Subscribe and Save $25 with our new Filter + Aroma Subscription! New orders ship week of Apr 4th. Free shipping! Subscribe and Save $25 with our new Filter + Aroma Subscription! New orders ship week of Apr 4th. Free shipping on all orders!

Posts tagged "Skincare"

The Benefits of a Humidifier in the Winter Months

The Benefits of a Humidifier in the Winter Months

Winter bites. The cold, dry winter air can feel like it is actually biting your nose, cracking your skin, and generally making life harder than it should be. 

While you can’t change the weather, you can control your home environment and make living conditions more comfortable. Using a humidifier in your home during the winter months brings a bevy of benefits that may have you saying “hey! I wouldn’t mind a few more months of winter.” 

Who would have thought?

What are the Benefits of a Humidifier in the Winter Months?

Placing a humidifier in the most commonly used rooms of your home during the winter months can help to improve dry throat and cough, reduce static electricity, rehydrate dry or flaky skin, and kill common winter viruses. 

Let’s get into the details. 

Benefit #1: improve dry throat and cough from dry, winter air.

Ever wondered why you experience a dry throat or chronic cough during the winter months? The cold air that accompanies winter reduces the moisture content in the nasal passage and throat, leading to congestion, a dry or itchy throat, or an uncomfortable cough.  

Increasing the relative humidity (RH) levels in your home can help to lubricate your nasal passage and throat, helping to reduce inflammation and improve your breathing. 

Benefit #2: reduce static electricity build-up.

The dry, cold air of the winter months increases the build-up of static electricity. Why is this the case? Dry air binds electrons to surfaces with a strong force. Over time, electrons build-up until they reach a critical maximum, in which case they discharge. This discharge causes a shock upon contact that is, for lack of better words: super annoying. 

Increasing the moisture level of the air in your home helps to reduce the strength of the bond between electrons and the surfaces on which they build. The result is an almost unnoticeable discharge meaning no shocks and less static electricity.

Benefit #3: rehydrate dry or flaky winter skin. 

Dry, cold air causes an acceleration of water loss from the skin into the atmosphere. When your skin loses water more rapidly than it can be replaced by natural moisturizers (sweat and sebum), you will experience dry skin. When you experience dry skin for an extended period of time, this can lead to cracking, bleeding, or trigger a flareup of common skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema. 

Humidifiers are exceptionally effective for dry, flaky skin during the winter months and can help you to maintain healthy, hydrated skin all year long. 

Benefit #4: kill common viruses prominent in the winter months.

Air with less than 40% RH can increase your chances of viral infection by interfering with the body’s immune function, increasing the amount of time a virus can “float” in the air, and increasing the survival rate of the virus in your home. 

Regular use of a humidifier to maintain optimal humidity levels can help to reduce the survival rate of viruses in your home and decrease the chances of illness during the winter months. 

Which is the Best Humidifier During Winter?

Choosing the best humidifier during winter months is crucial to keep you and your family comfortable despite the cold, dry weather. 

You should consider output, tank size, and maintenance requirements when choosing the best humidifier for your home. 

Sufficient Output 

One of the most important features when choosing a humidifier for your home during the winter months is output. A larger-sized room requires a humidifier with more output than a smaller-sized room. 

Let’s say that you plan to place your humidifier in your bedroom since this is the room in which you spend the most time. If your room is 400 square feet, then you need a humidifier with at least a 400 square foot output to sufficiently raise RH levels in your bedroom. For reference, Canopy humidifiers have a 500 square foot output, which will effectively humidify an average-sized room.

Larger Tank = Longer Run Time

When choosing the best humidifier for a healthy winter season, you need a device with a moderate to large-sized tank. The larger the water tank, the longer your humidifier can run, uninterrupted. Bonus: the longer the run time, the less often you have to refill the water tank. Win, win.

Make sure to check the tank size and run time before making your purchase. For example, our Canopy humidifier has a 2.5 liter tank with up to 36 hours of run time. This equates to almost 5 nights with no tank refill at an average of 8 hours of sleep per night.  

Low Maintenance

During the dry, winter months, you are likely to run your humidifier more often than during the summer months. More frequent usage means more frequent maintenance for most humidifiers, including daily wipe-down, weekly deep cleaning, and scheduled filter replacement. 

