When it’s summer, it’s hard to last a day without an air conditioner.
All of us here in the country knows this all too well. Our dependence on air conditioner cannot be denied, especially with statistics to prove it. Research shows that since 2002, the proportion of Singaporean households with AC has continually increased from 71% to 76% in 2012.
By now, this figure may have reached nearly a hundred percent.
But there has been a recurring question in the minds of those who are conscious of their skin condition. “Does air conditioner make our skin dry?”
The scientific answer would be yes.
Air conditioners are known to reduce humidity because humidity carries heat with it. The job of your AC is to cool your room down until it reaches the temperature you’ve set in your thermostat. Making your room cold requires removal of water vapor that carries heat. When vapor is reduced, it makes the room less moist, more cool, and less humid.
The problem is, the absence or lack of moisture in the air makes our skin dry too.
Does that mean you have to choose between turning your air conditioner on to fight off extreme heat and keeping the moisture for the sake of your skin by turning the air conditioner off?
Fortunately, there are ways to keep your skin hydrated and fresh while your air conditioner works to make the environment cold. This is good news for those who work in an air-conditioned office for eight hours or more. Despite the lack of humidity inside your office while your AC works, you can follow these simple tips to keep your skin in good condition.
Always have a moisturizer with you
We know that when our skin’s moisture balance is in chaos, we can expect rashes, pimple breaks, and allergies to follow.
While air conditioner dries out the air inside our home or office, you can keep your skin protected from dryness by having a moisturizer beside you all the time. When you feel that your skin gets a little dry, apply the right amount of moisturizer to keep it revitalized.
Take breaks from air conditioner
While it’s hard to endure just a few minutes outside an air-conditioned room on a hot summer day, it’s mandatory to take breaks from AC if you want to retain moisture in your skin. Too much of something is bad enough, this we know. Eight hours of exposure to air conditioner every day is just too much for your skin to take.
Go out for a walk every two hours. Go to the park nearby or simply go down to the ground floor of the building and let your skin breathe in open air. This will help your skin regain moisture before going back to an air-conditioned room for hours again.
Clean your air conditioner
For those who stay inside the house most of the time, with an AC on 24/7, you have to clean your cooling appliance every once in a while to keep bacteria and impurities from circulating indoors. This dirt can cause skin irritation such as rashes and hives.
Cleaning your air conditioner will also keep it fully-functional even on summer when it works the hardest. Clean or replace the filter. Hire pros to do AC chemical wash in order to clean the coils, internal fans, and other components of your AC that you can’t clean on your own.
The synthetic fiber in your AC’s filter can be a cause for allergy too so better replace it when needed.
Seek the help of a humidifier
With the advent of technology in this day and age, everyone has the power to create humidity at least within the confines of your office cubicle or inside your home. Thanks to humidifiers, we can retain moisture in the air that our skin needs so badly.
There are portable humidifiers that are battery- or usb-operated, making them easy to carry wherever you go. Place one in your office table to maintain a healthy humidity level even while your office AC works.
At home, you can place a basic humidifier in every room or buy a heavy-duty humidifier that’s capable of controlling humidity levels in the whole house.
Another simple tip to take care of your skin while exposed in an air conditioner is to stay hydrated everyday. Work on the inside of your body as you try to control your environment for the sake of your skin.
Know how to address rashes and skin irritation
Finally, equip yourself with knowledge on how to deal with skin dryness and irritation should you fail to follow the abovementioned tips.
Some of the most common remedies we know of are the following. One is the combination of apple cider vinegar and water that you can apply on skin rashes due to dryness. Applying cold yogurt on skin and leaving it for more of less 15 minutes is also a great way to combat rashes. For those with sensitive skin that’s prone to allergies, antihistamine may be your best resort in protecting your skin.