Will a Humidifier Help Dry Skin? All You Need to Know

The air in our homes can become very dry and dusty due to air conditioning systems and the changing seasons. Humidifiers are used to keep the air moist and comfortable.

There are many benefits to having a humidifier for your home, and many different types to suit your particular needs. If you have dry skin, you might be wondering if a humidifier can help. First, let’s examine some of the causes of very dry skin:

What Causes Very Dry Skin?

Dry skin may not be a serious disease, but it can certainly cause a lot of discomforts. There are many reasons you might have dry skin and a variety of things that cause it. Some factors are somewhat beyond our control, while others can be easily amended to improve the moisture content of our skin. Here are some of the causes of very dry skin:

– Weather

The climate you live in impacts the moisture content of your skin. If you live in a very cold area, the chilly air tends to be low in moisture. The more time you spend in the outdoor environment, the more your skin will be impacted. Alternatively, if you live in a very humid area, you probably won’t suffer from dry skin issues too often. However, no matter what climate you live in, the indoor environment is just as important as the outdoor one.

– Hard Water

Hard water contains components that leave a residue on your skin after use. This residue drys out the skin. Thus, if you live in a hard water area, you need to be more vigilant about keeping your skin moist, or introduce some kind of filtering system into the water you use for bathing, showering, and washing your hands and face.

– Dry Air

Dry air is one of the most common causes of dry skin that can be managed or modified. Many homes rely heavily on their HVAC system to maintain a constant environment indoors throughout the year. The result of this is that air (hot or cold, depending on the season) is constantly being blasted throughout the house, resulting in air that has been sapped of a lot of its moisture content. If you’re feeling the effects of dry skin, try to ration the use of your HVAC system and combine it with the introduction of humidifiers in selected rooms to increase the moisture in the air.

– Not Drinking Enough Water

Drinking water is an essential part of keeping skin moist and supple. The general guideline recommends that you drink eight tumblers of water per day. It’s common to assume that the water in coffee and sugary drinks counts, but both contain ingredients that impair the water absorption and counteract the amount you’re drinking. 

– Not Moisturizing

No matter how moist and healthy your skin is, you need to moisturize. When it comes to our skin, we often address issues as they arise instead of taking measures to prevent such issues from ever arising in the first place. You should aim to moisturize at least once a day. The best time to moisturize is immediately after a bath or shower because there is still water on your body. Pat your skin dry gently, then using a moisturizer will seal in the water content.

– Hot Baths and Showers

Water that is too hot damages your skin by weakening the semi-permeable layer. Over time, this can potentially cause cracking and dryness. If you want to look after your skin, make sure you use warm but not scalding water when showering or bathing.

– Harsh Chemicals

All of the products out there generally contain harsh chemicals detrimental to the our skin’s moisture content. This can be anything from the dish-washing detergent you use to the perfume you choose to wear. Facial cleansers, hand soaps, shower gels are all designed to clean our skin, but they can also irritate it. Use products sparingly and invest in a good quality natural soap for staying clean.

How Humidifiers Can Help Your Skin

When we try to control our indoor environment, there are consequences. Blasting hot air through the home during the winter, or cold air during the summer wreaks havoc on the quality of the indoor air. It becomes dry and dusty, which will inevitably impact our skin.

Humidifiers help your skin by redressing the balance of the indoor environment. First and foremost, they release water into the air which helps to keep the moisture levels intact. However, they also have another interesting function: many are designed to be able to include essential oils into the mix.

Essential oils are natural oils with a variety of benefits for human health, so the introduction of these can benefit both your skin and your overall body even more.

What Type of Humidifier is Best for Dry Skin?

The best type of humidifier for dry skin is one that doesn’t release the white dust you find with some types of humidifiers. This white dust will counteract the benefits of the improved moisture content as it can cause skin irritations.

Ultrasonic and impeller portable humidifiers create white dust, so they are not recommended for helping dry skin. Any other type of humidifier is fine, and even these can be used carefully with distilled water to reduce the white dust produced.

Is a Warm or Cool Mist Humidifier Better for Dry Skin?

A warm mist humidifier is better for dry skin because warm mist relaxes and opens the pores, allowing more moisture to be absorbed into the skin. However, cool mist humidifiers are still almost as good for dry skin, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing a cool mist humidifier over a warm mist humidifier for the refreshing cool air it produces.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Humidifier for Dry Skin

When choosing a humidifier for dry skin, avoid units than release white dust. Moreover, you might want something convenient, so you may want one without a filter. Filters need replaced, and these can be expensive, so try to choose one that will not release white dust and also doesn’t need a filter. You also need to try to find one that can introduce essential oils into the mix. Many essential oils can help relieve dry and irritated skin, so this will mean even more soothing and healing power than the humidifier alone.

Other Ways to Relieve Dry Skin

When you considered the causes of dry skin, it became clear that there are other ways to relieve dry skin than simply operating a humidifier. These include:

  • Not washing hands too regularly as the hand-wash will dry out your skin
  • Only bathing and showering when you need to: over-cleanliness is bad for your skin
  • Use lukewarm water when bathing and showering; not scalding hot
  • Moisturize once a day
  • Use products that are natural to moisturize, like Shea butter
  • Read the ingredients list before you buy any skincare product and avoid ones with long lists of chemicals
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Only use your HVAC system when it’s necessary
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Use olive oil when cooking
  • Consider using high-quality nutritional supplements
  • Don’t overload your skin with too many products


It’s clear that we regularly use many things that contribute to our dry skin. Now that you know the causes of dry skin and how a humidifier can help relieve it, it’s time to put this advice into action. Healthy skin is key to good overall health, as it is our skin that is the first line of defense against infection and disease. You’ll soon start to see and feel the benefits of healthy skin once you dedicate yourself to implementing some of the tips and strategies you’ve discovered here.

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Melanie Mavery is an aspiring HVAC technician who is fascinated by the trends and opportunities in the HVAC industry. She spends most of her day writing content on home improvement topics and outreaching to prospects.  She's always looking for ways to support HVACs!