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Got parched skin and dry sinuses? A humidifier can help — here's how

Fall is a fun time of year, with plenty of orchard trips, hayrides and hikes to look forward to. But all that time outside in the cooler air can dehydrate your skin and hair, leaving it dry and prone to breakage. And don't even get us started on the number it can do on your sinuses in the process. That's where the Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier can come in. It's got over 42,000 perfect ratings to back it up, so you know it must be doing something right!

This humidifier has an impressive 4-liter capacity, allowing it to cover up to 300 square feet of space. A 360-degree nozzle makes sure plenty of mist gets dispersed around your room. 

$35 at Amazon

At a basic level, a humidifier helps to balance out your home's humidity (i.e. moisture in your air). When it's at an ideal level, it can help support the moisture your hair and skin needs, Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital, tells Yahoo Life. "When using a humidifier in your home, you are increasing the water content of the air, which can ultimately minimize dry skin and brittle hair," he says.

When you use a humidifier, you're "literally adding moisture to the skin and mucous membranes," New York dermatologist Gary Goldenberg, MD, says. "This is especially important for those with dry skin and eczema — dry skin can potentially lead to a flare of their eczema."

But a humidifier can help with a range of other things, too. "I recommend them for all reasons," says Omid Mehdizadeh, MD, a board-certified otolaryngologist (ENT) and laryngologist at Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Santa Monica, Calif. "If someone has a history of dry mouth, dry eyes, dry nose, it can help. It helps with the eyes, nasal drainage, oral health, that feeling of having a dry mouth and throat when you wake up. ... A humidifier is overall a wonderful thing to use."

A humidifier can also help get gunk out of your throat that builds up when you have allergies, Christopher Brooks, MD, an allergist and immunologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center tells Yahoo Life. "Patients with allergies often suffer from mucous drainage that ends up in their nose, sinuses and in their throat," he says. "A humidifier can be helpful for patients with thick mucous, as it can help loosen secretions which can allow the mucous to drain. This can relieve symptoms such as nasal obstruction or sinus pressure, which for some patients are their most bothersome symptoms."

the humidifier on a table
A humidifier can help with dry sinuses and skin. (Photo: Amazon)

Allergy symptoms can also "be exacerbated by dry air or dryness in the airways or on your skin," making a humidifier a tool that can help, Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist and immunologist with the Allergy & Asthma Network, tells Yahoo Life.

Mehdizadeh suggests aiming for humidity levels of 30% to 50% in your home and running a humidifier at night in your bedroom. If you're shopping for a humidifier, Zeichner recommends using a cool mist humidifier, since you won't need to stress about the possibility of burns if you get too close.

Another thing to keep in mind, per Parikh: It's important to properly maintain and clean your humidifier. "Humidifiers are prone to collecting dust mites and mold if not properly maintained," she says. "If an allergic patient uses it, they must be hyper-vigilant about keeping it clean and free of allergens."

Ready to add a humidifier to your moisturizing arsenal? Consider the popular Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier. This model — with thousands of adoring fans — covers up to 300 square feet of space and has a 360-degree nozzle to disperse moist air all over. It also has a roomy four-liter capacity, allowing it to run for 40 hours before needing a refill.

This humidifier features a built-in tray for essential oils, in case you want to add aromatherapy to the mix. An LED night-light helps you to see it in the dark, and it has safety features like auto shut-off when water levels are low, along with a nonslip base to keep it stable.

Reviewers rave that the Everlasting Comfort humidifier scores high marks on the noise front, too. "It is unbelievably quiet," said a happy customer. "A full reservoir of water seems to last about 18 to 24 hours. The little lights on the front let you know that the device is on and which setting you've chosen. After about 20 seconds the front of the device goes dark so you don't have a silly light shining in your eyes all night. Wonderful feature. Oh, and did I mention that it was quiet?"

A fellow fan called this the "best portable humidifier I've ever used." They added, "This is a fantastic portable humidifier to set up next to a bed. It’s soooooo quiet and easy to use."

A diffuser and essential oil tray allows you to use your humidifier for aromatherapy. Reviewers swear it's quiet, so you can comfortably run it while you sleep. It even doubles as a night-light! 

$35 at Amazon

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The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.