The Home Gadget That Just Might Save Your Skin

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
If you live somewhere with severe seasons, you know that winter can wreak serious havoc on your complexion. With the vicious mix of dry air, ridiculously low temps, and cranked-up thermostats, our skin immediately goes into survival mode and practically begs us for TLC.
During these months, we become more susceptible to issues like dry spots, dullness, and irritation, which age our visage and deprive us of our youthful glow. And, hello? We’re not okay with that. So, we need all the help we can get. In addition to switching to a richer moisturizer and adding facial oils into your daily routine, you can soothe your stressed-out skin with a gadget: Invest in a humidifier.
“In the winter months, the air is cooler and drier, we’re exposed to dry heat inside, and many of us take hot showers — this all contributes to dry, cracked skin,” said dermatologist Jennifer Chwalek, MD. And, if you are already prone to conditions like eczema, these factors only aggravate — or, even, prompt — the situation.
So, it's wise to supplement the moisture your skin loses when it evaporates due to all the dryness. “A humidifier increases the moisture content in the air to help prevent the drying out of the skin,” said dermatologist Daniela Kroshinsky, MD. According to Dr. Chwalek, using the humidifier while you sleep can be especially effective at soothing skin.
For optimal results, Dr. Kroshinsky recommends using a thicker moisturizer every night in conjunction with the humidifier to help keep skin comfortable and hydrated. She also suggests buying a larger humidifier, like this super chic one (it comes in hot pink — enough said), because you'd only need to fill it once a day and it can change the humidity level of an entire living space.
You’ll also want to make sure that the humidity levels in your home stay within a healthy range. “It’s usually recommended to keep it between 30 and 50%,” said Dr. Chwalek. To maintain the humidity, the Mayo Clinic suggests a hydrometer, a thermometer-like device that measures moisture levels. You can find one at any hardware or department store.
So, there you have it, people. If you’re already beginning to suffer from any of the skin issues mentioned above, don’t waste any more time: Get your hands on a humidifier, ASAP. And, don't forget to moisturize right after you get out of the shower and before bed — especially those hands and feet. Your skin will thank you!

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