Do you notice your skin peeling in the sun when you go out? Or when you get into an air-conditioned room after being outside in the heat? This is because of the change in humidity.
Humidity is necessary for the survival of all life forms. It keeps our body temperature comfortable and allows us to sweat which can cool us down. While we all know that humidity is necessary, what’s not so widely known is whether or not it’s good for the skin.
If you are concerned about your skin during humid and non-humid seasons, this article is for you, as we will discuss humidity and skin.
What is low humidity and is it bad for skin?
Everyone has a different skin type, so if you have dry skin, it’s okay. Many people who have dry skin are concerned about humidity because of the adverse effects it can cause.
However, humidity isn’t necessarily bad for your skin. If you have dry skin and live in a low-humidity climate, it may be due to something called TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss).
When there is low humidity, the moisture in your skin evaporates quickly. This may occur because of the use of harsh soaps, sunscreens, and cleansers that can strip your skin of its natural oils.
Studies have shown that the moisture in your skin can decrease by as much as 50% when you’re exposed to winds from air conditioning. Since many people spend most of their time indoors during low-humidity times, this can cause problems for them.
A study has shown that people with TEWL that use moisturizer had a 24% less chance of getting skin cancer than people with TEWL who didn’t. So, it is possible that low humidity is bad for your skin.
Effects of Low Humidity on Skin
1. Low humidity can cause dryness
When you’re exposed to a low-humidity climate, your skin dries faster. If your skin is constantly dehydrated, you’re left with dry patches of skin. This may cause redness and irritation.
Skin also becomes more sensitive in a low-humidity climate because your skin cells do not get the moisture they need to be healthy and active – this affects their ability to function and protect your body from bacteria and environmental factors.
You can easily fix this problem with a humidifier in your house, a humidifier when you’re out, and by using humectants when you put on your skincare products.
2. Low humidity can result in excessive scaling
When there is low humidity, the moisture content in your skin evaporates quickly. This makes it difficult for ceramides to form, which are the major components that give your skin the outermost layer of protection.
Ceramides work to keep your cells strong and healthy by preventing water loss – they also prevent inflammation. This is why scaling occurs on dry, flaky patches of skin when it’s exposed to low humidity.
The best way to treat this problem is to apply a humectant mask or cream before going out in the sun.
3. Low humidity can cause TEWL
Trans-epidermal water loss occurs when your skin loses moisture due to evaporation from low humidity conditions. This causes your skin to dry up and peel, which then becomes red and flaky from the roughness it has developed.
4. Low humidity can cause wrinkles
Humidity provides a lot of benefits for your skin, including increasing collagen production and blood circulation to your face. When you lose moisture from evaporation because of low humidity, your skin’s natural barrier becomes dried up.
This results in fine lines and wrinkles because your collagen breaks down, causing your skin to become less elastic. You can easily fix this by drinking lots of water!
5. Low humidity can cause infection
When you’re exposed to low humidity conditions, you become more susceptible to acne and infections on the surface of your skin.
The dust mites that may be present in your home can’t survive when the humidity is low, so they don’t reproduce as often. When there are fewer of them around, it gives you less chance of getting an infection or developing acne.
Humidity keeps your skin hydrated and protected while removing toxins from the environment so that your skin can heal quicker.
However, when the humidity is high, you’re more likely to get acne and other infections because there are more mites and bacteria than usual.
How to fix low humidity skin problems
To prevent your skin from drying up, you need to invest in a humidifier for your house, apply a humidifier when you’re outdoors and use humectants in your skincare products.
A humectant is an ingredient that attracts water from the air into the skin. It also helps to reduce TEWL because it contains some moisturizing properties.
Examples of good humectants include butylene glycol (found in some skincare products like moisturizers and foundation creams), propylene glycol (found in foundation creams), and hyaluronic acid (found in some face masks).
So, is low humidity bad for your skin? The answer is yes! But it can be fixed so don’t worry. Just put on a humidifier in your house, use them while you’re outdoors and look for products with some humectants like propylene glycol or butylene glycol in them.
Is high humidity bad for skin?
High humidity means excessive sweat which can cause rashes and irritation on your skin. If you are in a high-humidity atmosphere, make sure to care for your skin well by using mild soaps and cleansers.
If you notice your skin is becoming irritated due to sweat, dry it gently and apply moisturizer. Moreover, try to stay in a cool environment, and if you have to stay in a warm room, use fans to blow the moist air over your skin.
High-humidity seasons can be difficult for those who experience acne breakouts; therefore, it is best to avoid excess sweating and stay covered up.
