Woof. That was the term I used to describe my wind in the awkward dry summer heat of October. Now, it’s cold as sh*t as usual. Unfortunately, regardless of season, dry skin can be constant. And not to get to scientific, but when your skin is dry, it creates small cracks in the skin, causing moisture to escape. My solution? Humidifiers.
What is a humidifier?
Because dry air is constantly pulling water from your skin (causing it to dry), sometimes you need an extra oomph in addition to your moisturizing creams and oils. Humidifiers help restore the humidity levels in the air — giving skin the moisture it needs.
The great thing is they can be used with all skin types. To use a humidifier, simply fill the machine with distilled water (zero to no mineral buildup) and push the start button and reap the benefits. Note: you do not have to hover your face about the machine as it will reach the entire room it is in.
Humidifiers can be used year round but are especially great in the colder months where artificial heat is utilized and makes indoor air extremely dry. Humidifiers will work to regulate the temperature and force moisture back into the air.
The skin barrier (outermost layer) cannot act as a line of defense if it is not hydrated. When the skin barrier becomes compromised, skin appears dry — and depleting its natural oils. And because the skin needs natural oils to maintain healthy cell turnover and eliminate waste, humidifiers are used to help.
Not only does it regulate moisture levels inside the room it is placed in, but it also impacts the body’s overall hydration.
What factors make a good humidifier?
Unsurprisingly, there are so many options out there. There are mini ones, travel-sized, cool mist, steam vaporizers, ultrasonic machines and more. According to the United States National Library of Medicine, cool mist humidifiers are the safest option. Good humidifiers will address pollution, flaking, cracking, peeling, and other harmful environmental stressors.
Are there any side effects with use?
Short answer, not really. But don’t forget to clean it!
If you don’t spend the time and detail cleaning (soap, water, and vinegar) and maintaining your appliance, you could attract bacteria, yeast, mold, fungi and other organisms that could lead to illness, eczema and acne.
Likewise, don’t run your humidifier for too long. Mildew and mold can also grow in damp climates. Make sure you are cleaning your humidifier every week (minimum).
Photo via Getty/Sebastian Gorczowski