.As the temperature of the globe heats up so does the humidity. For every 1 degree celsius increase in global temperature there is a 6% increase in the atmospheric water vapour. This quantity of water droplets in the air is referred to as the humidity level. To maintain healthy skin, you must maintain the right mix of humid and dry conditions. Too much or too little humidity can have a negative impact on skin health. When the humidity level is low, your skin will feel dry and rough, and when the humidity level is too high, your skin may become more prone to acne and rashes.
All skin types can undergo dehydration due to environmental conditions. The ideal water content in the stratum corneum is 15%. There are two types of water content in the skin static and dynamic. Static water is bound in the corneocytes and held in place by natural moisturising factors and dynamic or free water which is located between the intercellular lipid membranes.
Keeping the skin optimally hydrated is the first step to keeping skin healthy. Lack of appropriate hydration due to climate will result in increased sensitivity and impaired barrier function resulting in greater chance of skin disease.
This week we look at how high humidity affects the skin and how we can help.
High humidity can feel very oppressive and make the hot weather feel a lot worse. The high humidity stops sweat from readily evaporating from our skin and interrupts the bodies natural ability to cool itself. As a result of this the skin is prone to a number of issues.
Acne, oily skin and breakouts
Humidity envelops the skin with heat and moisture, which can lead to open pores, an increase in oil production, congestion and breakouts. When it's humid, your skin loses less water, which means it stays hydrated longer but you perspire more, which causes pores to get blocked, and this creates the perfect environment for acne and breakouts, particularly if your skin is already prone to acne and excessive oil.
Anhidrosis is a skin disorder when a person cannot sweat due to a lack of sweat glands. This skin condition is more common in hot and humid climates. The ability of the skin to sweat diminishes when exposed to high levels of humidity. When sweat is unable to evaporate, it remains in the sweat ducts and causes them to get clogged and because of the blockage, your skin is unable to sweat.
Heat rashes also known as prickly heat and miliaria are similar to acne in that they form as a result of excessive warmth and sweat due to humid conditions. Heat rashes develop when the sweat ducts in your body get blocked as a result of excessive sweating. The sweat becomes trapped in the skin and a rash of little red pimples appears all over your body, making you itchy and very unpleasant. Heat rash usually goes away as the skin cools down.
How to help your skin when its humid
Try to stay cool. Drink lots of cold water and keep cold flannel to hand. For your skin regime regular exfoliation and the use of a light hydrating face mist throughout the day will help reduce excess sebum, surface debris, and also help to unclog the pores. Cleansing am and pm is recommended for all skin types during high humidity periods.
Make sure you keep the skin hydrated by using a light weight serum containing hyaluronic acid.