Have you ever noticed that when you travel somewhere your skin breaks out or gets extremely dry? Or maybe you get sunburned even when the sky was cloudy? Environmental factors like UV radiation, smog, air humidity, and even temperature have more of an impact on the health of your skin than you might realize. Where you live can affect how quickly your skin ages or also increase your risk for cancer and other skin diseases. According to the World Health Organization, skin cancer is one of the top five most common cancers internationally, with UV radiation, chemical exposure and smoking vastly increasing one's risk. Some of these risk factors are considered lifestyle choices, however several external effects are mostly out of our control. 

Skin Index

Our team of skin-obsessed people over at Chemberry had been curious to know which were the most skin-friendly cities in the world to live in. Using climate and economic data on 80 cities in some of the most populous countries, we analyzed which areas of the world are most beneficial to skin health and which could be doing more damage than one might realize. Nine factors known to affect skin health were selected: average temperature, days of sunlight, UV radiation index, air pollution, wind speed, humidity, average working hours, traffic congestion and average daily cigarette consumption. The study was standardized by rating each factor on a scale of 0-10, where 0 represents a negative effect on skin health and 10 a positive one. (Read the rest of the methodology here). Cities were then ranked based on a weighted average. 

Here’s are the results for the top 10 best cities in the world for skin health:

1. Phoenix, Arizona, USA

2. Oslo, Norway

3. Montreal, Canada

4. Munich, Germany

5. Vancouver, Canada

6. Sydney, Australia

7. Stockholm, Sweden

8. Madrid, Spain

9. Ljubljana, Slovenia

10. Berlin, Germany

You can check out the entire ranking here.

Skin protection

If your city didn’t make the top of the list, you probably won’t be able to pack up and move just for the sake of skin health. But if you do live in a high-risk area, here are some precautions you can take to protect your skin:

Sunscreen

Sunscreen is the single most important thing anyone can do to protect their skin. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen (that protects against UVA and UVB rays) with a high SPF is the best way to slow down wrinkling, sagging skin and minimize your risk for hyperpigmentation and skin cancer. 

Pollution protection

Harmful emissions from vehicles, coal and industrial fumes can contribute to premature aging and dull skin. If you live in a polluted environment, it might be worth it to add one of the many anti-pollution skincare products to your routine. Look for products rich in antioxidants, which will protect against cell damage.

Lifestyle factors

If you're living a unhealthy lifestyle, your skin might be suffering. Smoking, poor diet, too little sleep, and high stress can all lead to acne and inflammation, a dull complexion and premature aging. Health on the outside often reflects what is going on inside, so make sure to address these issues before they leave irreversible damage. 

Did your city make it to the top? Disagree with our ranking? Leave a comment below!

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