Humidity, Enemy To Healthy Skin!
What is Humidity and How is it the Enemy?
In short, humidity is the level of water vapor in a given climate. Our body identifies low humidity levels with coolness and high humidity levels with heat. For example, when the humidity is high you may sweat more and feel hot.
So why should you care about humidity? Humidity can be problematic for your health. In fact, there are a number of products specifically designed to target the impact of humidity on various areas of your health. Hair health, for example, is one of the most well-known target areas for humidity products. Certainly, you have no doubt seen countless commercials and ads promising to fight frizz and shield your hair from the harmful effects of humidity by now. You may also have firsthand experience with these humidity-targeted haircare products. After all, the impact of humidity on the hair is more visible to the everyday person than its other effects. Most people recognize the impact on their hair strands immediately as humidity induces frizzy hair by separating the hair strands and lifting hair cuticles. The high level of visibility concerning humidity’s impact on hair health increases the demand for humidity targeting products, as well as the available supply.
Respiratory health is yet another example of a well-known target area for humidity products. There are various versions of air humidifiers available for purchase online and in physical stores. Why? Why is there such a large supply of humidifiers? What is feeding the high demand and why do people seek to manipulate the humidity levels indoors? The short answer is simple, humidity is also linked to allergies and respiratory illnesses. Humidifiers increase the moisture levels of a given environment and help correct the humidity issues for those with allergies and respiratory illnesses. Humidifiers also help with skin ailments caused by humidity issues. However, humidity’s impact on your skin health is usually overlooked or undiscovered altogether.
What Damage can Humidity Cause to Healthy Skin?
Some humidity could be helpful to skin health. Therefore, humidity, in general, should not be the focus. The true issue is finding the proper balance of humidity for your skin type. Finding the proper humidity balance is particularly difficult due to varying factors which affect humidity’s impact on your skin. Two of the most important factors, and the focus of this writing, are geographical region/climate and skin type. Let’s take a closer look at the role and importance of considering these two factors.
Geographical Region/Climate: Some geographical regions and or climates are known for their limited humidity levels while others are known for record high humidity levels. You can determine what climate you live in by looking at the historical reputation surrounding your area’s weather, or by simply asking yourself how you feel. If you are in a low humidity area you may feel relatively cool most of the time with the summers being a little hotter. However, if you are in a high humidity area you may feel hot most of the time and the summers can be particularly brutal. Both low humidity and high humidity can adversely affect the health of your skin.
Skin Type: The other key factor in balancing your humidity level is understanding what your skin type is. If you have pre-existing skin problems, like acne or eczema, the wrong humidity level can increase and/or worsen your overall symptoms. Therefore, it is important to understand your skin type. Is your skin dry? Is your skin oily? Do you have combination skin? Your skin type and climate can help you identify your humidity problem. But, how do you know if humidity is adversely affecting your skin? Some symptoms of humidity-affected skin include:
- Skin that feels dehydrated.
- Clogged pores.
- Skin that is oily to the touch.
- Skin shininess (worse in summer).
- Sweatiness (increased sweating is your skins way of cooling the body down when there is too much humidity for it).
Low humidity decreases the amount of water (vapor form) in the atmosphere and can leave the skin malnourished. High humidity increases the amount of water (vapor form) in the atmosphere. This can cause your skin to become a breeding ground for bacterias. You may also acquire rashes, acne and even skin infections during increased humidity levels.
So How Do You Target Skin Humidity?
Your skin is tasked with regulating your body’s overall internal temperature. Therefore, when your body is too humid, your skin will tell you through your skin, with increased sweating. The sweating will then open your pores and increase oil production. With the skin pores opened up, the likelihood that dirt, makeup, and other particles will become trapped in the skin is heightened. The result is vulnerable skin that could break out or become infected. Your problems are even greater if you had oily or damaged skin to begin with. Remember the two important factors (climate and skin type)? Well, once your skin reveals your humidity problem, let your climate dictate your skincare routine.
It is important to keep your skin clean and moisturized. If you live in an area with a normal and regular flow of air, your skincare routine can include traditional cleaners and moisturizers. Follow an established skincare routine in the morning and at night. No special humidity-targeted products would be needed. However, if you live in a high humidity prone area you should use a humidity targeted product. Keep in mind these humidity targeted products are not specifically labeled as such and can be hard to find. Therefore, you should start by using products that do not use much oil and moisturizers that have a light texture, especially after sweating. Why?
You see when the humidity is high and you start to sweat the skin produces more oil than it needs as it opens the pores. Therefore, using products high in oil to clean your skin can lead to clogged pores. In addition, when your pores are opened up they can trap in things like makeups, moisturizing creams, etc. Therefore, lightly texture moisturizers are recommended. Here is a recommended skincare routine if you live in a high humidity area:
- 1. Wash your face.
- 2. Hydrate your face with a non-oily/low oil product.
- 3. Use an oil-free, lightly textured moisturizer.
- 4. Exfoliate the skin as needed.
- 5. Follow the routine at least twice a day.
- 6. Repeat the steps when you have sweated profusely.
Humidity has been widely known to affect the hair, and even breathing and allergies. Now that you know it can be your skin’s worst enemy, you should listen to ‘tells’ your skin provides and act accordingly.