Enter Canopy, an innovative new humidifier designed specifically to eliminate this problem. According to founder Justin Seidenfeld, the device utilizes technology to prevent the growth of mold; specifically, it features sensors that stop the machine from turning off until all water has been evaporated. "That's one of the most common ways mold grows," he says. "People forget there's remnant water [in their humidifier]." You mean you can't just let water sit in there for weeks/months and then randomly turn the humidifier back on whenever you next remember to do so? This explains so much...
Canopy is also equipped with LED lights to kill bacteria and features a filter that offers visual cues—it changes colors—when it needs to be replaced (approximately every six weeks). And because the parts of the machine that touch water do still need to be cleaned occasionally, these are easily disassembled and dishwasher-safe.
Board-certified dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, is a fan of this innovative design. "Canopy helps to support skin barrier function by adding clean moisture back into the air all day long," she says. "It helps to alleviate redness, flaking, dullness, and support natural cellular processes." Humidity, she explains, is crucial for the health of your skin. When the air is dry, it actually pulls moisture away from your complexion. "This is why we feel drier in the winter or colder months," she says. In turn, this weakens the skin barrier—the job of which is to keep bacteria and pathogens out—which increases the risk of irritation, breakouts, and infection.
Though dry environments should be humidified throughout the day, year-round, Dr. Engelman explains that this is especially critical at night. "While you're sleeping, the body's hydration rebalances. Skin is able to recover moisture, while excess water in general in the body is processed for removal," she says. "If our environment is pulling moisture out of our skin all night long, then we lack proper cell function support, and this decreases skin metabolism, cell turnover, and repair. The benefits of a humidifier can be negated, however, if your humidifier isn't clean, as mold and mildew can actually lead to skin irritation.
Essential oil diffusers also pose a risk with respect to mold and mildew, which is why Canopy's aromatherapy bonus feature is so interesting. Because Canopy, unlike most mainstream humidifiers, does not release visible puffs of moisture into the air, the company wanted to find another way of signaling that the machine is working. So, they designed little pucks to be inserted at the top of the machine, to which you add essential oil drops that are then diffused into the air when your humidifier is at work. The company has initially partnered with HYKU on three scents—lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree—and says they plan to rotate new aromatherapy collabs in regularly.
Humidifiers typically range in terms of price from under $50 to over $800. Canopy is situated at the low-to-medium end of the spectrum; it's $150, or $125 if you auto-subscribe to filter refills, which feels like a good price given the technology involved. I also find it to be less cumbersome and visually intrusive than other humidifiers I've tried. And while sure, I don't have to never clean it, I'm definitely less likely to grow the next superbug in my Canopy than I have been with past products.
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