Can Moving To A New City Affect Your Skin?

Updated 9/10/19. After moving to a new state or country, many can experience some changes in their skin and its appearance. This might include rashes, dryness, sensitivity, bumps, increased breakouts or oil production. Generally, these changes are influenced by three key factors: water, climate and food. I break down each one and why it might be affecting your skin.

Water

I’m not referring to the water you drink, but rather to the water you use when you shower and wash your face. The properties of this water vary place to place and can definitely have an effect on your skin. For example, if your skin has been used to hard water and now you’ve moved somewhere with soft water, something as simple as washing your face may impact your skin. Typically, this is because it’s harder to rinse off cleansers using soft water, so you may be left with a cleanser residue that your skin is not used to. (I never recommend using cleansing balms or cleansing oils for this very reason, regardless of the type of water. Read more about why you might be doing the double cleansing method all wrong.) Reversely, if your skin has been used to soft water and now you’re using hard water, it may be more dehydrating and can cause dead cell build up to occur faster, especially for those who already suffer from dry skin. Your skin’s pH can also be altered by water, so this can create a disruption.

Pro tip: always use an alcohol-free toner after cleansing to remove impure tap water and return your skin to a healthy pH.

Brightening Toner For Dull, Tired Skin

Climate

It’s a fact that when seasons change, the skin is affected (be it negatively or positively). The nice things about a seasonal change is that it’s a slow transition, so your skin has some time to adjust. The challenge of moving to a new city, state or country, however, is that you are immediately thrown into a new climate and your skin may initially have a hard time adapting. This can create internal chaos for the skin and throw things off balance. There are specific products that are really good for re-setting the skin, and Rapid Response Detox Masque is one of them.

Food

Certain cities, states or countries will expose you to foods that you may, or may not, have had as much of when living elsewhere. For example, living in Texas, I know I eat far more meat (barbecue) than I did when living in Boston or Minnesota. In addition, I certainly eat way more Mexican food (cheese). Changing up the foods you consume may have an impact on your skin because of the hormones given to cows and other animals.

While it will always be difficult to determine the cause of a change in your skin, do know that anytime you make a change in your water, climate or food, a change is made to the body and your skin—which may be positive or negative.

If you are experiencing changes with your skin, the best place to start is to consult with a professional and adjust your skin care routine to fit your current needs. Simply put, if your products aren’t working, it’s time for a change. You might also consider keeping track of your every move with a calendar to look for any possible patterns that might allow you to determine what’s not working. Lastly, time heals all. Eventually, your skin should adjust to your new environment and things will normalize eventually.

Disclaimer: Content found on www.ReneeRouleau.com and Blog.ReneeRouleau.com, including text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website or blog.

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  1. Me and my husband moved to Idaho from Washington recently. When I lived in Washington for 21 years my face was literally so clean with no pimples on it & no scars at all, every time when I would wake up my face would be so soft when I would gently touch it with the back of my hand. Nothing about my face would bother me at all. But once we moved to Idaho around May of this year.. I noticed my face started to break out around June from I don’t even know what 😭, I would go shower and use my face wash to wash my face and then when I was done with showering I went to the mirror to check up on my face because it was feeling weird and then I saw so much red little pimples on my forehead, cheeks, jawline & kinda under my chin. I’m using my products the ones that I always used and it’s not getting any better. My face every time now is literally feeling so rough, oily, itchy, a little Irritated and ugly looking. I’m so concerned and worried & crying. I don’t even know how it even happened or where they came from. I want them to go away as soon as possible. I’m not sure if it’s the climate or the water that I shower with. My husbands face is all good, but mine started to break out. Please help! 😭

    Posted By: Anna  | 

    Reply
  2. Hi,
    I recently moved from the greater Boston Area to southern NH. My skin and my husband’s have both gone nuts. Itching only at first and isolated small red bumps. But now I’m also having rashes under my armpits, backs of my knees and torso. The children seem unaffected.
    We just started using a whole house water filtration system and I’m really hoping it will help. You said eventually you adjust. But its been 4 months… i saw a dermatologist and she said it will likely go away soon. She prescribed me a steroid cream. It helps with the itching but not the rashes. And ideas would be great.

    Posted By: Adrienne J Bassett  | 

    Reply
    • You may want to see an allergist! Since you are experiencing a rash there may be something in your new environment that you aren’t responding well to that could cause this issue.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  3. Hi Dr,
    I moved from Yorktown Va, to Ogden Utah three months ago. Ever since moving my face had broken out so bad. I’ve had acne breakouts here or there… not to serve, but this is the worst I‘ve had in 13 years. I don’t know what to do. It’s mostly on my chin and around my mouth. Sometimes it’s sore and it red and raised pimples that don’t fully form. My shin is dry no matter how much moisturizer I use the area is still dry and flaky

    Posted By: Nancy  | 

    Reply
    • I’m sorry to hear that you have been experiencing severe breakouts after your move. I recommend checking out the Chin Breakout Treatment Kit to help manage breakouts and rehydrate!