You want to invest in a high quality, low maintenance humidifier for your winter needs. The less arduous the cleaning process, the more likely you are to avoid cleaning fatigue. Our Canopy humidifier is as low maintenance as it gets. Our proprietary SPA (Smart Persistent Airflow) technology prevents mold from growing inside the unit. All Canopy humidifier parts that touch water (apart from the paper filter) are dishwasher safe, reducing manual cleaning time. We also offer a filter subscription service, which delivers a new filter to your home every 45 days - no Google Calendar reminders necessary.

Additional Benefits of Using a Humidifier

Regular use of a humidifier during the winter months is guaranteed to increase your overall health and comfortability despite environmental conditions. 

You now know that humidifiers will improve dry, itchy throat and cough, reduce static electricity in your home, hydrate dry or flaky skin on your face and body, and reduce the spread of common winter viruses. But, did you know that there are even more benefits unrelated to regular humidifier use during the winter months? 

Maintaining RH (relative humidity) levels between 40% and 60% throughout the year can improve skin conditions and common breathing problems in babies and children, and can improve the overall health and vibrancy of your house plants. 

For Babies and Children…

Babies and young children can hugely benefit from a humidifier in their nursery. Humidifiers can help to relieve cold symptoms, ease uncomfortable congestion, and improve dry, sensitive skin in babies and young children. 

It is important to note that the AAP recommends the use of a cool mist humidifier in your child’s nursery as opposed to a vaporizer or steam-based humidifier. Vaporizers are considered a burn hazard, and should not be placed within the reach of a child or a pet for safety.

For Houseplants…

Controlled humidity levels in your home will help your plants thrive. 

If you frequently question why you can’t manage to keep houseplants alive, it may not have anything to do with you, per say. Many houseplants including ferns, orchids, fiddle leaf, and more, require higher levels of humidity to thrive. Placing your plants near or in the same room as your humidifier will help to provide them with the perfect amount of moisture for a long, healthy life.

Tips for Healthy Skin in a Nutshell

Tips for Healthy Skin in a Nutshell

As our largest organ, the skin is in constant contact with the environment. So, everything from extreme temperatures to air pollutants has a massive impact on it. That's why our skin requires meticulous care. Here, we gathered fundamental tips for healthy skin that will help you to develop a skincare routine for every season.

5 Winter Skincare Tips

Use Cream Moisturizers

The combination of cold weather and the indoor heaters dehydrates the skin, so a moisturizer is one of the most crucial winter skincare tips. Moisturizers alleviate dehydration by attracting water from the air into the epidermis and slowing evaporation from the surface [1]. Because harsh winter months mean drier skin, you should use a cream moisturizer rather than a lotion, as the higher oil concentration creates an extra-protective barrier.

Lukewarm Water

Cold winter months might make you tempted to take long and steamy showers, but you should resist this urge. When hot water contacts your skin, it damages the keratin cells on the outer layer and removes their natural moisturizing factor (NMF) content, disrupting the protective barrier that traps moisture. The result is dry skin vulnerable to cracks and eczema. An alternative skincare tip for winter is to opt for lukewarm water, around 85 to 95oF. That way, you can cleanse your skin without damaging the epidermis.

Exfoliate Gently

Your skin cells are prone to dying because of excessive dehydration in winter, so you need to strip them away to make room for new cells to develop and absorb moisture. That said, you should go easy on exfoliation to protect the integrity of the skin barrier, especially if your skin is sensitive. Gentle exfoliators for winter include jojoba beads that remove dead skin through rubbing and lactic acid that chemically breaks apart dead skin cells.

Healthy Fats

Your diet has a significant role in retaining the skin moisture levels, and healthy fats are essential components of that diet. Research suggests that foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids can promote collagen production and prevent skin cancer [2]. Another natural remedy amongst winter skincare tips is avocado. Packed with antioxidants and vitamins E-C, avocado prevents collagen and lipid breakdown, keeping the skin hydrated and repairing existing skin damage [3].

Humidifier

Besides your skincare routine and diet, your surroundings can affect the skin drastically. Indoor heaters cause a drop in the moisture levels, so you need a humidifier to counteract that. By releasing humidity into the air, a humidifier can raise the moisture level and provide your skin with the hydration it needs.

5 Summer Skincare Tips

Use Lotion Moisturizers

Moisturizing is a year-round skincare routine, but the most suitable moisturizer type depends on the weather. The winter creams, which form a protective barrier and prevent water from escaping, can leave your skin yearning for breath. In turn, your pores can get clogged, leading to blackheads and acne. That's why you should opt for lotions with a higher water-to-oil ratio to maintain optimum moisture while allowing your pores to breathe.

