The $22 Purchase That Gave Me My Dewiest Skin Ever

Victoria Hoff
PHOTO:

Imaxtree.com

I spent 23 years of my life nursing a perpetually dehydrated complexion through harsh East Coast winters. Cream moisturizers never seemed to be enough, so instead, I relied on heavy balms, face oils, and serums. I dipped into my expansive sheet mask collection several nights a week. The aim wasn't even dewiness; I would honestly have settled for anything more than dull and flaky. Was I crazy to assume that when I picked up and moved across the country to sunny Los Angeles that I had left these seasonal woes behind?

Southern California produces some gloriously mild winters—that's true. But the air is also bone-dry—even when it's not. Over the past month, we've received far more rain than we did all of last year, and still, that moisture isn't enough for my skin. And it's not for lack of trying.

I've diligently layered serums with hard-core hyaluronic acid creams. When that wasn't working, I turned to the heavy-lifting moisturizer that got me through some desert conditions last summer and fall—Skin Inc.'s Pure Deepsea Hydrating Mask ($75)—to no avail. Even if my cheeks and forehead looked a little less thirsty, I was left with a scaly nose. And after cycling through my bag of usual tricks—chemical exfoliation for better absorption, dermarolling, eating more omega fats—I was left exhausted, frustrated, and only marginally more moisturized.

So then I began to think beyond my vanity and, well, into my living room. With temps dipping into the 40s and 50s, it's been a relatively chilly winter by L.A. standards. As such, I've turned the heat on in my apartment several nights, which keeps me from shivering in my bed but also turns the place into a miniature Sahara. My complexion isn't the only part of me bearing the brunt of the extreme dryness—something that finally occurred to me after my throat and sinuses had been inexplicably raw for over two weeks.

And suddenly, the solution was quite obvious: I needed a humidifier.

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