By: Julie Proszynski
Cold, dry winter air can easily rob moisture from your skin, causing all kinds of problems. This is especially true of the skin on your face, lips, and hands, which are most frequently exposed to the elements. Rough, chapped skin becomes more common on these areas, and can show visible cracks and wrinkles more easily. Waking up to skin dandruff and more pronounced wrinkles is not the best way to start the day, but it’s a reality that just needs to be faced. While applying a thicker natural moisturizing cream may seem like a quick solution, it may not be enough!
Why You Should Use a Humidifier for Your Skin
Luckily, a humidifier can help prevent all these damaging effects, and ensure you maintain a glowing, vibrant look throughout the colder months. How? The moisture in our skin can evaporate if the climate becomes dry enough due to a process called exosmosis. Essentially, this means that when the air is dryer than your skin, water molecules leave the epidermis (containing a higher concentration of water molecules) and diffuse into the air (containing a lower concentration of water molecules) to achieve balance. This makes it imperative to supplement the moisture loss. For those of us who don’t have the luxury of simply relocating to the tropics, try combatting old man winter’s lack of moisture with a humidifier.
Having a good humidifier in place can literally help you feel more comfortable in your skin; using a humidifier can help your sinuses, soothe itchy skin, and lessen sore throats. It will also improve the appearance of your skin and help counteract signs of aging. While you may increase your use of lotions and balms through the winter, it really won’t do you much good if your skin is dehydrated due to constant exposure to dry air.
Don’t Forget About Your Hair
Another thing to keep in mind: Dry air results in dull, lackluster hair because it poses challenges to your scalp, just as it does the rest of your body. A dry scalp is itchy and may become flaky with dandruff. Keeping the air in your home at proper levels of humidity through the winter months can help you maintain healthy hair and scalp.
In addition to increasing the humidity, be sure to help your skin and hair along with organic, chemical-free hydrating products. When you maintain proper humidity levels and help your skin and hair retain moisture, you can expect to feel comfortable and look great all winter long.
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What Type of Humidifier to Use
Just like our skin, humidifiers come in all types. Whether a humidifier is a warm mist, cool mist, or of the ultrasonic variety, there is something positive to be said about each type of humidifier. However, each model also has its drawbacks. Here’s the basic down low on the three types of units you can choose from.
- Warm Mist: Warm mist humidifiers add moisture to the air with steam. They do not require filter replacements, making them a great low-maintenance option.
- Cool Mist: Cool mist humidifiers disperse a comfortable stream of room-temperature mist throughout a larger space.
- Ultrasonic: Ultrasonic humidifiers are available in both cool and warm mist options. They are also the quietest type, making them ideal for light sleepers.
Quick fix tip: If you have a free-standing radiator, place a metal pot of water on it with two drops of your favorite essential oil. Every time the heat comes on, it causes the water to evaporate, adding moisture to the air.