Exfoliate For Clean Pores

Because your sebaceous glands are more active in summer, your skin produces more oil that can trap bacteria and cause congestion in your pores. You can tackle this by using an exfoliator -with caution. When overused, chemical exfoliators containing glycolic acid can damage the skin barrier and expose it to sunlight. So, you should use them at night time if possible. 

USE Sunscreen

Using sunscreen is a must to protect the skin against sunlight, but more so during summer. The UVA and UVB rays were found to generate free radicals in the body, causing inflammation, early aging, and skin cancer. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or higher can absorb or reflect both UV lights (depending on its formulation) with 97-98% efficiency. So, don't forget to apply sunscreen regularly throughout the day.

Antioxidants

Increasing the antioxidants in your diet can help your body combat the free radicals caused by UV exposure. By binding to these free radicals, antioxidants prevent them from damaging the skin cell DNA. For example, scientists found the scavenging effects of lycopene in tomato against sunburn-related blisters and swelling [4]. Besides tomato, there is a plethora of food containing antioxidants, including citrus, green vegetables, green tea, whole grains, and nuts.

Blue Light Therapy

One extra nudge to combat acne in summer is blue light therapy. Studies showed that the wavelength of blue light boasts antimicrobial properties and can kill bacteria accumulating in pores [5]. In clinic trials, applying this therapy for five weeks resulted in a 77% acne reduction in participants [6]. Today, blue light therapy is FDA-approved and can be applied by a dermatologist.

How to Develop a Skincare Routine

Regardless of the time of the year, a healthy skincare routine comprises a few essential components. Here are the main steps for developing a skincare routine.

Cleansing

First and foremost, you need to remove the airborne pollutants, dirt, and bacteria from your skin. This step involves the usage of cleansers and exfoliators to wipe away impurities.

Toning

Toners are, quite frankly, supplements for skincare. Boasting a combination of hydroxy acids, vitamins, peptides, and ceramides, toners can tackle any skin damage from moisture loss and inflammation to aging and dark spots.

Moisturizing

Finally, you should apply a moisturizer to prevent water loss through the epidermis. The right type of moisturizer will vary depending on your skin type and the climate in your area.

SPF

A morning skincare routine cannot be complete without sunscreen application, especially if you are going out during the day.

Conclusion

Establishing a healthy skin care routine can be intricate and overwhelming. However, if you know the essential steps for every season and the best ingredients for your skin type, your skin quality will improve significantly.

 

 

 

 

[1] Purnamawati, Schandra et al. “The Role of Moisturizers in Addressing Various Kinds of Dermatitis: A Review.” Clinical medicine & research vol. 15,3-4 (2017): 75-87. doi:10.3121/cmr.2017.1363

[2] Pilkington, Suzanne Margaret, and Lesley Elizabeth Rhodes. "Omega-3 fatty acids and skin." Nutrition for Healthy Skin. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2010. 91-107.

[3] Werman, M. J., et al. "The effect of various avocado oils on skin collagen metabolism." Connective tissue research 26.1-2 (1991): 1-10.

[4] Rizwan, M., et al. "Tomato paste rich in lycopene protects against cutaneous photodamage in humans in vivo: a randomized controlled trial." British Journal of Dermatology 164.1 (2011): 154-162.

[5] Gold, Michael H et al. “Clinical Efficacy of Self-applied Blue Light Therapy for Mild-to-Moderate Facial Acne.” The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology vol. 2,3 (2009): 44-50.

[6] Dai, Tianhong et al. “Blue light for infectious diseases: Propionibacterium acnes, Helicobacter pylori, and beyond?.” Drug resistance updates : reviews and commentaries in antimicrobial and anticancer chemotherapy vol. 15,4 (2012): 223-36. doi:10.1016/j.drup.2012.07.001

Humidifier vs. Dehumidifier

Humidifier vs. Dehumidifier

Humidity plays a crucial role in your overall health. Generally, Mother Nature regulates humidity levels through shifting seasons to create a natural balance for all living things. 

Sometimes, however, our home environment goes “rogue” and humidity levels get wonky. When this happens, a humidifier or a dehumidifier comes in handy to restore homeostasis.  

What is a Humidifier?

A humidifier is a device that releases moisture into the air to increase relative humidity (RH). 

