The 4 Cleansers That Kept My Face Clear Through Dramatically Different Climates

I went from arid to muggy to surrounded by smog. My skin would freak if I didn't plan ahead.
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I went from arid to muggy to surrounded by smog. My skin would freak if I didn't plan ahead.

I spent the last 10 days driving from Toronto to Los Angeles. I crossed nine states, three time zones and several different climates. From muggy Memphis mornings to scorchingly dry desert afternoons, my skin has been through hell, and on the way back, it stopped in Amarillo.

But you'd never know it.

But you'd never know it.

You already know what my usual road trip essentials are, but when the weather is extra-ornery on jaunts like this, I have to pack a little extra.

In these sticky (and sweaty) situations, I try to focus on the basics by concentrating on cleansing. Finding the right balance for your skin when it’s being manipulated by a bevy of weather systems is hard work, but hopefully I’ll be able to help make it a little easier for you.

Toronto summers are usually real, real hot and humid. I mean can’t-think-too-hot-lying-down-in-a-pool-of-ice styles. My skin cannot deal with humidity. It gets bumpy the instant anyone even mentions a humidex factor. So I always make a cleanser switch in the warmer months. Instead of my usual cleansing oil or Spectro Gel, I use something more exfoliating.

Like this.

Like this.

Right now I’m obsessed with Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser. It’s exfoliating but gentle and one hundo per cent natural. It helps keep my pores clean and prevents those little bumps that I usually get along my forehead and on my cheeks when all that humidity keeps my sweat trapped.

I also like Eminence Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser for dank weather--it’s cooling and cleansing.

Ahhhhh. 

Ahhhhh. 

Once I hit the drier temperatures in Oklahoma and New Mexico, I had to make another switch to something that was more moisturizing. While camping alongside a river in a tiny town east of Albuquerque, I returned to my trusted Cetaphil--something gentle and non-drying but that would still remove all the dust my face was collecting.

Dust. Everywhere. 

Dust. Everywhere. 

Here in L.A. I’m back to another Tata Harper cleanser called the Refreshing Cleanser. It’s made for more sensitive skin, which works for southern California’s dry but smoggy climate.

Throughout each of these road stops I continued using my Dr. Hauschka Normalizing Day Oil as a moisturizer. I wanted to be able to keep some constants for my skin. I find this oil to be particularly balancing, and I can control the amount of moisture through how much oil I use.

Obviously ,I’m not always cycling through such drastic climate extremes, but even at home, I switch cleansers as the seasons change because of how my skin reacts to dips in temperature and changes in wind and humidity. For a generally low-maintenance person that sounds pretty high-maintenance, but for me, putting in the work to regulate my skin means getting to wear less makeup and fuss less with the other stuff.

And more time for exploring!

And more time for exploring!

I’m still trying to figure out how to do the same thing with my hair and nails, but that’s another story!

Do you switch cleansers often, or do you have a trusty, time-honored product that you can’t live without?