Sun-Kissed, Not Sunburnt: Protecting Your Skin in Arid Climates

person touching their hands

Taking care of your skin is no easy task. If you live in a high-desert climate such as Utah, where it’s always sunny and rarely humid, your skin might need a little more than just your usual TLC. Dry climates can be tough on your complexion and lead to rough, flaky, and irritated skin.

In fact, blotchy skin is the least of your worries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Utah has the highest rate of skin cancer in the country, with 41.2 new cases per 100,000 people. Experts speculate that inadequate sun protection is a huge contributing factor.

Utah has one of the highest elevations among the states at 6,100 feet, where UV radiation is 30% more intense than at sea level. So when Utahns go out unprotected, they’re exposed to at least 30% more UV radiation than the average American. It’s no wonder the state’s melanoma rate is so high.

The easiest way to protect your skin would be to consult a trusted dermatologist or visit skincare clinics in your locality. However, if you want to create your own skincare regimen and do it at home, here are some tips on how to protect your skin in arid climates.

  • Apply Sunscreen Daily

A staple in any desert dweller’s skincare regimen is a hefty bottle of sunscreen. Local dermatologists recommend using SPF 30 or higher in arid climates. Make it a habit to apply sunscreen every day before you leave your home. Don’t forget to apply on exposed areas like your neck and your ears.

Wearing sunscreen helps prevent sun damage especially in places like Utah where the sun’s rays are harsher than they are anywhere else. If you’re going to be out for a while, don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen. Additionally, you could also wear a hat and a long-sleeve shirt for additional protection.

woman touching her face

  • Cleanse Gently

Always start your skincare routine with cleansing. Use a gentle cleanser to clean off the dirt, dust, and pollutants clinging onto your skin. For most people, a water-based cleanser works best. For others, an oil-based cleanser works better. The best cleanser for you largely depends on your skin type.

Remember to try a gentle cleanser, whether it’s water-based or oil-based and observe which cleanser works best on your skin.

  • Hydrate Inside and Outside

In Utah where there is very low humidity, you might find your skin drier than usual. And when the skin is dehydrated, it can cause the sebaceous glands to overcompensate and make your face oily. Excess oils coupled with dead skin cells and other impurities on your skin can result in clogged pores and breakouts.

Counter this by applying water-based skin essence, which brings water and water-based molecules down to the level of skin’s collagen. Aside from this, drinking water regularly keeps you hydrated inside and out. Help your skin’s collagen hang on to more water by consuming more.

Your skin is your largest organ and yet it’s also one of the most susceptible to damage. Protect it from the harmful rays of the sun by wearing protective apparel and applying sunscreen daily. Especially in arid areas, skincare is more important. Prevent melanoma through conscious care of your skin.

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