5 Houseplants That Help Alleviate Dry Skin

A young white woman in an apartment with cat surrounded by plants

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Banish the symptoms of dry skin by filling your house with these superstar houseplants.

Houseplants – is there anything they can't do? OK so no, they can't make me coffee in the morning, to my great dismay, but they can remove indoor air pollution, help improve sleep, boost healing, and help you focus. And now, according to scientists for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), they have another trick up their sleeves: They can give an assist in alleviating dry winter skin.

The Society's chief horticultural scientist, Tijana Blanusa, along with Reading University found that having certain plants indoors can be great for your skin. How? Because of transpiration, in which plants lose water through their leaves and keep the air moist. It's like like having a full-time humidifier on, yet without the electricity and slimy parts that need to be cleaned.

“House plants may be a simple and affordable way to reduce air dryness indoors and alleviate symptoms of dry skin," Blanusa says in The Telegraph, "while providing multiple other benefits – for human psyche and physical health.”

The best plants for this purpose are generally the thirsty one with higher transpiration rates and with a lot of surface area.

“In our study of seven varieties the best performing were peace lily (Spathiphyllum) and ivy (Hedera) but there are likely to be many other species whose characteristics lend themselves to the job and need to be tested still," Blanusa explains.

She says that an 11-inch by 20-inch peace lily can transpire the equivalent water of a small teacup a day.

Blanusa also touches upon the air-cleaning benefits, which we've written about before:

“Additionally, plants capture dust and particles from the indoor air, so again large leaf areas are good to provide this benefit. 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.”

I can only imagine that removing pollutants from the air would benefit one's skin as well. Here are some of the plants to try.

1. Hedera ivy (AKA English ivy)

English Ivy sitting in a pot on a chalk paint blue desk.

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2. Peace Lily

Peace lilies in a planter with a blue candle by a staircase.

Alberto Orozco / EyeEm / Getty Images

3. Areca Palm

Areca palm on a wood floor bathing in sun.

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4. Rubber Plant

A rubber tree plant against a white architectural backdrop.

Adél Békefi / Getty Images

5. Spider Plant

A spider plant on a sunny balcony.

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