Humidifiers are generally classified into three categories: ultrasonic, evaporative, or steam-based. Each category of humidifier releases moisture into your space though the technology varies. 

Ultrasonic humidifiers vibrate a metal diaphragm at sonic speed to create water droplets, which are fanned into the room. 

Evaporative humidifiers suck air from the surrounding room into the device. This air is passed through a moistened wick, which binds water droplets to the air molecules. The newly moist air is then fanned back into the room. 

Steam based humidifiers boil water from a tank reservoir into vapor. This vapor is released into the room with a slightly elevated temperature. 

What is a Dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier is the polar opposite of a humidifier. While a humidifier increases RH in a particular environment, a dehumidifier reduces RH and removes excess moisture in the air

Dehumidifiers work by sucking warm, humid air from a room into the device. This humid air runs over a cold, metal coil, which condenses the moisture into liquid form. This condensation drips through a pipe into a water tank while the fresh, moisture-free air is fanned out through the device and back into the room. 

A dehumidifier is a great tool for your home, particularly if you live in warm, tropical climates or if you recently suffered a moderate to severe pipe leak or flooding in your home. The dehumidifying device will help to remove excess moisture in the air, which accelerates the drying process and prevents the growth of mold or bacteria.

Similarities and Differences

The end goal of both a humidifier and a dehumidifier is the same: achieve optimal relative humidity. But, the similarities end there.

A humidifier and a dehumidifier serve opposite functions. A humidifier will increase the relative humidity of a space to counteract dry conditions while a dehumidifier decreases the relative humidity of a space to combat excessive moisture. 

Usage

Generally speaking, unless you live on a tropical island or an iceberg in Antarctica, you will need both a humidifier and a dehumidifier in your wellness toolkit. 

These devices bode well when used seasonally, though your environment and circumstance may warrant alternative usage. A humidifier is beneficial all year round. In the winter months, cold air and high winds reduce environmental moisture. In the summer, many people use air conditioning which can lower the relative humidity indoors. A dehumidifier is useful during the warmer months in certain areas when humidity levels skyrocket and excess moisture in the air makes living conditions uncomfortable. 

The Health Benefits

A true Goldilocks scenario, humidity must be just right to maintain a healthy environment. 

Humidity levels that are too low can cause dry skin, congestion, sore throat, nose bleeds, accelerated skin aging, and more. Humidity levels that are too high interfere with transepidermal water loss (TEWL), preventing the body from properly cooling itself and leading to overheating. The side effects of overheating are fatigue, light-headedness, muscle cramps, and more. 

In addition to overheating, high levels of humidity create a breeding ground for bacteria, viruses, dust mites and mold. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, these “triggers” can cause severe episodes. 

Humidity levels between 40% and 60% are considered “optimal” to reap the full health benefits. So, what exactly are the health benefits of humidity within an optimal range? Let’s go through the key categories. 

For Asthma

As mentioned above, high levels of humidity breed asthma triggers like dust mites and mold; these triggers can worsen common asthma symptoms or cause recurring asthma attacks. On the other hand, low levels of humidity can dry the nasal passage causing congestion, which can also trigger an asthma attack. 

Incorporating a humidifier or a dehumidifier in your home can help to reduce your chances of experiencing an asthma attack or at least ease your asthma symptoms. Additionally, incorporating an air purifier in your home can further benefit asthmatics by reducing common household allergens. 

For Allergies

Calling all allergy sufferers! 

If you suffer from moderate to severe allergies, excess humidity can exacerbate your allergy symptoms. If humidity levels in your home plunge below 40%, however, this can also worsen your allergy symptoms. It seems like you just cannot win, doesn’t it?

Fortunately, regular use of a humidifier or dehumidifier in your home can help to keep your allergy symptoms at bay by regulating mucus membranes, clearing congestion, and preventing bacteria and mold from triggering an allergy attack.

For Skin

You have undoubtedly experienced the effects of low humidity on your skin at some point in time. Dry conditions can lead to skin cracking, bleeding in severe cases, and Psoriasis or Eczema flare-ups. 

Higher levels of humidity can also cause a host of skin conditions. Excess moisture is not only a breeding ground for bacteria in your home, but also the surface of your skin. If you suffer from existing acne or cystic acne, higher levels of humidity can trigger new breakouts. 

Placing a humidifier or a dehumidifier in your home can drastically improve your overall skin health over time.

Instagram