If you sweat excessively because of the weather or for some other reason, you may experience acne breakouts. This is due to the high humidity; sweat can accumulate on your face and cause irritation on your skin.
If you are concerned about acne breakouts due to sweating, it is recommended that you wipe off the sweat with a towel and use a clay mask. The clay will absorb the sweat, oil, and bacteria that are on your skin.
So, does high humidity affect the skin? It depends. If you sweat a lot, it will affect your skin and make you suffer from acne. But if you don’t sweat a lot because of high humidity, then it won’t affect your skin.
Effects of High Humidity on Skin
According to webmd.com, high humidity can cause acne in people who already have oily skin. As reported by the American Academy of Dermatology, over 80% of the world’s population is affected by acne, especially in humid countries.
However, another study suggests that humidity does not cause acne. Instead, it makes skin appear oily due to sweating. The sweat mixes with oil on your face and makes your skin even more oily than usual.
Here are 4 major consequences of high humidity on the skin
1. Heat rash
Heat rash appears on the skin when it comes in contact with a hot, humid environment. Red bumps will cover your arms or chest and can cause itching or burning sensations.
“Heat rash, also known as prickly heat, is caused by excessive sweating in high humidity areas,” according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
To prevent heat rash, you should avoid wearing clothes that are too tight or thick since they can trap sweat on the skin. Also, you should clean any clothing that has been exposed to sweat or dirt.
If you have a heat rash, it is recommended that you treat it with a cool compress and over-the-counter hydrocortisone. Do not use products that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide as they will irritate your skin.
2. Sweating and dehydration
Although sweating is a good way to cool yourself down, dehydration can occur when you sweat excessively due to high humidity.
“Skin works as an effective barrier against the environment. When skin is hot and sweaty, the barrier function is compromised,” according to Medline Plus.
Dehydration can cause your body temperature to rise even more and can make you feel dizzy, lightheaded, and even faint.
To prevent dehydration due to high humidity, it is recommended that you drink a lot of water. Keep a bottle of water with you while working in a hot, humid environment so that your body is constantly hydrated.
Hydration will not only keep your body healthy, but it will also prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin in your skin.
3. Acne breakouts
Acne can occur when your body is exposed to a hot, humid environment due to sweating and the buildup of oil on your skin.
The American Academy of Dermatology claims that high humidity may cause acne breakouts, especially for people with oily skin.
If you are experiencing an acne breakout due to high humidity, it is recommended that you use products with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to cleanse the pores. Apply a clay mask to your face afterward to absorb the sweat and other materials that cause acne.
Acne can also be caused by products that contain ingredients that are not suitable for sensitive skin, such as toothpaste and deodorants. Make sure to find out if any of these products contain harmful chemicals, otherwise they may irritate your sensitive skin.
4. Hair damage
When exposed to high levels of humidity, your hair follicles will open and may cause frizz and split ends.
“The loss of elasticity in the hair shaft due to heat can be linked to excessive chemical treatments,” according to Youngbloodhair.com. “If you blow-dry or flat-iron your hair often, it can also cause your strands to become brittle and weak.”
To prevent damage due to high humidity, you should avoid using products containing alcohol. Also, make sure to flat-iron your hair in the morning when the environment is not humid.
If you are experiencing frizz or damaged hair due to humidity, try applying an oil-free serum to your hair. Be sure to find a product that is specifically designed for humid conditions so that it will stick well to the hair shaft without becoming too greasy.
To help tame frizz, you can also try applying a light hairspray to your locks before going out into the environment.
What is the ideal humidity for skin?
According to an article on the American Academy of Dermatology’s website, the ideal humidity range for everyone is between 30% and 50%. If you live in a humid area, try to keep your humidity level below 50% by installing a dehumidifier or air conditioning unit.
In addition, it is important that you wear clothing that won’t trap sweat on your skin. It is recommended that you wear natural fibers rather than synthetics since natural fibers are more absorbent.
If you live in a humid area, it is also recommended that you avoid using harsh cleansers and makeup products as they will clog your pores. If possible, try to wash your face with water instead.
Although humidity may cause problems for your skin, you can still enjoy the weather if you take precautions. If you are feeling overwhelmed by high levels of humidity, find ways to improve the indoor air quality in your home. A good way to do this is by installing a whole-house humidifier since it will take care of your skin, hair, clothes, and even furniture.
To ensure that the humidity in your house or office is safe for your skin, it is important that you take measures to control the levels of moisture in the air. Humidity levels below 50% are considered safe for your skin.
Hope you find this article helpful! Stay tuned for the next one 😀