Heat and humidity. Between the two, humidity is talked about in a negative way when it comes to hair and sweat. However, humidity is not as bad as you think when it comes to your facial skin and overall skin health. There are many things to understand about humidity. In this article we will discuss what humidity is and its effects. We will also describe low to high humidity situations and how to handle your skin. Keep reading along.
What Is Humidity?
To make it simple, humidity is the level of water vapor in the air. Water vapor is the gaseous phase of water. For example, when there is low humidity, less water vapor is in the air. The opposite is true for high humidity.
The relationship with temperature is that only a certain level of water vapor can exist at different temperatures. The hotter it is, the more humid it can be, but up to a certain level. That is why we feel sticky in hot places. It is also because the sweat we produce can’t evaporate given the air can’t hold any more water.
What Is Relative Humidity?
Relative humidity is a sub-measure of humidity. It is the current amount of humidity compared to the maximum humidity possible at the current temperature. Relative humidity measures the moisture in the air before any condensation occurs.
This measure is more useful for taking care of your skin. It is very useful indoors because you want to know how much humidity your home can handle without causing damage. To understand how humidity impacts the skin, refer to relative humidity to make decisions.
How Does Humidity Affect Your Skin?
Humidity is one of many environmental factors that can impact the skin. But understanding how it works is the key to taking care of your skin.
On top of your epidermis, there is a skin moisture barrier. This barrier manages the amount of water in your skin. A good range for relative humidity is between 30% and 60% for your skin. Going outside of this range can affect the skin barrier’s ability to maintain balance.
Cold and dry climates are associated with low humidity. This is certainly true for places that have colder winter seasons. Those with oily skin may think the low humidity levels are great, but the decrease in water vapor is actually harmful to your skin. Let’s explore how low humidity impacts your skin and how to survive with it.
Impact On Skin From Low Humidity
Low humidity can impact your skin negatively due to less water content in the air. Below are a three reasons why less humid climates are bad to your skin:
- Clears Skin Of Moisture
- Buildup Of Dead Skin Cells
- Skin Appears Older
Surviving With Low Humidity
The harmful effects of drier climates are alarming, but don’t worry. Solutions to protect your skin from less humid environments exist and are simple. The key is adding extra moisture and keeping your skin moisturized. The following are a few ideas on how to prevent your skin from taking damage from low humidity levels:
- Use Hydrating and Anti-Aging Moisturizers
- Exfoliate On A Regular Basis
- Drink A Lot Of Water
- Use A Humidifier For The Air
Here are some detailed steps on how to cope with low humidity:
As part of your regular skin care routine, moisturizing your skin is critical. In a drier environment you want to make sure you provide your skin barrier a lot of moisture and hydration. Specific ingredients in your facial creams help inject moisture back into your skin. For hydration look for moisturizers with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, or glycerin. Another byproduct of less moisture is fine lines and wrinkles. To address fine lines, wrinkles, and decreased skin elasticity, dermatologists recommend anti-aging facial creams.
As your cells turnover, dead skin cells pile up on your face. These dead skin can eventually clog pores and cause more skin issues. To minimize the volume of dead skin, it is critical you exfoliate your face on a regular basis. Exfoliating will ensure there are no obstacles for moisture to enter your skin. You can exfoliate with facial scrubs or with serums. It is recommended that you exfoliate two to three times a week.
To get the most healthy skin, hydration in addition to a healthy diet is required. Focus on health inside out will ensure you have a healthier body and skin. It is recommended to drink up to a gallon of water everyday to maximize skin health and keep your skin supple.
To manage relative humidity inside your home, investing in an air humidifier is the best solution. A humidifier can take water and disperse into the air in your home. Using the humidifier you can ensure that the range of humidity in your surroundings is between 30 and 60 percent. This is one of the most effective ways to survive low humidity in the winter and prevent dry skin or ashy skin.
Try this humidifier: Venta LW45 Original Airwasher
Opposite of low humidity environments we have more humid environments which tend to be much warmer. The amazing part about humid climates is that they provide tons of benefits for your skin. Next, we will discuss how humid air impacts your skin and how to handle it.
Impact On Skin From High Humidity
Due to extra water, humid air can have a positive effect on your skin. The following are a three reasons why humid environments are good for skin:
- Hydrates Skin
- Enhanced Cell Turnover
Humid climates are not always the best for your skin, however. It really depends on what type of skin you have. Here are a couple ways your skin could negatively react to more humidity.
- Increased Sebum Production
- Acne Breakouts
Adjusting To High Humidity
Since humid weather presents benefits and drawbacks, knowing how to handle more humidity is critical. You will want to deal with it by modifying your skincare routine. Below are a few ideas on how to maintain your skin during excessive humidity:
- Reduce Sebum With Oil Removing Cleansers
- Use Water-Based Moisturizers
- Exfoliate Regularly
- Rinse Your Skin After Exercise
- Use A Dehumidifier For The Air
Here are some detailed steps on how to deal with a humid environment:
The main challenge with humid air is excess sebum. The additional oil in your skin can cause problems such as skin breakouts. Therefore, acne management using oil-free cleansers is recommended. Oil-free cleansers are lightweight in consistency and are made without any oils. When you are exposed to a high humidity environment, dermatologists recommend cleansing often to keep the whiteheads away.
Although less dead skin piles up in high humidity situations relative to low. It is still important to exfoliate regularly. This time you are trying to prevent dirt, debris, and other impurities. These impurities can potentially become trapped in your skin’s pores. This results in enlarged pores that can ultimately lead to acne.
Even though your skin already feels moist, it is still necessary to use a moisturizer. Regardless if you are in a high humidity environment. However, instead of using a rich moisturizer, opt for something much lighter. Using a light moisturizer will minimize natural oils, but keep your skin hydrated.
Rinse After You Sweat
When sweat comes in contact with anything, bacteria begins to grow. This bacteria can cause many problems for your skin such as clogging pores. Therefore, it is important to rinse off your skin after you exercise or experience excessive sweating. Doing this will ensure your skin stays fresh and clean.
In contrast to low relative humidity, you want to decrease humidity when it is high in your home. The ideal humidity level you want to maintain is between 30 and 60 percent relative humidity. You can do this by investing in a dehumidifier. Humidifiers can decrease humidity in addition to increasing it. By decreasing the humidity, you will be able to prevent the growth of bacteria and allergens in your home.
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Putting It All Together
Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air at a given time. Relative humidity is the amount of humidity compared to the maximum for a given temperature. For your skin, too little humidity can dry out and even damage it. Too much humidity can cause irritated skin and even breeds bacterial infections. Overall, the humidity level to stay within is between the 30 to 60 percent range. Also, knowing your specific skin type can help with keeping your skin healthy in the humidity extremes.
Fact Checked by our Director of Dermatology – We know that understanding how your skin and hair work can seem scary, so my team and I devote our time to thoroughly researching every single topic and product we write about. We hope you find our reviews helpful and informative.
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