Why Humidifiers Are the Holy Grail Appliance, According to Experts

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Are you waking up with a cough or stuffy nose? Or noticing that your skin feels and looks a bit dry even though you’re consistent with your skincare routine? If so, chances are, you need to add a humidifier into your self-care lineup.

In fact, many experts agree that everyone should be using a humidifier, especially in the winter! But what type should you buy, and how do you use it?

We spoke to two experts, Dr. Josuha Zeichner, NYC board-certified dermatologist, and Ani Baran, LAc, wellness expert and owner of NJ Acupuncture Center, for their expert insight into why everyone should have a humidifier.

Meet the expert
Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, FAAD
BOARD-CERTIFIED DERMATOLOGIST
Dr. Zeichner is a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. He is one of the key opinion leaders in treating acne and rosacea and is an expert in cosmeceuticals, skincare, and cosmetic dermatology.
Meet the expert
Ani Baran, L.ac
Acupuncturist
Baran is the owner and lead acupuncturist at NJ Acupuncture Center where she customizes treatments for patients to aid pain management, infertility, stress relief, anxiety, weight loss, and inflamation.

 

What exactly is a humidifier?

Humidifiers are at-home appliances that, Dr. Zeichner explained, “aerosolize water to replace moisture in the air.”

They typically come in two varieties: cool mist or hot steam. “They are both equally effective but use different technologies to achieve the same goal,” he said. However, he added, “I usually recommend cool mist humidifiers because they are a safer option and won’t cause a thermal burn if you get too close to it.”

Both cool mist and hot steam humidifiers increase the humidity, or moisture in the air, which improves hydration for your skin and has other health benefits, too.

 

What a humidifier can do for your skin

When it comes to your skin, humidifiers are an easy addition to your skincare routine. The best part? All you have to do is fill it up and remember to turn it on, so no excuses (seriously, it’s much easier than washing your face after a really long day and remembering to take off your makeup!).

By hydrating the air with humidity, your skin will retain moisture too, especially in the winter.

“Winter is really harsh on the skin, especially the cold, dry months, and having forced hot air in our homes is very drying as well,” Baran explained. She believes everyone can benefit from consistent use of a home humidifier but especially “people who naturally have dry skin or tend to be on the dryer side” as well as “those with eczema, psoriasis, or any other skin condition.”

“Our skin is a dynamic organ that can adjust to different temperatures in climates. However, extreme cold and dry air can take a toll on our skin barrier, stripping the skin of essential oils needed for proper functioning,” Zeichner said.

In addition to helping moisturize and hydrate your skin, humidifiers can help other parts of your body too.

 

Source: Canopy

 

Health benefits of using a humidifier

“Besides helping your skin, humidifiers are useful if you have a cold and are blowing your nose a lot, which can lead to dryness of your mucous membranes,” Zeichner said.

“It can loosen congestion in your sinuses, and keeping the air moist also helps with breathing and overall dryness,” Baran added. “Humidifiers can protect your throat by not letting it get too dry overnight.”

 

When to use a humidifier

There are virtually no downsides or side effects of consistently running a humidifier, as long as it is properly cleaned and maintained (This is really important—follow all the cleaning instructions for the model you use and properly maintain it! Otherwise, harmful mold and even bacteria can grow, and that’s the last thing you want circulating in the air).

“You can essentially run the humidifier all day if you’re home. Just make sure to unplug it when you leave the house,” Baran said. However, she said it’s most important to have it up and running at night time, when the heat is on and your body is restoring itself.

“Sleep is time for rejuvenation, and good quality of sleep is linked to a proper immune system,” Baran added. “Adding a humidifier will aid in how good you sleep, since it won’t let the air dry out and cause uncomfortable dry nose, mouth, sinus congestion, etc.”

Pro tip: If you aren’t ready to purchase a true humidifier, an easy DIY remedy can be to leave a big bowl of water on your night stand, which Baran explained could act as a natural humidifier!

 

Shop the best humidifiers 

Frida Baby

BreatheFrida 3-in-1 Humidifier

This cool mist humidifier is equipped with an essential oil diffuser as well as a nightlight in a range of soothing colors.

Amazon

Personal Desktop Humidifier

This compact humidifier is incredibly quiet and easy to refill, making it ideal for your desk or traveling.

Amazon

Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Humidifier

With over 50,000 5-star ratings, it's safe to say this cool mist humidifier is a cut above the rest. People say it's so quiet, you won't even know it's on.

Canopy

Canopy Humidifier

Attractive and chic, the Canopy humidifier is touted as the only anti-mold humidifier. It can be disassembled and placed in the dishwasher which earns it a must-have ranking in our book.