Humidity can affect much more than your hair. The level of moisture in the air can have a significant impact on the skin, even if you do not suffer from moisture related skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. Interestingly, both overly low and high humidity levels can be troublesome.
Here’s how humidity levels affect the skin, along with some practical ways to counteract any negative effects:
Proper hydration is essential to healthy skin. Moisture within the skin plays is important for maintaining skin firmness and elasticity. When the skin is exposed to low humidity this essential moisture evaporates quickly, leading to dryness, irritation, and peeling. Dehydrated skin also spurs psoriasis and eczema symptom flare-ups.
Low humidity is very common in the winter months, especially as heating is used. When you turn on the heat or light a fire in the fireplace, the air density lessons making it unable to hold water. The result: humidity levels drop.
Solution: moisturizing + humidifiers
The most effective approach to addressing low humidity: daily moisturizing and regular use of a humidifier. First, make sure to use a high quality moisturizer twice daily to add moisture into the skin. Then use a humidifier while at home or in the office to maintain a healthy humidity level while indoors.
High humidity levels can also impact the skin. Pores on the skin function to absorb moisture, which is normally a good thing. However, high humidity levels can lead to excess sweat and oil production to the point where pores become clogged, resulting in acne breakouts. Additionally, high humidity promotes the growth of bacteria and mold resulting in skin irritation and redness.
High humidity combined with high temperatures can lead to even more problems. When high humidity and heat combine, the skin develops heat rashes and can blister. Heat rash usually disappears after three or four days without any intervention. However, if you notice increased pain, swelling, swollen lymph nodes, a fever, or chills, you should seek medical attention rather than treating the condition at home.
Solution: proper cleansing + cool off
One of the best ways to overcome high humidity is to literally cool off – remaining indoors in an air conditioned environment. Also, using a salicylic acid based cleanser (one we like is Skinceuticals Clarifying Cleanser) can help dry out the excess oil and kill bacteria caused by high humidity.