Summer is almost here. As always, expect the weather to be hot. The Weather Channel warned that the next couple of weeks would be hotter than usual. From June through August, the majority of the United States will experience soaring temperatures.
A major factor that influences the weather in the United States is the incoming La Niña, which is a cold event that brings more rains in Southeast Asia but leads to really hot summers in most of western and northern United States.
In short, it is expected to get really hot this summer.
Many people tend to spend more time indoors where the air conditioning is turned on to escape the summer sun. About three-quarters of all homes in the United States own and use an air conditioner.
While it cools the body, air conditioning is not always good for you, especially your skin. It can create skin concerns, such as dryness, itching, irritation, clogged pores and acne, and premature aging. Here are all the ways air conditioning affects your skin and how you can combat it this summer.
The Quality of Indoor Air
Your house is not entirely free of pollution. While you cannot see them, pollutants are floating indoors, circling around your home through your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. It could be causing problems with your skin.
When your skin comes in contact with poor air quality, adverse reactions occur. Some people reported that unhealthy air triggered their eczema, caused hives, and worsened acne breakouts.
Pollutants in indoor air could also exacerbate existing respiratory conditions.
It is in your best interest to make sure that the air you breathe indoors is clean. However, when the air conditioning is on, windows and doors are closed most of the time to maintain a cool temperature. That means that the house is not letting pollutants out and fresh air is not getting in.
So, what can you do? First and most intuitively, clean your air conditioner. In winter, it is advised that households clean and repair their furnace to ensure that the dust and soot that has collected will not spread around the house. Similarly, before you start running your air conditioner for summer, you have to ensure that the device is ready for use. Experts recommend having a professional technician check the air conditioning system in the house, make repairs, and clean it if needed.
In addition, using an air purifier with high-efficiency particulate arresting (HEPA) filters will also remove pollutants from indoor air. Moreover, it still is important to open the windows every once in a while to freshen up the indoor air.
Dry Indoor Air
Like your furnace, your air conditioning is removing moisture off of the indoor air. This leads to dry skin.
That is why, despite the heat, it is necessary to still apply moisturizer. If you are spending more time indoors with air conditioning, your skin is being deprived of hydration. Hence, use moisturizer twice a day. You can also add a hydrating mist to spray on your skin in between washes.
Many people also use a humidifier to re-inject moisture back into air-conditioned air. That way, your skin remains hydrated throughout the day.
Do not forget your eyes! Dry air can lead to dry eyes, which will become red and itchy. Every time you rub your eyes, you are speeding up the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the area. The skin around your eyes is very thin. You will gain crow’s feet early because you keep rubbing your dry eyes. So, use eye drops to provide relief.
How to Take Care of Your Skin This Summer
The summer sun is not good for your skin. The best thing you can do to prevent premature aging and skin cancer is to wear sunscreen every day. Anything above SPF 50 will be able to shield you from the harmful rays of the sun.
Many experts also recommend wearing sunscreen indoors. Unless you are staying in a windowless room, sunlight can still penetrate your home and expose your skin to ultraviolet rays.
Most importantly, drink lots of water. The heat will make you sweat even more, making you dehydrated. If you are not getting enough water, your skin will be among the first to be affected. Make sure to drink at least eight glasses of water every day.
The summer sun can wreck your skin, but so does staying inside an air-conditioned room all day. The quality of indoor air can influence your skin and lead to unwanted skin issues, such as acne, dry skin, wrinkles, and many others. It is important to use the right skincare products, make sure that the air is rid of pollutants, and drink lots of water.