A study of skin characteristics according to humidity during sleep

Skin Res Technol. 2019 Jul;25(4):456-460. doi: 10.1111/srt.12673. Epub 2019 Jan 8.


Introduction: During sleep, the skin is exposed to various environments for example low or high humidity and temperature. And the average of 7-8 hours of sleeping in those situations can affect skin condition. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine skin characteristics according to humidity during sleep.

Method: Eleven healthy women in their ages of 20s and 30s were controlled. They slept more than 7 hours at lower than 30% relative humidity (RH) environment on the first day and at higher than 70% on the second day. The room temperature was controlled to 22 ± 5°C. Three measurement points were (a) before for sleep (after wash), (b) after 7 hours sleep (morning), and (c) after wash. Skin hydration, sebum secretion, and trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) were measured. The statistical significance was determined at P < 0.05.

Result: After 7 hours of sleep in 30% RH condition, skin hydration decreased by 24.23% significantly, but there was no significant difference after sleeping in 70% RH. The sebum level was increased after sleep at 30% RH. The TEWL did not show differences according to the humidity during sleep but significantly increased after facial cleansing in 30% RH sleeping condition.

Discussion: In this study, we confirmed that the changes in skin characteristics may be affected by humidity during sleep. When sleeping in dry environment, skin hydration decreases but the amount of sebum increases to compensate for skin dryness. Therefore, this study might suggest how to care the skin before sleep depending on the room humidity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asian People / ethnology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Humidity / adverse effects*
  • Sebum / metabolism*
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Skin / physiopathology
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Temperature
  • Water / metabolism


  • Water