The Skincare Benefits Of Sleeping Near A Humidifier This Winter

People who live in cold-weather climates know that winter can hurt in a few different ways. Mostly, it hurts even if your skin is normally oily throughout the rest of the year but then seems to become a completely different entity when humidity levels plunge, turning skin dry and itchy. Rather than become an ordeal to tolerate until it gets warmer, many people have learned to chase away the cold weather blues by sleeping near a humidifier during the winter. The results can be life-altering.


It can be easy to underestimate the transformative nature of a humidifier, given its small size, quiet nature, and easy portability. And it's true: all a humidifier does is release water vapor into the air to increase humidity levels, according to the Mayo Clinic. You fill the reservoir with water, direct the vapor stream toward your bed at night, and simply breathe the air. It's that simple.

It's good timing, too, since the skin is in its most permeable state during sleep, when blood flow is higher (via Aurelia Skincare). If you awake most mornings with a dry throat and an overwhelming thirst, this may be another reason why: your body loses moisture more rapidly overnight than during the day. Running a humidifier can ease this discomfort, too, while producing noticeable benefits to your skin.


Revel in hydrated skin

Humidity levels are directly related to how your skin feels. When there is moisture in the air, your nourished skin should respond by feeling soft and plump, per Asarch Dermatology. The opposite is equally true: when the top layer of skin (known as the epidermis), becomes dry, skin can become rough and chafed, the Mayo Clinic explains. This is partly why skincare experts promote regular applications of moisturizer; it's good for the skin unless you overdo it. (Twice a day is a good, round number to shoot for.) In addition to looking and feeling better, well-hydrated skin flushes out nasty toxins through your bloodstream, according to Altilis Beauty.


Watch your skin become brighter

They may not actually see the process unfold before their eyes, but people who regularly exfoliate often swear by how the practice leaves them with brighter, glowing skin. When they run a humidifier too, it's like giving their skin cells double the incentive to regenerate, Asarch Dermatology says.


It takes between 28 and 42 days for most adults to go through the entire regeneration cycle (via Healthline). Although there are plenty of steps you can take to speed up this process — chemical peels and microdermabrasion, among them — drinking water and infusing your room with moisture are among the least aggressive. If you're unsure about the humidity level in your bedroom, measure it with a hygrometer, which resembles a thermometer. The Mayo Clinic explains that it should register between 30% and 50%.

Nourished skin often looks younger

If moisturizers, face creams, and eye creams are regular inclusions on your shopping list, then you probably are familiar with a favorite industry term: "anti-aging." Skeptics would argue that this is an impossible goal; people naturally age every day that they're alive. But you probably know what the term intends to convey: that some products may be able to slow the aging process.


If true, you could come to regard your humidifier as your favorite "anti-aging" tool since fine lines and wrinkles should become less noticeable after steady use, per Fleur & Bee. Dry skin often looks less supple, and it's usually less elastic, meaning that it's slower to bounce back after being stretched, according to Asarch Dermatology. It may hurt to hear it, but you're smart enough to fill in the blanks: Dry skin doesn't make people look younger. In fact, it usually does just the opposite.

Find eczema relief

Healthline calls humidity "a natural moisturizing agent." And perhaps no one needs the benefit of this agent more urgently than people with eczema. As a form of atopic dermatitis, eczema can be a startlingly painful ailment, causing dry, crusty, and inflamed patches of skin to itch so badly — and so consistently — that it can be impossible to sleep at night.


Running a humidifier can do more than reduce the urge to itch, Dermatology Associates says. It can reduce the risk of infection if the dry skin patches have been rubbed so intensely that they start to bleed. A humidifier can get to the root of all evils.

Say goodbye to cracked lips

You may not automatically think of your lips as skin, but they are. Lips are inherently different because they're thinner, consisting of only about four layers of skin instead of the 16 or so layers that cover the rest of your body, dermatologist Leslie Baumann explains. Lips are also more sensitive because they are devoid of oil glands, the Cleveland Clinic points out.


All this means that when lips become dry and chafed, they can burn and bleed. And if you're prone to biting cracked lips as a defense mechanism, you may make the problems worse. Applying a moisturizing lip balm before bed can help; a humidifier works as another salve that should soothe dry, cracked lips in no time.