Humidity is the quantum of water vapor in the air. Summers months have higher relative humidity. Winters and hence cooler months have lower relative humidity. Your skin will respond to relative humidity. The response is not the same for everyone. People with very dry or dry skin may feel better in humid conditions. People with very oily or oily skin will struggle during hot and humid days. Those who have neither oily nor dry skin, which means you may have slightly oilier skin during summers and slightly drier skin during winters, will also have some issues to deal with when there are substantial fluctuations in relative humidity.
You must learn to prep and protect skin from humidity. The remedies vary depending on the type of skin and the kind of humidity it has to endure. There are many myths pertaining to prepping and protecting skin from humidity. There are perceptions about dust and dirt, pollution and dead skin cells, clogged pores and growth of microbes. You must have a comprehensive understanding of what happens to come up with an effective plan.
Impact of Humidity on Skin
The availability of water vapor in the air ensures the skin gets enough moisture. This moisture is different from what the skin needs to remain hydrated. Hence, humidity does not necessarily moisturize or hydrate your skin. However, you will not have dry skin when the humidity is substantially high. You may have excessively moist or oily skin.
This is because the sebum glands are on an overdrive. Your skin produces more sweat and hence you perspire. This perspiration is not bad. The skin should be allowed to get rid of its excess oil and moisture. Sweat does not have much of a foul odor. It is the sweat mixing with dust, dirt and microbes on the body that creates body odor. Maintain hygiene and you will avoid body odor.
The more serious impacts of humidity on skin pertain to clogged pores, growth of bacteria and buildup of dead skin cells, dust and dirt. Women who use makeup everyday must be more careful as the products will also leave traces and result in a buildup if the skin is not cleansed. Women and men using sunscreen have to be proactive as well since a buildup of any lotion or cream is bad, especially when it is humid.
A Natural Routine for Healthy Skin
Wash your face at least two times a day when it is hot and humid. Only one or two of these times should involve a face wash. It may be a natural soap, an herbal exfoliating gel or some organic solution you prefer for your skin type. The rest of the times it should be just water. Cleansing your skin once a day is enough. Those who have excessively oily skin or sweat a lot, put on plenty of makeup or work in heavily polluted areas should cleanse their skin twice a day.
Reducing Build Up
Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to get rid of dead skin cells every day. It is true that humidity will lead to a buildup of dead skin cells but that is only once in a long time. The skin regenerates itself in two to six weeks time. Teens take three to four weeks, young adults to middle aged adults take four weeks or longer and elderly people take six weeks or longer.
In other words, you will have a buildup of dead skin cells only when they are dead, which means that new cells have been taking their place. You cannot have a buildup of dead skin cells every day or every week. This is why getting a facial or exfoliation once a month is good enough for most adults.
The dirt, dust, oil, excess moisture and bacteria that must be got rid of every day when humidity levels are higher than normal. The buildup of dust, dirt, moisture, oil and bacteria can clog pores, leading to breakouts, the skin will be unable to breathe and you may have strange inflammations. Use a natural soap or face wash. Use a water based moisturizer. Reduce the amount of moisturizer you use if you sweat more than usual.