Can Moving To A New City Affect Your Skin?


Updated 1/2/18. After moving to a new state or country, many can experience some changes in their skin’s appearance. This might include rashes, dryness, sensitivity, bumps, increased breakouts or oil production. Generally, these changes may be influenced by three key factors: water, climate, and food. I break down each one with why this might be affecting your skin.

Water – I’m not referring to drinking water, but the quality of the water and how it can affect your skin when showering and washing your face. 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 be affected. This is because cleansers are harder to rinse off in soft water so there may be a cleanser residue that your skin is not used to. (I never recommend using cleansing balms or cleansing oils in the double cleansing method, regardless of the type of water, you have but certainly, with softer water, this wouldn’t be good.) Or reversely, if your skin has been used to soft water and now you’re using hard water, it may be more dehydrating and create dead cell build up faster, especially for those who suffer from dry skin. Your skin’s pH can also be altered due to 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. Recommeded toner: Energy Boosting Toner

Climate – It’s a fact that when seasons change, it can affect the skin (negatively or positively). The good news is that it’s a slow transition during the change of season so your skin can adjust more effectively. However, the challenge of moving to a new city, state, or country 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 put it out of balance. There are specific products that are really good for re-setting the skin and this is one of them.  Recommended product: Rapid Response Detox Masque

Food – Certain cities, states, or countries will expose you to certain foods that you may or may not have as much 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 from the hormones given to cows. Read: Why Does Eating Dairy Cause Breakouts?

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, and 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 your current needs. Simply put, if your products aren’t working, it’s time for a change. You can also take this Skin Type Quiz to find out your true skin type and get the right products recommended. 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. Read more about this here. Lastly, time heals all. Eventually, your skin should adjust to your new environment and things will normalize eventually.


Renée Rouleau

Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”