Hate to break it to ya, but the dry air in your house or apartment might be the reason why your skin is freaking the eff out right now. Because when your skin is dry, your skin barrier (the thing responsible for making your face smooth, bright, and calm) more or less breaks, leading to zits, irritation, redness, and excess oil. And even if you're slathering on a really good moisturizer twice a day, that thin layer of lotion will only get you so far when the dry air is actively pulling water from your skin. The fix? You become a full-blown adult and invest in a humidifier.
How can a humidifier help my skin?
When temperatures dip (or when you're blasting your heat), so do humidity levels, causing roughness and flaking on your skin's outermost layer, says Dendy Engelman, MD, a dermatologist in NYC. A humidifier, however, emits moisture (usually via a mist) to get your space to the optimal humidity sweet spot: between 40 and 60 percent. If you're stuck at home practicing social distancing, put your humidifier in your bedroom, slap on a moisturizer (my favorites? Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion or First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Barrier Cream), and crank that humidifier up.
How do I clean my humidifier?
To keep your humidifier running best, make sure to fill it up with distilled water. If you opt for water from your tap, be sure to fill and shake the tank with white vinegar once a week to disinfect and remove mineral buildup (a byproduct of tap water). And no matter what, don’t forget to replace the water daily. Stagnant water can eventually become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold that can then become airborne and trigger allergies.
And now: The top-rated humidifiers
The best self-cleaning humidifier
It’s important to clean any model regularly, but Dyson’s (Dr. Engelman’s fave) has ultraviolet light technology that helps kill pathogens (aka bacterium or microorganisms that can cause disease). It's as close to a self-cleaning humidifier as you can get.
The best essential oil humidifier
The coolest feature on this one: a spot to insert the essential oil of your choice for an extra-sensory experience. Basically a necessity if you're looking to diffuse oils without breaking your humidifier.
The best small desk humidifier
Good things come in small packages—such as this antimicrobial humidifier with a permanent filter. It can fit on your desk or your nightstand, so it's perfect for tiny spaces.
The best quiet humidifier
Not that the other humidifiers are loud, but this one serves up "library-level" noise (so it's basically silent), while splitting and distributing the mist in two directions, making sure the air in your space is fully hydrated without the noise.
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