Your skin has strong tendencies toward dryness and coolness, much like the Tundra climate

Köppen-Geiger Climate Classification: ET

Profile: Tundra

Your skin has strong tendencies toward dryness and coolness, much like the tundra climate. Tundra climates are found in the Arctic, the Antarctic, and alpine regions (think high mountain ranges), where all 12 months of the year have average temperatures between 0 °C (32 °F) and 10 °C (50 °F) and both rainfall and snowfall are light due to the low vapor pressure of water in the chilly atmosphere. Examples of cities with tundra climates include Nagqu, Tibet and La Rinconada, Peru.

Similarly, your skin tends to remain dry and cool throughout the year and is prone to cracking during transitional seasons, just as the permafrost in tundra climates is prone to cracking as temperatures fluctuate. Further, like the tundra climate, which supports little plant and animal life, you are less prone to skin growths, like blackheads due to excess moisture, or pimples, that are caused by excess oil, heat, or moisture.

Products And Ingredients

Balancing products and ingredients

The Tundra skin type is overall mostly dry and cool throughout the year, similar to the Tundra climate. Your skin is especially prone to cracking and flaking with fluctuating temperatures, especially with extreme cold. Your skin is relatively clear from infections and pimples due to general lower moisture and oil although infections can still develop if the skin remains cracked and open for too long. The key goal in your skin care regime will be to provide continuous moisture throughout the day in order to protect your outer skin barrier.

  • Sunflower seed oil - this oil is very soothing, healing, and restorative to the outer skin barrier of the Tundra skin type. In addition, it tends to be warming and balancing to the naturally cool tendencies of your skin.
  • Rich moisturizing creams - your skin tends toward dryness throughout the year. It is essential that you find a rich and hydrating moisturizer and use is both morning and night.
  • Soap-free facial cleansers – the Tundra skin type is very dry and many soaps may strip away too much of your natural facial oil, leading to even more dryness. Choose gentle, soap-free cleansers and try washing your face only once per day. Cleansing oils are a must when deciding between soap or oil based cleansers.
  • Hyaluronic acid - products containing hyaluronic acid are encouraged since hyaluronic acid acts as a humectant to draw extra water into the outer skin layers. Hyaluronic acid can be found in the form of serums, in eye care products, and in moisturizers.
  • Sunscreen - your skin is especially sensitive to signs of aging, and a broad-spectrum sunscreen should be used on all sun-exposed areas year round.

Aggravating products and ingredients

In addition to dryness, the Tundra skin type is cool for the majority of the year. Products containing harsh chemicals and fragrances will make your skin even drier, even to the point of cracking. Avoid any product that makes your skin feel tight or look flaky. Your skin especially sensitive to signs of aging, making it even more important to avoid potentially harmful products and ingredients. Examples of products and ingredients that should be avoided in your skin type include:

  • Products containing astringents and/or alcohol-based products - toners are one example of products that tend to act as an astringent are usually much too drying for the Tundra skin type.
  • Soaps - most cleansers will be too drying for your skin type and will strip your skin of its important natural oils.
  • Emulsifiers - moisturizers are very important in balancing this skin type since it has a strong tendency toward dryness. However, emulsifiers can impair the skin’s barrier function and strong emulsifiers may affect Desert-type skin. Thinner moisturizers typically have strong emulsifiers and can be harsher on the skin.
  • Harsh exfoliants – chemical exfoliants containing alpha-hydroxy acids and mechanical exfoliants containing abrasive beads or gritty materials can be exceptionally irritating to your skin type, leading to inflammation, and further imbalance.
  • Fragrances - chemical fragrances, fragrance mixes, or some essential oils may irritate the skin. Essential oils should always be applied within a carrier oil to reduce the chance of irritation.
  • Hydroxy acid ingredients - alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid, may be irritating to your skin type if used too frequently or in too high of a concentration.

Bathing and Washing

The Tundra skin type has a natural tendency to dryness and bathing habits can greatly affect the Tundra skin type. Children have a tendency toward the Tundra skin type before they enter puberty as their skin’s oil glands are not yet as active and their skin tends toward dryness.

Balancing bathing and washing habits

The Tundra skin type tends towards dryness year round. Your skin will best benefit from once daily cleaning with a gentle cleanser. You should use lukewarm to slightly warm water temperatures to avoid excessive cold or heat exposure. Choose a facial cleanser that is very gentle and hydrating to ensure you are not overly drying your skin with bathing. This skin type has a strong tendency toward dryness, a cleansing oil would likely be better tolerated than a soap based cleanser.

Aggravating bathing and washing habits

Since your skin is dry, you should never take very cold or very hot showers. Prolonged hot showers may aggravate your skin, as this extreme contrast in temperature could be irritating. You should also avoid strong cleansers that strip away your natural facial oils since they are likely much too drying for your skin type.