      Posted By: Ella Stevenson  | 

      Reply
  4. Hey – I recently moved to Charleston from Nashville and my legs have had a terrible rash and itch like crazy. I went to the doctor and I was given a steroid cream, which helped, but I was only allowed to use it for 2 weeks since it thins the skin. Not only do I have a rash, but now I’m covered in bruises from scratching my itches. I’ve bought eucerin cream and sarna lotion. The eucerin doesn’t help at all really, for a little bit, sometimes it burns though. The sarna lotion helps (it has menthol in it so the cooling helps alleviate the itching for a while). But it doesn’t last long, and if I keep applying it at the rate I am, it’s only going to last a couple days! I just don’t know what to do, it has been going on for 3 months now. I hadn’t changed soaps, detergents or anything when I first moved. I just recently did, just to see if anything changed, but no success still. Any suggestions?

    Posted By: Allison  | 

    Reply
    • It’s so hard to know exactly why this is occurring, but I would suggest for you to continue searching online to see if anyone else out there has a similar condition and see what they have done. The other option is to go back to your derm or go see another one to see if they can suggest a new strategy.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  5. Hi Dr I’m from Hawaii n now I’m in Florida visiting for the next 3months I came here a month ago now Im breaking out with this none itchy rasrash in my arm n legs I do have sensitive skin but don’t normally break out like this could it be the water here

    Posted By: charde  | 

    Reply
    • It’s very hard for me to know the actual cause of the itchy rash you’re experiencing on your arms and legs but I would suggest you visit an allergist to see what might be going on.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  6. I recently moved to Dallas from the outskirts of Austin. I never really broke out back at home, maybe twice a month. Now that I’m here in Dallas, I’ve mostly broken out on my cheeks.. My skin is dryer now, and on my right cheek I have a dry spot, or a spot that my skin feels super weird( not smooth). What can I do to change my skin routine? Especially to get rid of this dry spot.

    Posted By: Randi  | 

    Reply
    • Hi Randi, I would suggest that you schedule an appointment for a facial at one of our skincare spas in Dallas. It sounds like seeing a professional in person to make a plan to address your changing skin would be best. You can see both of our locations here.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  7. Hi there!
    I really need help please! I have moved from London, UK to Vancouver, Canada. After a week I started having breakouts on my face. Now it is just getting worse. I had acne 7 years ago and took decutaine and after that my face was all clear. I was also taking yasminelle but have stopped it 4 months ago. I am also vegan. I have no idea what is causeing these breakouts and have no idea what could help me! 🙁

    Posted By: Matty  | 

    Reply
    • It’s so hard to say what you’re getting breakouts but you can read 11 possible causes here.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  8. Hello!
    I moved to Hawaii about a year ago! Before I moved here I had great skin, very few blemishes once a month. However, here my skin is constantly breaking out. Any advice? I am not in the sun that often, which is a common misconception about living here if that helps!
    Thank you!

    Posted By: Meghan  | 

    Reply
    • Hello Meghan, It’s so hard to know exactly what the cause is but my best advice is to change up your skin care routine to prevent blemishes. A great product for this is BHA Clarifying Serum because it reduces bacteria in the pore lining but it won’t dry out your skin like so many blemish products can do.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  9. Hi! I moved to Denver from Phoenix about 10 months ago. I had great skin before I moved, and now it’s a mess. Clogged pores, breakouts on my forehead and chin, etc. I have tried switching skin care lines to a more organic alternative because my skin has become reactive, and that doesn’t seem to help. I’ve also tried facials and peels, no result. Any ideas?

    Thank you!

    Posted By: Hallie  | 

    Reply
    • Our lines is based on nine skin types and is great for sensitive skin. I suggest you take my Skin Type Quiz to get products recommended. You can do that here https://www.reneerouleau.com/skin-types It sounds like your skin needs to be balanced.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply
  10. I moved from north Texas to west Texas I’ve only been here 8 days and have a rash tiny itchy bumps all over started on my shoulders onto my back neck and tummy now moving to my legs the itching comes and goes mainly after showering or when I sweat it’s very weird and irritating I feel like maybe it’s because the humidity change…it’s very dry here and maybe my skin is just drying out I can’t afford to spend a bunch of money on skin products and I’m allergic to a lot of lotions do u know or a cheap moisturizer I could try …if that doesn’t work then it’s prob the water…will my body ever adapt to the water?! I cant stand the rash or itching much longer! I’ve always had the smoothest skin ! ;(

    Posted By: Amber  | 

    Reply
    • It’s hard to say if it’s the water. You could be having a reaction to something else. You might want to see a dermatologist if it continues. No fun, hang in there!

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      Reply

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