Humidifiers As Part Of Your Winter Skincare Regimen

By Minji

  • During the dry and cold winter months, humidifiers should be part of your daily skincare regimen
  •  A humidifier pumps moisture into the air and can help keep your skin well-hydrated
  • In particular, make sure you have it on at night while your skin is regenerating 

I love living in sunny LA, but one of the things I sorely miss is seeing the distinct visual change in seasons.  For example, when I lived in NYC, every winter morning, in addition to feeling winter, I could see winter too.  People bundled up in cozy coats, snow on the streets, and the grand Christmas tree and skaters in Rockefeller center never failed to remind me what time of year it was.  In Seoul, it’s even more distinct with street vendors on every corner pumping out hot steam and selling you warm roasted sweet potatoes, chestnuts or fish-shaped red bean bread. Yum!

One other tell-tale sign unique to Seoul in the winter time is humidifiers everywhere.  I’m not talking just in private homes or spas – you see them at work, restaurants, banks… basically anywhere people gather inside to avoid the cold outside.

I remember how at the beginning of every winter season, as you could start to feel the dry and cold air kicking in, my mom would carefully bring out 5-6 humidifiers from storage – one for each room and daughter.  They would be on all day and night gurgling up warm moisture…as part of our winter skincare regimen.  Yup, in our house, humidifiers weren’t for just sinus issues or to combat colds, they were an essential part of our daily winter time skincare regimen. 

During the cold and dry winter months, the air in the environment carries less moisture and this could have the effect of drying out your skin as well.  Especially, if you crank up the heater to alleviate the cold, this will further dry up the air and your skin.  A humidifier can help prevent this by pumping more moisture into the air … and in turn, your skin.  For this reason, humidifiers are regularly recommended to people with dry skin issues in general or with conditions like eczema and psoriasis.  Remember, humidifiers were also #6 in Dr. Yoon's top 10 2020 skincare resolutions!

So in the winter months, in addition to being vigilant about moisturizing as part of your daily skincare routine, I highly encourage you to invest in a solid humidifier and use it daily to keep your skin well-hydrated and radiant. In particular, make sure you have it on at night.  Since you're sleeping you might be bothered by the dry air less, but it's important to remember that our skin does the bulk of its repairing, restoring and regenerating as we sleep and so you want to create the best environment for that critical process.  Also make sure you’re drinking enough water and detoxifying teas, and you should be all set with the hydrating trifecta.

I hate to leave you on a nagging note, but as annoying as it is, please make sure you take the time and effort to regularly clean your humidifier too.  Ladies – I hate it as much as you and I’ve searched high and low in efforts to find a good humidifier that doesn’t require cleaning…but it’s a mythical unicorn.  Humidifiers generally need to be cleaned once a week.  If you skip the cleaning and maintenance, they can become a breeding ground for all sorts of nasties like bacteria, fungi, yeast and mold, which could do more harm than good.  Make sure you follow the instructions that come with your humidifier of choice and never let the winter cold bring you, or your skin, down!