Your skin has a strong tendency toward coolness, wetness and a minor tendency toward dryness, much like the Hemiboreal climate

Köppen-Geiger Climate Classification: Dfb

Profile: Hemiboreal

Your skin has a strong tendency toward coolness and wetness and a minor tendency toward dryness, much like the hemiboreal climate found in Helsinki, Finland. Other cities with hemiboreal climates include Moscow, Russia and Oslo, Norway. These locations with hemiboreal climates typically have long cold winters with average temperatures in the coldest months far below −3 °C (27 °F), and warm (but not hot) summers, with average temperatures below 22 °C (72 °F.) Annual average precipitation is moderate, at around 28 inches.

Similarly, your skin tends to be consistently cool and moist, with a slight tendency toward dryness. Furthermore, like the hemiboreal climate with its consistent cool weather, you are less prone to extreme breakouts and inflammation; however, your skin’s tendency toward oiliness can lead to blackheads and clogged pores, and its minor tendency toward dryness can lead to mild irritation.

Products And Ingredients

Balancing products and ingredients

The Hemiboreal skin type has a strong tendency towards oiliness; however, it is also sensitive to drying agents such as astringents and can become easily irritated and flaky. Overall, your skin care routine should emphasize avoiding excess oiliness and using gentle ingredients so not to cause irritation. Your skin care products should all be light to avoid your tendency towards clogged pores.

  • Grapeseed oil - this light and soothing oil is ideal for your skin type, because it provides moisture and nourishing antioxidants and essential fatty acids along with moisture, while not clogging your pores. It can be used in small quantities as a moisturizer or mixed into your regular lotion, and can also be used to remove your makeup at the end of the day.
  • Essential oils during cooler months - choose warming essential oils such as ginger or cinnamon only during cooler months in order to balance out your cool tendencies.
  • Moisturizer - your skin tends heavily towards oiliness, so using a light moisturizer is very important. Your ideal moisturizer should be oil-free and light, while also providing adequate hydration to promote a healthy skin barrier.
  • Gentle facial cleansers – the Hemiboreal skin type is mostly oily, but also very easily irritated. Choose a facial cleanser that is gentle, and free of irritating chemicals such as harsh soaps and fragrances.
  • Salicylic acid - in moderation, occasional use of the beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) called salicylic acid may be beneficial to your skin type to help reduce clogged pores and oiliness.
  • Sunscreen - since your skin may show signs of sun damage such as dark spots and uneven skin tone, it is essential that you wear a daily broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Aggravating products and ingredients

The Hemiboreal skin type tends to very oily but easily aggravated by drying ingredients and chemicals. Products containing harsh chemicals and fragrances will make your skin dry and irritated. Your oily tendencies can easily lead to clogged pores, so heavy pore-clogging products should be strictly avoided. Examples of products and ingredients that should be avoided in your skin type include:

  • Heavy products that may clog your pores - petrolatum, shea butter, and heavy creams are examples of ingredients and products that are too heavy for your skin type that will increase your chance for developing clogged pores and pimples.
  • Products containing astringents and/or alcohol-based products - products that act as astringents, especially alcohol-based products, are usually much too irritating for the Hemiboreal skin type.

Bathing and Washing

Balancing bathing and washing habits

The Hemiboreal skin type is oily most of the time and regular cleansing is important to balance the excess oil. Your skin will best benefit from once to twice daily cleansing with a gentle, yet effective cleanser in order to rid your skin of grime and makeup residues. Choose a facial cleanser that is gentle to ensure you are not irritating your sensitive tendencies. Harsh cleansers can trigger dryness and flaking and can leave your face feeling overly tight.

Aggravating bathing and washing habits

Avoid over washing your face, since this can disrupt your skin barrier and lead to irritation, itchiness, and sensitivity. Prolonged hot showers may also aggravate your skin, as this extreme contrast in temperature could be irritating. You should also avoid strong cleansers that strip away too much of your natural facial oil, since they may be too irritating for your skin type.


Balancing foods and beverages

For the Hemiboreal skin type, you should aim to balance you oily and cool tendencies with drying, light, and warming foods and beverages.

  • Warming foods: hot cereal (eg. oatmeal), cooked vegetables, beans, root vegetables
  • Hot, pungent, or spicy vegetables and spices: garlic, radishes, chilies, raw onions, fenugreek, cayenne pepper, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, and ginger.
  • Drying and light foods: cruciferous vegetables (eg. kale, collard greens, broccoli), cauliflower, beans, lentils, apples, raw vegetables, salads, pomegranates, and dried foods. However, avoid consuming these foods in excess during drier months.

Aggravating foods and beverages

Hemiboreal skin types should avoid very oily and high sugar meals, as this can exacerbate moistness and oiliness of the skin. In addition, sour and salty foods are also best to be limited.

