Women applying skincare products in living room

Do Air Conditioners Cause Dry Skin?

Dry, flaky skin isn’t just uncomfortable—and it’s not just a winter issue. Many environmental factors can contribute to dry skin, from the weather to our own indoor climate control. Did you know your home’s air conditioning could contribute to dryer, more sensitive skin? If the return of warm weather has you wondering whether there’s anything you can do about the AC, it’s time to clear the air about summer comfort and your skin. 

Does Air Conditioning Dry Out Your Skin?

If you’ve been wondering if air conditioning dries out your skin, there is a good chance you’ve dealt with dry, irritated skin during previous summers. Frequent air conditioning use can impact the skin, especially during hot weather. This is because air conditioners remove moisture from the air. While this is great for feeling more comfortable on muggy days, it can also be overly drying for skin, leading to roughness, itchiness, and irritation. 

Air conditioning can also reduce the production of natural oils in the skin, which ordinarily helps maintain the skin’s moisture barrier and keep it hydrated. Decreased oil production is problematic because the skin can become dry and dull without the additional support. 

Woman assembling Canopy humidifier

While frequent exposure to air conditioning can have a real impact on your skin, there are things you can do to minimize the effects and maintain healthy skin throughout the summer. 

Can Air Conditioning Cause Itchy Skin?

Aside from air conditioning contributing to dryness, it can also make skin more reactive. If you have sensitive skin, it means your skin type is naturally more prone to irritation. If your skin is sensitized, then it’s temporarily reacting to an external condition. In both cases, AC exposure could be the culprit.

Cold air from the air conditioner can cause the blood vessels in the skin to constrict, which may lead to redness and increased sensitivity, especially for those with rosacea or eczema.

What to Do About Dry Skin in Air Conditioning

While air conditioning can contribute to dry skin, there is little reason to worry—trying to stay comfortable during the summer won’t automatically doom you to a life of itching and irritation. In fact, there are several ways to keep your skin hydrated and healthy while using air conditioning. Here are a few tips for how to keep skin hydrated while enjoying the cool air. 

Stay Hydrated

Did you know proper hydration is essential for maintaining skin moisture? Drinking adequate water throughout the day will keep your body hydrated and benefit your skin. You can also use a face mist for an extra burst of hydration and relief if your skin starts feeling dry and tight. Look for a mist with ingredients that promote moisture retention for longer lasting results.

Use Moisturizer

Regular moisturizing lotion can help replenish moisture lost due to an air conditioner and even create a protective barrier on your skin. Look for oil-based options or ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or ceramides, which help lock in moisture. 

Control Your Exposure

Air conditioning might seem unavoidable during much of the season, but you have some control over how much of the airflow directly touches your skin. Try positioning yourself away from the vents. You can also cover exposed areas with lightweight clothing to provide a barrier between the cool air and your skin. 

Limiting exposure to air conditioning for extended periods by taking breaks and spending time in humid areas will allow the skin to balance moisture levels. 

Use a Humidifier

If you’re worried about your bedroom or home office becoming a dry skin zone, this tip is for you. Adding a humidifier to your air conditioning setup can help restore moisture to the air, especially in a small space. Humidifiers release moisture into the air, preventing excessive dryness and keeping your skin hydrated.

There are several benefits of humidification when using an air conditioner. Proper humidification helps skin maintain its natural protective barrier, which reduces the chance of moisture loss and improves your skin’s overall health and appearance. Humidification can also minimize skin irritation, reducing redness, inflammation, and itching. 

Air conditioning is non-negotiable for many people during the scorching summer months. Let Canopy help you find the right balance between coolness and true comfort. Choose the original humidifier for rooms up to 500 square feet or the Humidifier Plus for spaces up to 1,000 square feet and get ready to enjoy mistless hydration all season long.