Should You Use a Humidifier to Hydrate Dry Skin?

Should You Use a Humidifier to Hydrate Dry Skin?

There are so many reasons to be excited about winter: gorgeous, powdery snow, festive Starbucks Holiday cups, and Hallmark movies by the fire. The joys of the colder months are enough to fantasize about throughout the year that it seems there's nothing that can ruin the magic of December...

Until that one fateful morning, you wake up and go to wash your face for the day. That's when you notice in the mirror the worst sight to be seen: chapped, cracking skin. The horror!

How could I be so foolish? you lament. Oh, if only you could return to the wonderfully warm months of summer when your skin was glowy and hydrated. 

Well, luckily, we're here today to tell you: no fear! You deserve to enjoy the beauties of winter without the pesky distractions of dry skin. We'll break down just how.

Why Is Your Skin Dry?

Clearly, there's something about winter that results in that signature chapped, flaky skin. 

When it gets cold outside, the air gets dry. Bitter, strong winds are abrasive against your skin and break it down like sandpaper. Surely, that would be enough to result in dry skin, right? The outdoor climate is not the only culprit, however. 

When it gets chilly outside, we all turn up our heat. What you might not know is that artificial indoor heat is extremely dry. When our skin is dehydrated, it attempts to suck up water vapor from the air. With a dry environment indoors, it has nowhere to get that moisture it needs. 

The Science

If we want to really dive into the details,  everyone's skin has what's called a "moisture" or "skin barrier." The moisture barrier is the outer layer of our skin and acts like armor, protecting it from toxins, chemicals, and other outside threats. This layer also locks in moisture, keeping our complexions glowy, hydrated, and smooth.

Not every skin barrier is built equally. Some skin barriers can be extremely thin or have severe damage like tears or holes. This is especially likely to result in the colder months when there are low humidity levels and abrasive winds. What's worse is that damaged moisture barriers can leave our skin vulnerable to harm.

Fortunately, it's fairly simple to repair and strengthen your moisture barrier. According to various board-certified dermatologists, this can be done with the right skincare routine and the proper moisture levels in your home.

How a Humidifier Will Aid Dry Skin

As we said earlier, in dry conditions, our skin struggles to retain proper moisture levels. So, the simple fix for this is to maintain an optimal humidity level.

Humidifiers work by transforming the water added to the water tank into a warm or cool mist. This mist, or water vapor, is then released into the air in order to raise the air humidity levels. 

The ideal level humidity level in the air is 40-60%, according to research. So, with this level of moisture in your home environment, your dry skin can get the extra hydration it needs from the water vapor in the air. As a result, your skin will prevent excess moisture loss and better preserve its natural moisture barrier.

Other Skin Benefits of Humidifiers

Aids skin conditions

Dermatologists typically recommend that patients dealing with medical conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea use a humidifier. Dry climates can result in flare-ups of these skin conditions. While this can not only be frustrating appearance-wise, it can definitely be annoying when these problem spots become itchy and dry. Thus, using a humidifier is a great approach to prevent worsening skin health.

Reduces Oiliness  

You might have to do a double-take after reading that one... How can adding moisture to the air make you less oily?

Well, when the winter air is dry, your skin might compensate for the lack of moisture by making more sebum. This will give you that signature oily t-zone or result in acne flare-ups. 

Reduces Appearance of Wrinkles

When your skin is dehydrated, wrinkles are more likely to form on your skin or seem more prominent. While a humidifier won't reverse time, it will help smooth out texture and give your face a more plump look. This will give you the youthful glow you've been looking for.

Gives You a Dewy, Glowy Complexion

No matter the skin type, properly hydrating your skin helps address your chosen concerns.

Want an anti-aging aid? Hydration improves your skin elasticity and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and lines.

Looking to improve texture? Properly hydrated skin has the moisture it needs to carry nutrients to cells and flush away toxins, giving it a smoother appearance. 

Keeping skin hydrated is essential for achieving that ideal radiant and smooth look.

How to Properly Use Your Humidifier for Dry Skin

To get the most out of your humidifier, you must make sure to use it properly.

First, we recommend placing your humidifier on an elevated surface such as a nightstand or table. If your humidifier is on the ground, it is likely that the mist will not reach high enough to mix in with the surroundings.

If you are deciding where to put your humidifier, the best option is your bedroom. This is likely where you spend the most amount of time and thus will get the most benefits. You'll get the best results using the humidifier overnight while you sleep, about 6-8 hours. 

Just make sure to avoid running your humidifier for long extended periods of time. This can result in your room being overly damp and can even lead to mold growth.

Finally, we recommend using distilled water in your humidifier. If you opt for tap water, there can be a mineral buildup in your water tank. Either way, make sure to clean your humidifier once a week.

Which Humidifier Should You Get?

There are so many types of humidifiers that choosing one can seem overwhelming. The humidifier you opt for will depend on your needs.

A few things to consider when researching different models are ease of cleaning, maintenance, cost (and hidden fees like monthly filter subscriptions), and noise levels.

One criterion you must think about to get the most out of your humidifier is its room capacity. Our Carepod One cool mist humidifier is better for mid-sized rooms of around 500 square feet. However, a higher-duty model like our warm + cool mist Carepod Cube can better cater to bigger rooms up to 700 square feet.

Final Thoughts

We know how frustrating dealing with dry, itchy skin can be in the cold, winter months. Fortunately, an easy aid for your chalky, chapped skin lies in controlling the humidity of your room.

Dehydrated skin craves extra moisture. To get this, it'll reach for water molecules in the air. By maintaining a proper humidity level in your home environment, your skin can lock needed moisture in and strengthen your skin barrier.

But remember: getting a humidifier won't magically fix all of your skincare woes. To learn about how to get the most out of your skincare routine, check out this article. There, we dive into next steps, such as what products to use in conjunction with your humidifier. 

Have a happy winter season and stay hydrated!