  • Heavy, oily, and sweet foods: milk (especially skim milk), refined grains such as white bread, fried foods, pastries, candy
  • Sour foods: highly-fermented yogurt, tomatoes, vinegar, hard cheeses
  • Salty foods: soy sauce, tamari, seafood, added salts or high sodium food items
  • Alcohol should be avoided

Activities And Excercise

Balancing activities and exercise

Hemiboreal skin types should opt for methods of exercise that are generally mild in nature while promoting good cardiovascular health. Since you tend to be very oily, remember to wash off any makeup before exercise and wash your face afterward to prevent clogged pores. If you haven’t discovered the exercise that fits best with your lifestyle, see the following list of activity ideas that are balancing for Hemiboreal skin types:

  • Meditation
  • Massage
  • Yoga - all types
  • Walking
  • Distance jogging
  • Chi gong
  • Tai chi
  • Golfing
  • Canoeing
  • Hiking
  • Cycling, jogging, aerobics, dancing, and other mildly invigorating activities

Aggravating activities and exercise

The Hemiboreal skin type does well with most all activities. The key is to pay attention to your skin and wash your face and body before and after exercise to avoid clogged pores and breakouts. Activities that should be avoided or only pursued in moderation include:

  • Steam rooms
  • Outdoor exercises in cold weather

Exercise routines should be discussed with a physician first to ensure that you are fit enough to engage in exercise.


Balancing climates

Warm and dry climates such as the desert climate can help bring the cool and wet tendencies in your skin into balance. Care must be taken to avoid too dry of a climate as it can worsen dryness of your skin, leading to cracking and flaking. A moisturizing sunscreen will support your skin the most if you are planning to be in a hot, dry area for long periods of time. Warm and slightly humid climates such as the drier savanna climate found in Mombasa, Kenya, can also balance the occasional cool and dry tendencies of your skin.

Aggravating climates

Per the law of opposites, people with the Hemiboreal skin type should avoid living in cold and wet climates, as seen with oceanic and hemiboreal climates, as found in London, England and Moscow, Russia. These climates can increase oiliness and blackhead formation in your skin. Given a slight tendency for dryness, some humidity can be beneficial but only if the weather is warm. While slightly humid climates can balance the slight dryness that can occur in your skin, care should be taken not to be in areas with high levels of humidity for long, as this may increase oil and blackheads. Just make sure to bring oil wipes with you.


Ayurveda is a health system that is from India and is over 5000 years old. The basic concept in Ayurveda is that each person can either be in balance or have imbalances. Everyone has the potential to balance their body and their skin if they can pay attention to their imbalances and their skin’s natural tendencies. Imbalances are described by the Ayurvedic concepts of the doshas which describe three unique physiological building blocks for the body and skin. These doshas are known as vata, pitta, and kapha. Ayurveda is a practical approach to skin care. Learn more about how Ayurveda works and what makes up the doshas.

Imbalances in the doshas

This skin type is associated with a major imbalance in the Kapha dosha and a minor imbalance in the Vata dosha. Kapha represents structure in the body as seen with collagen and oil production in the skin. Vata governs movement and thinking and controls sensation, pliability and the movement of water in the skin.

Each dosha is made up of 2 of the 5 elements (air, space, fire, water, and earth.) Kapha is made up of the heaviest elements, water and earth, which represent structure and water in the skin, respectively. Excess water accounts for increased oiliness of the skin and excess earth can lead to thick scarring after injury. Vata, on the other hand, is made up of the lightest elements, air and ether. These cool and dry elements account for the slight dryness that can occur in this skin type.

How are the doshas influenced?

Since both Kapha and Vata are cooler by nature, they are aggravated by anything that is cold, such as cool weather or cold foods. Warm weather and foods help balance Kapha and Vata for this reason. While moisture can help the slight dry tendencies of this skin type, heavy oils and prolonged exposure to humidity can cause Kapha levels to rise. Kapha is affected by anything heavy in nature, such as heavy foods, alcohol, and sleeping too much. Vata can be affected by increased stress.

What the skin says about the rest of your body

In Ayurveda, organ systems are thought to all be connected and can affect each other. If you feel tired all the time, lack motivation or feel depressed, you may have a Kapha imbalance. Obesity and diabetes are also signs of a Kapha imbalance. While Vata is only slightly imbalanced in this skin type, Vata imbalances can lead to anxiety, constipation, and nail-biting.


Kapha excess can occur from foods that are cold, oily, processed, sweet, salty and sour. Vata imbalance can occur with cold and raw foods, as well as those with astringent, spicy and bitter tastes. In general, warm cooked foods are ideal for balancing Vata and Kapha, with care to limit raw vegetables when possible. Learn more about Vata and Kapha balancing foods.

Take care of your skin, body, and mind from an Ayurvedic perspective

From an Ayurvedic perspective, imbalances in the doshas, or the physiologic mind-body constitution types, lead to different issues in both mental and physical well-being. The mind-body connection is well recognized in many different healing traditions and is now being recognized more in conventional medicine.

Oil massage with warm sesame oil is very soothing and can help balance Vata and offset the slight dryness. Kapha imbalance is associated with depression and lack of motivation. Vata can be caused by stress and lead to anxiety. Routine and a conscious effort to remain motivated are helpful for this skin type.


Those with the hemiboreal skin type are affectionate and creative. Their relaxed and vibrant nature makes it fun to be around them. They are team players and care deeply about others.

These individuals are naturally “creatures of comfort,” but can also be hard to keep up with at times. You can think of them as having mostly “Type B” personality traits with occasional bursts of enthusiasm. Overall, they are down to earth and can sometimes become too complacent if they don’t make an effort to follow their passions.