Whether you’re planning to move to Mérida, Mexico or are just visiting for a short trip, finding the right skincare routine is extremely important. Mérida is hot all year-round and has moderate to high humidity which can require some special attention to your skin. Read on to learn 11 Skincare tips for Mérida Mexico.
While humidity is great for skin, it is a challenge to find the right moisturizer, sunscreen, and, most importantly skincare routine. The humidity in Merida ranges from 60% all the way up to 96%. Yes, 96%! While a little humidity is good for the skin, too much moisture can wreak havoc!
“Typically humidity is better for the skin as it provides additional moisture to the skin whereas dry weather often depletes our skin of moisture,” explains Alissia Zenhausern, N.M.D., a naturopathic physician at NMD Wellness of Scottsdale.
This article was updated in May of 2023.
11 Skincare tips for Mérida Mexico
#1 – Cleanse often with the right products
Cleansing your face at least twice a day (typically in the morning and at night) is extremely important in hot, humid climates. Throughout the day, sweat, excess oils, pollution, and other impurities like dirt sit on your skin and clog your pores which can lead to breakouts. If you’re prone to oily skin, try using a foaming cleanser to remove sebum and debris. This will leave your face feeling clean but not squeaky or dry.
In the morning, cleanse thoroughly before finishing the rest of your skincare routine. At night, you may want to double cleanse if you’re wearing makeup or have SPF on. The purpose of double cleansing sounds like its name—it means to cleanse twice. Usually, people will use a cleansing balm or micellar water first to remove the base layer of impurities followed by a traditional cleanser.
#2 – Remove excess oil
Does your skin look like an oil slick by the end of the day? If so, you may want to try using oil-absorbing sheets throughout the day to take away some of that excess oil. Leaving oil on your face can not only ruin your makeup, but it can lead to breakouts.
If you’re out without oil-absorbing sheets, you can even use a tissue or toilet paper to blot some of the oil from your face.
#3 – Look at the ingredient list
Knowing about the ingredients in your skincare products is important wherever you’re located. However, it’s crucial when you’re in warm climates. Stay away from any ingredients that could clog your pores and cause acne. Some comedogenic (or pore-clogging) ingredients to avoid are cocoa butter, coconut oil, shea butter, seaweed, and jojoba.
There are a ton more of pore clogging ingredients so make sure to do your research before trying out new products. Instead of using products that contain these ingredients, try searching for a brand that makes non-comedogenic products to keep your skin as happy as possible.
#4 – Stay moisturized
Many people think in warm, humid climates they can skip using a moisturizer because their face doesn’t feel dry. And while it is true that cold, dry climates lead to parched skin, it’s just as important to moisturize your skin while in Mexico.
The sun can actually lead to excessive dryness and flakiness so make sure to apply a moisturizer to your skin 1-2 times per day. If your skin tends to be shiny, opt for an oil-free moisturizer to boost hydration but cut down on shine.
And don’t just moisturize your face! Make sure to use a hydrating lotion all over to your body to rehydrate the skin after a long day in the sun.
#5 – Keep your hands off!
I know it can be hard but try not to touch your face throughout the day. Bacteria from your hands can spread onto your face and cause acne and other issues. If you have to remove oil or sweat from your face, use those oil-absorbing sheets I mentioned earlier.
#6 – Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated doesn’t just help your insides, but it also nourishes your skin. Hot climates pull the moisture out of your body which can cause dry, tight skin. Drink at least 64 ounces of water per day to keep your body and skin hydrated.
#7 – Don’t forget your SPF
I can’t stress this enough—sunscreen is your BFF in Mérida (and anywhere else you’ll be in the sun).
The harsh UV rays from the sun is your skin’s #1 enemy. Not only does the sun cause sunburn (which no one wants to deal with), you also run the risk of premature aging and even skin cancer.
There are two types of UV rays that have an effect on our skin—UVA and UVB. UVB rays are usually the cause of sunburns and are a key player in the growth of skin cancer. UVA rays go deeper into the skin than UVB and can cause aging and wrinkling as well as pose the risk of skin cancer.
When choosing a sunscreen, make sure it’s broad-spectrum so that it protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. Make sure your sunscreen has at least 30 SPF to protect your skin from the sun. Part of the 11 Skincare Tips for Mérida Mexico is reapplying sunscreen throughout the day.
If you decide to take a trip outside of Mérida to the beach, try using an ocean-safe sunscreen to keep the reefs and wildlife happy! There are quite a few biosphere reserves in the Yucatan Peninsula where these types of sunscreens are required.
