Depending on where you live in the country, you may often hear people say, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity!” Most folks know that when humidity is high, there are various results from poofy hair to more moisture in your skin. Some may not realize that low or no humidity can have an effect from a beauty perspective too. This is especiallyh true for your skin.
Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air, so when the humidity is high, it’s expected that moisturization will be the result. Conversely, when the humidity is low or non-existent, you’ll find a lack of water vapor. This lack of water vapor in the air means everything exposed is like a raisin in the sun, or in other words, incredibly dry!
Bring on the Dry Skin
While high humidity air can bring moisture to your skin (and sometimes breakouts with it), the skin will react in the opposite way when there is low or no humidity. The skin may be dry or even start to crack.
Humidity levels tend to drop with the temperature, so when that cold snap comes through or if you’re in an area where winter drags on for months, your skin can suffer the consequences. When there is a lack of humidity in the air, your skin will tighten and become red, cracked, flaky, and itchy. One may be tempted to scratch, but that can exacerbate the issue. In addition, scratching skin that is already cracked can lead to sores, inviting infection.
When “weathering” the times of the year when low or no humidity rears its head, it can be challenging to stay on top of staving off the dry-skin effects. After all, one isn’t just going to forgo bathing in the colder months. However, bathing, showering, or harsh soaps can worsen the dry skin issue.
Medical Condition Flare-Ups
When temperatures fall and the humidity goes away is the inevitable flare-up of existing skin conditions. Afflictions such as eczema and psoriasis can be made significantly worse with low or no humidity.
Because low or no humidity causes dry and flaky skin, a buildup of dead skin cells can often happen. As a result, any product that one attempts to apply to combat dry skin has a hard time absorbing due to the layer of dead skin cells. This absorption issue includes issues when using topical ointments or creams meant to help skin conditions like eczema. It can help the absorption of products if one exfoliates the skin before trying any creams, ointments, or treatment for dry skin.
Steering Clear of Dry Air
If a person lives in an area of the country where bitterly cold winters lend themselves to low humidity situations, there are options to try and avoid the worst effects on the skin. These include:
– Colder Showers – Reducing the heat of your morning shower can help your skin retain some moisture. It may seem counter-intuitive, given that hotter air = more humidity typically. But, hotter water can strip necessary moisture from your skin.
Step Up Your Moisturizing Routine – In warmer, more humid weather, you may get away with moisturizing once or twice a day. But, when low humidity strikes, your skin takes a beating, Moisturizing more often with a heavier moisturizer could help keep your skin soft and supple.
– Stay Hydrated – Drinking water and staying hydrated will help your skin during the drier months
Low or no humidity can cause a litany of skin issues. However, there are ways of mitigating the low humidity problem. Taking care of one’s skin is a process. There are variables at work that can affect your skin differently every day. Keeping on top of routine skincare and adding in some extra TLC can help.
About the Author:
Dr. Liia Ramachandra, Pharm.D., Ph.D. is a serial entrepreneur and healthcare executive. Dr. Liia is the Founder and CEO EpiLynx, Gluten-Free Skin Care and Cosmetics Brand. The brand focuses on curating products for those with gluten sensitivities, allergies, autoimmune conditions, and sensitive skin. Their products are made with natural ingredients (for example, no parabens or phthalates).