What levels of the Dry Skin Index initiate dry-skin formation?

A fundamental issue impacting our personal skin care is the inability to sense the magnitude of drying stresses on skin. This really inhibits the timely and effective use of skin moisturizers and/or humidifier. The Dry Skin Index (DSI) measures these stresses, which are conveniently monitored using Dermidia’s DSI Sense + smartphone app. But what levels of the Dry Skin Index might trigger dry-skin formation?

The Dry Skin Index is broken down into five stress categories ranging from very low to very high. Previously we identified the optimum relative humidity associated hydrated skin, but not the DSI levels at which people should begin to hydrate skin. Fortunately, data derived from a study by Jin et al. (2021) allows us to identity key threshold levels.

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Humidifier

When should you turn on a humidifier to hydrate your skin?

Each year people in the USA conduct Internet searches on Google for the term “humidifier” [see chart below]. These searches are seasonal in nature and coincide with the drying trends in the weather that impact indoor air. Internet searches for “humidifier” are also seasonally correlated with searches for “dry skin”, which makes sense because people use humidifiers to deal with dry skin and other conditions related to dry indoor air. Depending on your situation, you can decide to turn on your humidifier when:

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Treat dry skin to reduce proinflammatory cytokines contributing to age-related diseases

Keeping your skin hydrated as you age is necessary to maintain your skin’s barrier function and inhibit the formation of dry skin. Research now indicates that a collateral benefit of hydrating skin care is a reduction in proinflammatory cytokines circulating in blood. These agents in blood plasma have been associated with inflammaging, which is low level, subclinical inflammation prevalent in aging populations.

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Water Vapor Levels in Air and Your Skin

We know that water vapor in outdoor air continually enters a residence and changes the level of indoor relative humidity. Consequently, there should be a direct connection between local weather conditions, for example the concentration of water vapor in outdoor air, and people’s tendency to have dry skin caused by exposures to indoor humidity and temperature stressors.

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