Not all skin care items were made equal or with everyone in mind. Many of the businesses we are marketed here in the Caribbean are international brands who's target audience are in a cooler climate and may even be of a different ethnic background. We have put together a list of popular cosmetic ingredients and how they can affect your skin if you are in humid weather.
How does this affect you?
Well if I made a product that was only meant to be used if you lived in an area that was constantly below 15 degrees C and had lots of rain, but, someone from a place that is constantly between 25-40 degrees C purchases it, then that person can incur adverse skin effects overtime.
See many persons in tropical climate get bombarded by the benefits of certain beauty items and they do not know how it can affect them.
Here is a list of items and when they should be used in the Caribbean:
Glycerin or glycerol, is a natural compound obtained from animal fat or vegetable oils. It is one of the top 3 ingredients used in the cosmetic industry to draw moisture from outside and pull into the deeper layers of your skin.
However, just like other humectants, if glycerin is used in humid temperatures, it does the opposite. This then dries your skin from within, pulling the moisture outside and overtime causing wrinkles and other levels of damage to the dermis layers. This means that your skin may look healthy and hydrated on the outside but will have no moisture on the inside.
Another downside is that glycerin can make your epidermis feel and look sticky. This poses a risk as it makes it easier for dust and pollution to stick to your skin putting it at a greater risk for damage.
Also known as Hyaluronan, is a clear, gooey substance that is naturally produced by your body. The largest amount of hyaluronic acid is found on your skin, connective tissue and eyes. It's main function is to retain water to keep tissue lubricated and moist.
However, similar to glycerin, hyaluronic acid sucks the moisture out of your skin and into the atmosphere in climates which are humid of tropical. It is best used when there is constant rain or less humidity in the air or in climates which may be more overcast.
Claimed as an acne-flighting acid, this alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) is a derivative of sugarcane and can help some with frequent breakouts. You may be able to find this in some face washes, serums and masks just to name a few.
When applied to the skin, glycolic acid works to break the bonds between the outer layer of skin cells, including dead skin cells, and the next skin cell layer. This creates a peeling effect removes build up which can make the skin appear smoother and more even.
Glycolic acid may help retain moisture instead of drying your skin out. This is an advantage for acne-prone people because many other topical anti-acne agents, like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, are drying.
Some people have reactions to glycolic acid that can include symptoms such as swelling, itching, and burning sensations. Those with dry or sensitive skin types may find glycolic acid is too irritating for their skin.
Melanated Babes, people with darker skin, the acid can have mild to severe skin irritation and cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or dark spots.
In humid climates, especially for those working outside, this AHA can damage your skin and dry it out. Some even incurred hypersensitivity when in the sun (which we really can not avoid in a Caribbean country)
The benefits and side effects of glycolic acid, is similar to Koji acid. In my research and feedback, Koji acid seems to have a greater adverse effect in our climate.
So when can you use these items
During heavy rainy season or when you are in a different climate. This would give you the benefit of the item without the harsh side effects.
There are other alternatives you can use while in the tropics for all skin types and ethnic backgrounds:
Glow Baby Line
Our natural herbal line balances skin pH whilst packing your skin with protective antioxidants. This line has been proven to work for person who are in and out of the Caribbean, giving a moisturizing effect without the use of humectants or AHAs. The line includes soap, serum, scrub, toner, moisturizer, face masks and elixir.
This one was curated for those with dry sensitive skin to gently heal your acne or eczema and remove any unnecessary gunk from your skin.
Drink more water
Most of us do not get the right amount of water for our body size or for the day. Eating more water based fruits and veggies like watermelon and lettuce and drinking no less than 1.5L of water per day, would aid in the boosting of moisture in your skin.
Remember that issues start within, so healing the source can provide relief for symptoms.