Colorado is renowned for its natural beauty. Unfortunately, as anyone who’s been here awhile can tell you it’s also tough on skin! We live in a challenging environment, one that saps moisture right from our skin and leaves us parched and cracked. It’s not only the desert-like climate that we battle – the altitude and the intensity of the sun are formidable opponents as well. If you have just recently moved to Colorado from lower elevation or from anywhere more humid, I’m sure you are experiencing drastic changes in your skin health. I have this conversation with my clients daily, and I want to share my most helpful tips with you today.

1. The change in your skin is real! The lack of moisture in our environment dehydrates our skin (and our bodies) very quickly. It is very important to stay hydrated overall by drinking more water than you may be used to. Our bodies are designed first and foremost to keep us alive, so naturally our vital organs get first dibs on the water we intake. Our skin mostly benefits from what’s left over, so drink up!

2. In addition to making sure you drink plenty of water, hydrating serums are really beneficial to most Coloradans because these products not only moisturize but also bind water and hold it in the skin. Medical grade products with active hyaluronic acids are important. Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water – that can fundamentally transform dehydrated skin.

3. Although it seems counterintuitive, moving to Colorado can actually contribute to new or worsened acne! When skin becomes overly dry it ramps up its production of oil in order to compensate. This excess oil can cause acne breakouts. So even though it may be difficult to imagine, the right moisturizer/hyaluronic acid product may be appropriate even for those prone to acne.

4. A whole-house or bedside humidifier is a great idea. It’s an easy way to soften the air around you.

5. Exfoliation helps to keep the most superficial layer of your skin healthy. I highly recommend a facial or chemical peel performed by a medical aesthetician. Having a professional tailor treatments to you is the fastest way to achieve your healthiest skin.

6. Proximity to the sun ages your skin more quickly. SPF is your new best friend, and it should be reapplied every 2 hours when outside (more often when wet) to be most effective. I highly recommend a sunscreen that includes zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

I hope this helps your adjustment to beautiful Colorado! We are here to answer all of your questions.

– Dr. Anne Bode