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Air conditioning: how does it affect the skin?

It's effective in keeping us cool, but how does air conditioning affect our complexion? An Expert gives us the lowdown

Before we know it summer will be upon us and the heat, in typical British fashion, will be the topic of conversation. However, before you dust off the fan or, if you’re lucky enough, crank up the air conditioning, have you considered how cool air systems can affect the skin? We spoke with Aesthetic Practitioner and EV Expert, Dr Raquel Amado, to get the lowdown.

What impact can air conditioning have on skin?

Air conditioning can be really drying for our skin, especially if you have a condition such as acne, eczema or rosacea–any condition that is inflammatory will get worse when the ambient temperature is dry.

Can air conditioning cause or exacerbate skin conditions? 

Anyone suffering with rosacea will know that this time of the year is the worst because of the difference between hot and cold. Our skin really suffers with differences in temperature, becoming dehydrated and sensitive, so again with air conditioning we will exacerbate any inflammatory condition that is present in the skin.

How does moving between temperatures affect skin?

You could potentially use a humidifier or an air purifier in the room to help, and I would also suggest drinking more water but ultimately, it's products that are going to make the biggest difference. Layering skin nurturing products that don’t contain any sulphates or parabens are going to help repair the very function and that is impacted when your skin is dehydrated from the difference in temperature and the air con itself.

How can you protect skin from the effects of air con?

Keeping your skin moisturised is really important to keep the barrier function of the skin intact. For that, the skin needs nurturing and ceramides to boost your skin’s moisture levels, because the air conditioning is taking that moisture out but we also want to lock the moisture back in. I would recommend using a hydrating, calming serum such as AlumierMD Calm-R, followed by a nice, rich moisturiser that is going to help to lock that moisture inside the skin.

How can you repair skin that’s been impacted?

I recommend a hydrating mask once a week or twice a week depending on how dry the skin is; the aim is to improve overall hydration. I also recommend in-clinic treatments such as Profhilo, which is almost like an injectable moisturiser and which will help to keep that moisture in. I would also recommend a course of polynucleotides to help improve the skin’s barrier function and keep the skin well hydrated from within. However, continued use of good skincare is also important.

Raquel Amado, Director

I am a personal aesthetic doctor who helps professional women to improve and delay the signs of ageing, boosting their...

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