The Best U.S. Cities for Skin—Where Does Your City Rank?

Where you live can affect your skin as much as whether or not you wear sunscreen.

If you drink plenty of water and apply moisturizer, but still battle an oily T-zone, this new infographic may help you shed some light on the problem. The Daily Glow looked at the 55 biggest cities in the United States used an algorithm to weight factors like the number of dermatologists per capita and skin cancer rates. According to the data they compiled, you are more likely to have great skin when you live in the top 10 cities, which list Portland, Oregon; San Francisco, California; and Seattle, Washington as the top three choices for glowing complexions.

The Daily Glow’s researcher drew data from a number of reputable sources, and its conclusions were approved by the editorial team as well as by a number of dermatologists. Dermatologists aren’t necessarily statisticians or anthropologists, however, and the infographic sometimes offers contradictory conclusions.

For example, you might think that having great skin might mean moving somewhere with little sun, like Portland, Oregon or Milwaukee, Wisconsin. But Honolulu, Hawaii and Austin, Texas also rank in the top 10. Why does Austin, with its over 300 sunny days a year, have low rates of skin cancer while San Diego — seemingly an equally active, wealthy population — have the highest rates of melanoma in the country? If you think that living in an area with a low rate of pollution and zero ozone days means great skin, why should New York rank in the top 10 because it’s packed with dermatologists? Shouldn’t more dermatologists signal that there are more skin problems to treat?

Still, some general rules apply. If you want to avoid melanoma and sun spots, the best advice would be to leave California and the southern United States well alone. And being active is a fail-proof way to safeguard yourself against any number of health problems. Even if you don’t live in one of the top ten lucky cities, sunscreen and a little bit of common sense also goes a long way.