This post was last updated on August 12, 2021 by Preethi Sukumaran
A recent break spent in Kolkata had me appreciating better ,the effect of high humidity on skin. The most important function of the skin is maintaining a barrier against the entry of water into our body and protecting it from invasive foreign, microorganisms. If this barrier is severely damaged (third degree burns for example), we could die due to dehydration as the barrier will be unable to protect the body from severe water loss (and this is important as over 90% of our body contains biological liquid which needs to be kept inside the body).
Only if this barrier layer is kept intact, we can soak in water without damaging our internal organs or getting flooded by invasive, harmful microorganisms. The outermost layer of skin, the Stratum corneum has evolved only to maintain this requirement of maintaining a barrier layer.
The barrier function of the stratum corneum is achieved by 2 types of cellular structure: the intercellular lipid bilayer structure (which is a glue like layer between cells comprising of lipids, fats and fatty acids) and the corneocytes. The corneocytes and the intracellular lipd bilayer together form a brick and mortar structure which prevents the entry of water into the body and protects the biological water in the body from leaving it.
In order to do its barrier function well, the Stratum corneum needs to be in a plasticized state (much like soft chapatti dough), so it needs to hold water within it. This is accomplished by small cells which behave like little water balloons, holding water inside them. These small cells are called natural moisturizing factors . These natural moisturizing factors are found within each corneocyte – and depending upon the number of these small water balloons present per cell, your skin could have a hydration level between 10% – 30% .
The effect of using synthetic surfactants like SLS and other sulphates on your skin:
Dry skin and serious chronic conditions like Dermatits can arise by the constant use of synthetic detergent like substances on your skin and scalp like SLS and SLeS. This can also arise due to high exposure to the sun and UV irradiation of the skin, extremely low humidity and the use of alcohol based substances like deodorants or hand sanitizers on skin.
When your skin is exposed to high degree of sun, frequent use of harsh synthetic cleansers or alcohol based sanitisers, the water content in your skin can reduce to 1/3rd of its normal moisture level, from 30% to 10%!
Specifically, anionic surfactants like SLS, SLeS, ALS (Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate) increase transepidermal water loss, irritate and cause skin inflammation and break its normal barrier function.
Combating high humidity:
Cities which are located near the equator and in coastal areas are among the most humid in the world and most of these cities are found in South & South east asia. So cities like Kolkatta, Chennai, Cochin, Trivadrum, and Vizag, share this warm, sauna like weather with cities like Singapore, Djakarta, and Kuala Lumpur.
The good thing about living in a city with high humidity that this natural abundance of moisture in the air, is great for skin and hair. In normal conditions, this would mean that wrinkles develop much slower, skin is plumper and looks younger longer, and its barrier function is generally much more intact, than say living in a drier city.
But the bad part of living in high humid conditions, is that the sauna like weather, high amount of sweat and discomfort, causes us to opt for stronger and harsher cleansers to give our skin and hair that feeling of cleanliness. Because of this excessive sweating, we also want to wash our skin and hair much more (using terribly bad for you synthetic cleansers). This high humidity, along with high levels of smog and urban pollution create a dirt and grime magnet on skin and hair sparking off conditions like acne, and fungal dandruff.
Over time this works against your skin and hair, and you will find your skin and hair becoming more and more patchy with inconsistent moisture and sebum levels, frizzy and drier hair and dull and lifeless looking skin and hair.
Clean, fresh skin and hair that is healthy – even in humid weather
So if you have been feeling like you have been living in a sauna lately, and are concerned about the effects of chemical cleansers on skin and hair, may I suggest the very awesome range of skin and hair care products from Krya instead?
Our products are made from organic and forest collected herbs, lentils and grains, are inspired by the principles of traditional medicine, and work with and not against your skin and hair structure.
Here are some Krya alternatives you can use for utterly humid weather:
- Krya Women’s Abhyanga Bath powder with Lotus Leaf & Lodhra – One of our extremely popular products and has been used extensively and loved by consumers across humid cities. It helps remove accumulated grime, oil and sweat from skin and is formulated using a mixture of bitter, aromatic and astringent herbs and cleansing grains like Himalayan turmeric, Black horsegram, Himalayan navrangi beans, Nut grass, Lotus Leaf, Rose petals & Bhringaraj. It leaves skin feeling fragrant, fresh, well nourished and with its sebum levels and barrier function intact.
- Krya After Sun Bodywash with Ashwagandha & Arjuna uses our patented mixture of lentils that are steeped in 2 medicated herb decoctions before being processed. To this we add several Skin repair and healing herbs like Ashwagandha and Arjuna which are very helpful in treating specific skin issues that arise from excessive sun exposure like spotting, blemishes, skin irritation and inflammation. We also add pitta reducing herbs and bitters that draw out heat, cool down skin and assist it in achieving its natural state of balance.
- Krya Men’s Abhyanga bath powder with Vettiver & Van Tulasi – designed to through cleanse men’s skin which is naturally higher in sebum secretion and is slightly thicker and accumulates grime faster. The formulation contains naturally cooling herbs like Indian sarsaparilla and Vetiver that refresh skin, astringent & citrusy herbs like lemon, and amla to condition skin and leave its pH intact, and cleansers like barley, nutgrass and zedoary that are deodorizing , refreshing and deep cleansing – Skin feels clean, smooth and smells great without any synthetics.
A happy Friday to you and a Humidity High Five from the Krya team (and from one of India’s top 10 humid cities, Chennai!)
The Krya August Hair Olympics Challenge
Humid hair also deserves better! To inspire a change to toxin-free natural products and to give your hair a much better shot at real health, we are celebrating the Krya Hair Olympics Challenge this August.
Looking for thicker, healthier, stronger hair this August?
Throw away your synthetic hair care products and replace them with Krya’s nourishing hair care products instead.
Every Krya hair care product for adults carries a special discount only in August 2016
- 10% off if you buy a single piece of any Krya hair care product for adults
- 20% off if you buy 2 or more pieces of any Krya hair care product for adults or a Krya hair care system for adults