The winter has finally set in. Like for reals this time. I know we all hoped the warm spell would last forever but the rude awakening of this harsh season has smacked me in the face. More specifically, with a bat of dehydration because my skin is dry. Of course as a skincare creator I have lot of lovely rich creams and oils at my disposal that help lock in moisture but it is still difficult to battle 24 hour dryness exposure. So, its finally time to break out some atmospheric relief with a humidifier…or in my case, a few humidifiers.
Humidifying Your Skin
For those of you who do not know, a humidifier is a little machine that disperses moist steam throughout a room. This is known to help dry sinuses and dry skin by injecting some humidity into your living or working space. It can prevent nose bleeds, decrease the risk of viruses and infection, moisten dry throats and improve sleep (especially for snorers and those sleeping with snorers). Its basically the anti-dote to the drying wintertime. Our skin benefits significantly from this exposure to humidity, helping to prevent eczema flare ups, dry patches, chapped lips and inflammatory conditions. Many of my own clients have hailed the humidifier for helping to manage their sensitive skin and rosacea. The decrease in redness I have seen is surprisingly dramatic! So, if your skin is feeling tight or cracked even with a hearty moisturizer, a humidifer should be your next step.
How To Buy Your Humidify
There are a lot of humidifiers on the market – how do you choose the best one for you?
Size – You need a humidifer that aligns with the size of the space you want to fill. This is very important. I live in an open concept home and need two sometimes three humidifiers to truly feel the difference. A client of mine told the same thing; she too has two going at all times on her ground floor. Check the product info for details of its power and the space it is appropriate for. If you are still unsure, one simple check is to simply feel. If you cannot tell that there is an increase in humidity when you enter the room, its not powerful enough. If you want to humidify your entire home and live in a place with a furnace unit, you can actually hook up a humidifing unit right to it. Talk about simplicity!
Cold vs warm steam – This is a question that comes up a lot: should I pick cold or warm steam? I love me some warm steam since it moistens and warms up a room (and I run cold). But if you’re someone who is aggravated by heat (Pitta!) or at least your skin is, I would opt for cold steam. If you choose do go with the warm option, make sure that you choose one that has an anti-bacterial function built into it as warm, wet environments are prime for bacterial and fungal growth. Also ensure you keep the unit out of reach of kids and pets that can risk burning themselves.
Noise – Personally, I want a silent humidifier. I suggest this for people using them in their offices (in need of concentration). However, some people like the hum of a humidifier and use it as a white noise machine.
Some practicalities to keep in mind:
Make sure you refill regularly – you can’t have humidity without water, so make sure to remember to use the humidifier. This means filling it up with water and actually turning it on. Sounds like common sense but believe me, many people neglect to be consistent with their humidifier use and then do not enjoy its wonderful moisturizing benefits! If you are forgetful with menial chores, one suggestion is to have a reminder on your phone.
Use filtered water – when filling up your humidifier, use distilled water. My home filter removes many heavy metals from my water, which helps prevent mineral buildup in my humidifier and therefore extends it life. Beyond this, I want to be swathed in moist air that’s of the same quality of the water I drink. Remember, we absorb through our skin!
Change those filters – If you want to keep you humidifier up and running, you gotta maintain it. So, you need to make sure your change the filters as per the instructions. If you’re lazy like me, buy one that doesn’t have filters! They do exist – this also saves time and money of having to keep on buying filters.
Clean your humidifier – Even with a filter-less humidifier, you have to clean it. I would do this weekly. While some products recommend bleaching it, I have found a good old fashioned scrub down with soap and water good enough for mine (the make is filter-less and easy to get into the crevices). Again, here we want to prevent mineral and scum build-up along with disinfect to prevent bacteria or mould growth.
Keep away from children and pets – I said it before but I will say it again: if you choose a warm steam humidifier, keep it out of reach of kids and animals that can knock it over and burn themselves or get their delicate hands or paws scalded by placing them over the steam stream itself. Or opt for a cold steam!
Now you are ready to enjoy your humidifier – say good bye to dry skin!