Forget expensive face creams. If you suffer with dry skin then house plants might just be your saviour this winter.
That’s according to a new study which found some house plants help moisturise human skin through the process of ‘transpiration’.
This process involves moisture being carried through plants from their roots to the underside of their leaves, where it then changes to vapour and is released into the air. And apparently it’s great news for your face.
“House plants may be a simple and affordable way to reduce air dryness indoors and alleviate symptoms of dry skin, while providing multiple other benefits – for human psyche and physical health,” said researcher Tijana Blanusa, who is principal horticultural scientist at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), which conducted the study in collaboration with Reading University.
Plants with high transpiration rates and large canopies were found to be best for skin. The peace lily and ivy were notably the best, but Blanusa said there are likely to be many other species of plant whose characteristics lend themselves to the job and still need to be tested.
It’s worth noting one plant on its own won’t be that effective. “As with outdoor plants ‘the more – the better’; usually multiple plants in a room are required to have an effect,” said Blanusa.
Previous studies have found plants can influence productivity, wellbeing and, in some instances, pulse rate. They also capture dust and particles from indoor air which is hugely beneficial. Blanusa explained: “A number of chemical compounds such as those found in paints and furnishings, as well as gasses emitted in cooking and burning can be removed by houseplants.
“More needs to be known however about the exact numbers of plants, and their combinations required to elicit an effect on a room scale and remove multiple compounds well.”
She urged employers to add plants to office environments and advised them to get additional lighting to improve plant growth and activity.