What is the key to having soft, dewy skin (and clear sinuses, and healthy houseplants) in the dry winter months? No, it’s not a $475 skin cream. It’s a humidifier. I purchased mine last year at the recommendation of my doctor, who basically told me that I could buy a humidifier or get on the waiting list for sinus surgery. I drove straight from her office to the store and picked up the model you see above, which is made by Sunbeam. While I was in line the woman in front of me noticed my purchase and said, “Oh, that is the best humidifier. It saved my pianos and guitars!”
I fashioned a stand for my humidifier out of a storage box and an Ikea cushion, as I didn’t want it to sit right on my carpet (I dream of hardwood floors!). I fill the reservoir with water (I think you’re supposed to use distilled water but I use filtered tap water) and turn it on. Within minutes the humidifier begins to produce steam, and the reservoir holds enough water to keep the hydration going overnight in my very large, very dry bedroom. Considering that my house is so dry that my houseplants disintegrate, the positive effects of the steam are noticeable after just one night, and after a few days of nightly use my skin, nails, sinuses, musical instruments and houseplants are all feeling a whole lot better.
If you have dry skin and you’re not already using a humidifier, give it a try! You can thank me later (by liking my Facebook page!).
There are two other things that can make the dry winter months a little more comfortable. First, I would suggest looking for organic essential oils that can be used in conjunction with your new humidifier. Choose a humidifier that has a small recess near where the steam comes out for “medicine”. If your humidifier doesn’t have one then you’re out of luck, as it’s not hygienic to pour essential oils into the reservoir or onto the heating unit. Most health food stores will have an essential oil blend with ingredients like peppermint and eucalyptus that scent the steam and help your sinuses feel like they’re clearing, but of course you can also blend your own.
The other thing that I couldn’t live without is Gloves in a Bottle hand lotion. I read about this online a few years ago and immediately made the trek to my local art supply store to buy a bottle. This is unlike any hand cream you have used before. You see, traditional hand lotions try to coat your hands with a layer of moisture to replace the moisture you already lost to the dry air. Gloves in a Bottle works completely differently; it keeps your hands from losing their moisture in the first place. My hands used to get so dry that my knuckles would crack and bleed. Every lotion that I tried (even the ones recommended by the pharmacist) made my hands feel nice for half an hour or so, but then they would dry out again. Gloves in a Bottle, applied in the morning before I head out to work or play, keeps my hands feeling soft for the entire day. A small bottle of this stuff costs $8 where I live and lasts me all winter (really- you don’t have to keep re-applying because it actually does what it says and locks in the moisture all day!). In a world of $475 face cream, why wouldn’t you give this $8 moisture miracle a chance?