What You Need to Know About Living in the High Desert: Sun, Altitude, and Skincare
The desert is a fascinating ecosystem full of surprises, but for all its wonders, it can be harsh on your skin. At any given time, one in three Americans suffer from any number of skin conditions, and when you factor in time spent in one of the toughest environments on our planet, you’ll have to prepare for some changes to your daily routine.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a desert, or are planning a visit to the desert and hoping to enjoy all the amazing activities that you can do there, then here’s everything that you need to know about desert skincare.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Water is essential for the health and functioning of your body, so it’s important to drink enough. Health experts generally recommend that you drink at least 8 cups (2 liters) of water per day. Drink more if you’re physically active or during hot weather when your body needs extra fluids to cool down.
If you don’t like plain water, try flavored waters or juices instead—you’ll still be getting the same amount of hydration.
Use A Gentle Cleanser
The best way to avoid the dryness that commonly accompanies spending time in the desert is to use gentle cleansers instead of soaps. Soaps can be very harsh on your skin, especially if you’re not used to them. This will cause dryness and exacerbate your symptoms.
Instead, choose a mild face wash or body wash for your skincare for a high-altitude routine that won’t strip away moisture from your skin.
Apply Moisturizer Liberally
You can also look for moisturizers specifically designed to treat dry skin as part of a successful skincare routine for a dry climate. These products are available at most drug stores and beauty supply stores. Apply at least once in the morning after a shower and reapply throughout the day as needed.
Protect Your Skin From The Sun’s Harmful Rays
The next step in desert skincare is applying sunscreen. If you’re planning on spending time outdoors, be sure to apply a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Remember that UVB rays can cause sunburns, while UVA rays are responsible for skin damage that leads to wrinkles, age spots, and other signs of premature aging.
Take A Break From The Sun
Even if you follow all of the above steps, there’s still a chance that the harsh climate could be causing havoc on your skin. Sometimes the best form of skincare in the desert is to avoid going out in the sun altogether. If you must, try to stay out of the sun between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun is at its highest.
If you absolutely must be outside during these times, try to limit it to 30 minutes at a time—then retreat inside somewhere cool or shady until the sun goes down again.
Leave The Desert Skincare To The Professionals
If these changes don’t seem like enough relief from your desert skincare woes consider booking an appointment with a dermatologist who specializes in skincare for the desert. Their expert guidance may provide additional insights into how best to treat those pesky skin issues while still being able to enjoy all the fun activities offered by being outside.