get that deep clean. If you choose not to use a toner in your morning routine, you can skip it and go straight to moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.

While it sounds counter-productive to moisturize when you have oily skin, it can help regulate oil secretion, making you less oily. Of course, this doesn't mean that you have to use a heavy moisturizer in your routine. For hot days, especially in the summer, use a lightweight moisturizer that doesn't feel heavy on your skin even after spending a whole day outside.

One product you shouldn't forget if you live in a tropical region is sunblock. This will help protect your skin from sunburns and premature aging and decrease your risk of skin cancer. Consider using a lightweight sunblock with SPF 50 to protect your skin outside and even at home.

Temperate Skincare

Compared to tropical areas, temperate areas see less extreme temperatures. These areas have the most balanced climates, as it doesn't get too cold, nor does it get too hot. The only challenges you may have to face in this environment are pollution, intermittent rain, wind, and allergens from the different seasons. However, as temperate regions see the four seasons, you'll have to be prepared to have swap out a few products depending on the time of year.

For instance, in the summer, you can follow a skincare routine similar to those who live in tropical climates. But once winter rolls around, you'll have to focus your skincare routine on moisturizing. In this case, lightweight products won't work. You'll also have to keep an eye on the temperature of the water you use. You might not like to rinse your face in cold water during the winter, but don't go overboard and use hot water. Settle for warm water, and use gentle cleansers that don't strip away oils or moisture from the skin.

When it comes to moisturizer, you'll need to use the big guns. This is the most important step to keeping your skin healthy and hydrated during colder months. Consider using heavier moisturizers that can keep your skin hydrated despite the cold.

Things to Remember

Skincare routines aren't a perfect system. There are bound to be products that work for others but don't work for you, so building that perfect skincare routine is a trial-and-error process. It's also important to remember that there are somethings that skincare products may not be able to solve. For instance, if you suffer from acne-prone skin and have many scarring, products can only help to a certain extent. Scarring can make some feel insecure, but fortunately, there is a solution. Treatments for acne scars can be done by a dermatologist to help get rid of those dark spots caused by acne. Depending on your skin concerns, the best way to deal with them is to consult the proper professional.

Skincare can be daunting, but getting to know your skin and finding the right products for it can also be a rewarding process. With a little effort and research, you'll have glowing skin that lasts all year round.

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