Balancing foods and beverages

For the Tundra skin type, the optimal diet is rich in warm, moisture-rich foods and soothing warm beverages. Eating overall warming meals and beverages year round will help bring your skin into balance. To help balance your tendency towards dryness, you should incorporate a lush amount of hydrating fruits and vegetables into your diet year round. Examples of balancing foods and beverages for the Tundra skin type include:

  • Warming foods: hot cereals (eg. oatmeal, cream of wheat), warm vegetable soups and stews, cooked vegetables and whole grains, and warm teas.
  • Warming spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger
  • Eat hydrating foods year round. Examples of hydrating foods include cucumbers, celery, grapefruit, oranges, watermelon, grapes, and coconuts.
  • Moist or oily foods can be eaten in moderation throughout the year: avocados, olives, vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds.
  • Heavy, grounding food: root vegetables (eg. yams and butternut squash), cooked grains, mangoes, pastas, and ripe bananas.
  • Smooth, soothing foods: ripe bananas, lightly fermented and sweet yogurt, pudding, pureed soups, and avocados.

Aggravating foods and beverages

The dry and cool Tundra skin type should minimize intake of drying foods. In addition, cooling foods should be reduced as much as possible, since they could bring your skin further out of balance.

  • Cooling foods: raw fruits and vegetables, and cold beverages
  • Cooling spices: neem, cumin, saffron, and turmeric
  • Avoid very rough foods that tend to be drying: raw broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.
  • Stimulants like caffeine and nicotine
  • Alcohol should be avoided as it promotes excess dryness

Activities And Excercise

Balancing activities and exercise

As with all skin types, the Tundra skin type benefits greatly from regular exercise. You should opt for methods of exercise that promote warmth. Since you are very prone to dryness, you need to be adequately hydrated before and after any exercise. If you haven’t discovered the exercise that fits best with your lifestyle, see the following list of activity ideas that are balancing for Tundra skin types:

  • Meditation
  • Massage
  • Gentle yoga
  • Walking
  • Chi gong
  • Tai chi
  • Golfing
  • Canoeing
  • Hiking
  • Light cycling
  • Steam rooms

Aggravating activities and exercise

Adequate hydration is key for the Tundra skin type. Overdoing an exercise to the point that it begins to wear you down is extremely disruptive to your skin type and overall well-being. Your skin tends towards dryness, which is why very high intensity or prolonged workouts in warm environments could lead to dehydration and increased skin dryness. High-intensity workouts are possible as long as your hydration is kept up. Here are examples of exercises and activities that require more care when considering the Tundra skin type:

  • Hiking in bright sunshine and heat
  • Intense running or intense or prolonged cardiovascular activities
  • Swimming in cold and/or chlorinated pools

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


Balancing climates

Opt for warm, humid environments, like rainforest climates, to balance the natural coolness and dryness of your skin. Moisture is key for dry skin, and cooler weather can often be drier, especially in the winter. Go ahead and book that trip to Seychelles or Fiji, but make sure to take your sunscreen with you!

Aggravating climates

People with the Tundra skin type should avoid living in cold and dry climates, like the tundra climate. Minimizing your exposure to these climates, also seen in parts of Canada, northern parts of Siberia, Iceland, and Alaska can prevent your skin from cracking or becoming flaky. If you decide you want a winter getaway, bring some thick moisturizer and drink plenty of water.


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 an imbalance in the Vata dosha. The other doshas can be out of balance as well but the dominant imbalance is in Vata. Vata governs movement and thinking and controls sensation, pliability, and the movement of water in the skin. The air and ether elements, which make up the Vata dosha, have qualities which are light, cold and dry. These elemental characteristics can translate into dryness and scaling in the skin. Vata is also associated with irregularity, so it is not uncommon for this skin to frequently change between dry to slight irritation at various times.

How are the doshas influenced?

Cold and dry qualities exacerbate Vata as can happen with cold, dry climates and raw vegetables. Vata is also heavily influenced by daily routine. If there is a lot on your plate and you are sleeping at different times each day, you may be contributing to a Vata imbalance and this can also lead to anxiety and insomnia. Vata that is out of balance leads to dry skin and faster development of signs of aging, such as wrinkles. Warmth, moisture, and routine help balance the cool, dry and irregular qualities of this dosha and skin type.

What the skin says about the rest of your body

Skin manifestations may reflect underlying issues in an individual. Stress and lack of structure and organization are one of the biggest enemies for those with a dominant Vata imbalance. Mentally, those with Vata imbalances are debilitated with anxiety. Those who pick at their skin, hair, and nails may be experiencing an imbalance in these doshas. Lack of sleep which can be seen in a Vata imbalance can also lead to skin aging.


Vata imbalance can occur with cold and raw foods, as well as those with astringent, spicy and bitter tastes. Adequate water intake is extremely important to ensure your skin is well hydrated. Warm cooked foods are ideal for balancing Vata. Learn more about Vata balancing foods.

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

The Western lifestyle promotes Vata imbalance and is tough on those with Tundra Skin types as they already have a tendency toward vata imbalances. Managing stress and maintaining routine is very important for this skin type as they help balance the erratic nature of Vata. Grounding activities and meditation are thus very beneficial for this personality type. Oil massage with a nourishing oil such as coconut oil can help with skin dryness.


Those with the Tundra personality type are extremely creative. These dynamic individuals are the classic artist type. Their minds are always full of innovative and imaginative ideas, to the point that they may start many different projects without finishing them to completion. When they do finish what they have started, however, their work leaves lasting impressions in the lives of many since they can often create things that are relatable to others around them.

Since these individuals can often get caught up in their thoughts, they can come off as disorganized to others. They can also experience issues with anxiety and insomnia. They can sometimes isolate themselves because they are so caught up in their inner world and thoughts. People with this personality type benefit from establishing and maintaining routines as they can feel out of balance easily.