Humidifiers have traditionally been a congestion and dry nose device and something that may not come to mind immediately when you’re thinking about moisturizing your skin.
But lately, humidifiers are as likely to be found in the beauty section as much as they are in the seasonal cold and flu section.
Why is that?
It comes down to the science and a level of understanding of how the relative humidity at any given time can be at the root of dry skin.
Though it is well known that not all skin types are the same and some people have naturally oily skin and some people not so much.
But regardless of skin type, dry skin as it is related to humidity, is basically dehydrated skin.
Dry skin = dehydrated skin.
Hadley King, MD states “dry conditions can cause small cracks on the epidermis that expose nerve endings and the deeper layers of skin to the outside world”
“Increasing moisture levels helps to maintain hydration. When skin is properly hydrated it naturally combats common winter skin concerns.”
Does the humidifier help with dry skin?
One of the easiest ways to help combat dry skin as well as being one of the best all natural moisturizers is a humidifier.
Humidifiers have a single purpose. To restore humidity back to the air.
According to PubMed, the relative humidity must be maintained between 40 and 60% to minimize adverse health effects including dry skin.
Humidifier benefits for skin
Keeping the humidity in your home at an optimal level with the use of a humidifier can benefit you and be an integral part of your skin care routine by Supplementing the moisture in your skin when the cold has dried you out and the heater is drying you up.
A humidifier also benefits the skin by keeping dust levels down. When the air is dry, dust floats easily, which in turn contacts your skin much easier, drying it out that much more.
Air that has the right humidity, moistens dust and keeps it from floating.
The relative humidity also keeps allergens and viruses from being able to travel as far. When the air contains the right relative humidity, viruses and allergens, as well as other airborne bacteria, becomes too heavy to float and fall through the surface much faster.
Steam humidifiers can also help open up your pores for deep cleaning.
Facial steam humidifiers hydrate your face and allow you to remove a deeper level of dirt and bacteria from your skin
What’s the best humidifier for skin?
Humidifiers can come equipped with all types of features that were once not heard of in the humidification arena.
But the feature you should be sure to include in the purchase of a humidifier is undoubtedly a hygrometer or hydrostat as it’s also called.
A hydrostat is like a thermometer for humidity. It tells you exactly how humid the air is and allows you to set it dial in the relative humidity level that you want it to be.
Without a hydrostat/hygrometer you have no way of knowing how much humidity you need or even if you need it at all.
Another feature that you should look into when purchasing a humidifier is the capacity to run as either a warm mist humidifier or a cool mist humidifier.
Both have their advantages.
For instance a cool mist humidifier may offer more relief for a dry throat and dry nasal passages. They are also infamously endorsed as a better option for cold symptoms or congestion and sore throats by Mayo Clinic.
Cool mist is also recommended for children because it doesn’t offer any risk of getting burned and when you’re sleeping with the humidifier running for relief during the night, steam is not something you’re looking for.
But on the other hand, steam humidifiers have other benefits like helping you be able to exfoliate your skin and well with different additives like eucalyptus that can help you better also.
So if you can purchase a humidifier that can operate as both a cool mist and a steam humidifier, that’s the direction to take.
Another thing you should keep in mind when purchasing a humidifier is that they require regular cleanings to keep them from becoming a point of origin for bacteria and mold.
There are many humidifier brands these days that make the process of keeping the humidifier clean much easier and less frequent.
Humidifiers like the Dyson AM10 use ultraviolet light to target bacteria and mold inside of a humidifier basin, while other humidifiers like the Taotronics use antimicrobial plastic in their construction to keep mode from being able to grow inside of the unit.
There are also different types of additives like Guardian Aquasticks you can put directly into the humidifier basin to keep mold and bacteria from becoming an issue as fast.
Humidifier Benefits for Skin
Dry skin and skin care maintenance may not be something you immediately associate with humidity and humidifiers, but the truth is the two actually go hand in hand.
Skin moisturizing should always start with making sure your air humidity is between 40 to 60%. If the relative humidity is below 40%, then your skin can become dehydrated very quickly.
Thankfully, there is an easy solution for dry air. The good ol humidifier.
Only humidifiers these days come with features like hydrostats that allow you to dial in the exact humidity you need.
Not only that, you can purchase humidifiers that can run up to 60 hours without refilling.
Other features like self cleaning technologies and combination hot and cold mist make humidifiers a must have for maintaining healthy skin.