If You're Waking Up With Dry Skin Or Congestion, This Could Be Why
You'd think waking up with dry skin and a stuffy nose would be reserved for dry winter climates, but that's not always the case. In fact, there's a surprising reason your winter woes could happen year-round. The sneaky cause: sleeping next to a fan or AC unit. Prepare to be blown away (pun intended).
Why sleeping with a fan can cause congestion & dry skin
Why so? As Chiu notes in the post, that stream of air can cause a host of problems, including headaches, stiff neck, facial palsy, cold and flu, dry skin, and, yes, sinus congestion.
If you don't notice anything off with your sinuses or skin health, it's probably not a problem; but she notes that anyone who frequently gets colds or flu, like children and elderly folks, should be even more vigilant.
What to do about it
Not everyone can simply turn their fan off at night without entering a full-blown heat panic at 4 a.m. Instead, Chiu simply suggests pointing your fan or AC unit in a different direction, away from your head and body.
This way, the air can still circulate without wreaking havoc on your skin and sinuses.
If your fan or AC unit is not movable, consider adjusting your bed placement in your room or even where you lay your head to avoid direct wind on your face.
As for skin health, you'll want to double down on hydrating efforts when using a fan or AC unit to protect your skin from TEWL. Below, a few suggestions:
- Get a humidifier: Humidifiers can add moisture to the air, helping with a number of problems including dry skin, dry nose, etc. Here's a list of our favorite humidifiers for sinus problems if you're in the market for a new one.
- Take a hyaluronic acid supplement: This tip can make a huge difference in the resiliency of your skin barrier function. In addition, your natural reserve of HA diminishes3 with age, so you may feel effects like dry skin. This ingredient also plays a key role in helping joints feel lubricated4, potentially supporting joint health as we age. Here, a carefully curated list of the best hyaluronic acid supplements and why they work for skin and joint health.
- Slug your skin with natural oils: Finally, consider slugging your skin before bed. Rather than reaching for a petroleum-based ointment, consider applying an occlusive botanical oil or blend as the final step in your skin care routine. More on slugging here if you're curious.
Waking up with dry skin and a stuffy nose could be caused by an AC unit or fan blowing directly on your face. To avoid this discomfort, point your fan away from your body or move your bed to avoid the direct breeze. Here, more ways to keep your skin optimally hydrated all year long.
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty & Health Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including skin care, women’s health, mental health, sustainability, social media trends, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends and innovations, women’s health research, brain health news, and plenty more.