Is Air Conditioning Bad for Your Skin? Here’s What You Should Know
Air conditioning is a literal godsend during the hot and sticky summer months. Although it may be tempting to want to crank it up and bask in its refreshingly cool breeze, doing so could have a negative impact not only on your wallet but also on the appearance of your skin. Just like indoor heating, air conditioning can zap the moisture in the air, causing a dry or dehydrated complexion over time.
We’re not going to suggest that you suffer in a room without air conditioning if you don’t have to this summer, but with the help of Dr. Nazanin Saedi, a Philadelphia-based, board-certified dermatologist, we are sharing some recommendations for how you can keep your skin hydrated and happy while you stay cool.
How Air Conditioning Affects Skin
“Air conditioners pull moisture out of the air in the room to reduce the humidity in the room,” says Dr. Saedi. “When the air in the room is dry, it makes your skin drier by pulling the water out of the skin.” A dry, dehydrated complexion can also make the skin appear dull and uneven and fine lines and wrinkles look more pronounced.
How to Help Combat the Effects of Air Conditioning on Skin
Exposure to air conditioning is just one reason why, yes, you still need to moisturize in the summer. Dr. Saedi recommends looking for a lightweight formula that contains ceramides, hyaluronic acid or, better yet, both. “Ceramides help to strengthen the skin barrier and hyaluronic acid helps keep the moisture in your skin,” she explains.
The CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion contains both ingredients and is oil-free and non-comedogenic. For a product that is formulated with hyaluronic acid, Dr. Saedi recommends Vichy Minéral 89, a fragrance-free gel formula that also contains the brand’s proprietary Volcanic Water to help strengthen the skin barrier and protect it from environmental damage.
Another simple way to help prevent dehydration while you sleep is to use a light fabric, suggests Dr. Saedi. A heavy fabric can actually absorb moisture and your skin-care products from your face, so stick to light cotton or silk.
Photo: Chaunte Vaughn