#8 – Shower twice a day
It is important to wash skin after exposing it to humid or hot conditions. Washing the dirt and grime from your body is the best thing you can do at the end of the day.
#9 – Exfoliate
Lite exfoliation is great any time of year. For high humidity, exfoliation is crucial to maintaining a clear complexion and allows skin to breathe. Exfoliating twice a week helps to clean skin pores.
Using a body scrub or a scrub sponge helps remove dry skin, unclog pores, and leaves skin feeling fresh.
#10 – Take care of forgotten areas
When most people think of skincare, they generally think about the skin on their face. It’s important to not forget those other areas such as your lips, scalp, and eyes when taking care of your skin especially with the weather in Mérida.
Your eye area has the thinnest skin on your face so make sure to wear sunglasses and apply a gentle SPF to the eye area when you’ll be in the sun. UV rays can also cause cataracts and other eye issues when exposed for too long so don’t forget to keep them covered.
To keep your lips safe, use a lip balm that features SPF because there’s nothing worse than sunburnt, cracked lips. Lastly, wear hats and headwear to protect your scalp from harmful UV rays. Your scalp is an extension of the skin on your face, so you want to protect it from the sun too.
#11 – Treat yourself to a facial
If you’re moving to Mérida or are visiting for an extended period of time, try treating yourself to a regular facial. Facials are a professional way to provide your skin with a deep clean and remove any of those nasties (like dirt and sebum) that are stuck in your pores.
You can choose to get a weekly facial if you’re especially prone to acne or you can go monthly. Not only will your skin thank you for it, but it’s a nice time to ease your mind and relax.
There are some wonderful spas that will help you with 11 Skincare Tips for Mérida Mexico. Check out the expat facebook groups to find reviews and one that meets your requirements.
- Don’t venture outside without SPF 15 (at least) on your face and, if it’s exposed, upper chest area.
- Minimize your alcohol intake (amongst other bad things, it dehydrates you thus making you look more wrinkled).
- Eat a healthy diet and drink LOTS of water. (half your body weight in ounces – for example, if you weight 200 pounds, drink 100 ounces of water daily.
- Eliminate or reduce stress as much as possible.
Common Skin Problems in Humid Climates
Worried about skin care in the humid climate of Mérida? Many people worry about this and it is a common problem. While some moisture in the air is great for the skin, excess humidity can lead to skin problems. Skin can become discolored or start to look dark. It feels sweaty all the time which can lead to a breakout.
Irritable skin during the summer or in humid climates is a common occurence. Heat, humidity and sweating put alot of pressure on the skin. Adding dirt and dust clog sweat ducts and trap perspiration. Itchy rashes, blisters or small bumps result. Surprisingly, friction from clothes irritate skin as well.
What do do: 2 showers a day keep rashes away. Showering at the end of the day with anti-bacterial soap or bath gel helps tremendously. Rubbing skin with ice helps soothe any irritation.
Body and skin bear the brunt of dehydration. Sweating causes loss of hydration which, if not replenished, leaves skin dry and prone to sunburn. Visible evidence of dehydration are cracked lips and dry patches.
What to do: Definitely drink as much water as you can. Carry a water bottle with you all the time and make it part of your every day carry list.
Harsh sun can actually scorch the skin. Sensitive skin is more prone to sunburn.
What to do: Logically, minimize sun exposure AND wear sunscreen religiously. Apply sunblock cream liberally on exposed skin and wait at least 20 minutes before going outside. Re-apply four to five hours (more often when swimming) to ensure continuous protection.
Sweat is a magnet for dust, grime and pollution. The combination of heat and dirt clogging pores cause bacteria to grow resulting in acne.
What to do: A regular skincare routine is important. Wash a minimum of twice a day and more if you need it.
Bacteria and viruses thrive in hot and humid temperatures. If you use public transport or are in crowded places, you likely to come into bacteria.
What to do: Keep your hands clean by washing often or using hand sanitizer.
Final Thoughts on 11 Skincare Tips for Mérida Mexico
In humid weather, the pores of the skin are more likely to open or become enlarged which makes skin more vulnerable to dirt, oil, toxins, and pollution from the environment. Not only do you deal with a harsh environment, you are also subjected to grime from the city.
Some additional tips:
- Keep toner with you to help to keep your face hydrated. Use toner 2-3 times a day to keep your skin hydrated and fresh.
- Apply light makeup high humidity or avoid makeup completely. Powder-based products are best.
- Ponds Cream is a popular product in Merida. Look around and you’ll see why. Many women here have beautiful skin from using good old fashioned Ponds.
Chat with other locals and expats on Life in Merida: Visitor & Resident Resources