Thanks to another national lockdown, amongst many other things, our daily routines have drastically changed. It’s no surprise then that our skin care routines may have also suffered.
Online searches for “self-care” have risen by 250% during the Covid-19 pandemic, showing that people still want to try and look after themselves and their skin despite the stresses that come with a pandemic.
In this blog, we look at some of the reasons why our skin may be suffering and some ways that we can help to manage some of our most troublesome skin issues.
With all beauty salons/ clinics currently closed and being confined to our homes work demands have changed. Financial stresses are a new worry for many and home schooling may be something we are trying to juggle along with everything else. Add to this list the fact that lockdown 3.0 is accompanied by extreme weather conditions with less opportunity to leave the house it is no wonder that it can be taking its toll not only on our mind, body but also our skin!
So, let’s look first at what may be causing some of our skin problems.
I don’t blame you! You’re certainly not alone. However, anxiety can have a serious impact on the health of our skin. When stressed we produce the hormone cortisol which causes inflammation and excess oil production which in turn can cause us to break out.
The side effects of stress such as lack of sleep, drinking more alcohol than you normally would and a change or reduction in appetite can all be culprits to causing breakouts on the skin as well as making it more likely that skin will look dull and dehydrated.
As mentioned at the beginning, one of the biggest differences between this lockdown and the one in March 2020 is the weather. Our skin generally feels better in the summer and so does our mood! Natural light provides the body with vitamin D which is synthesised through the epidermal layers of the skin when we are exposed to UV rays. Supplementation of Vitamin D may be something that you can consider in the winter months. VitD is great for the skin in its active form Calcitriol as it contributes to skin cell growth, repair and metabolism. It also enhances the immune system and helps to destroy free radicals that can cause premature ageing! Alongside these benefits VitD is known to help- improve mood, it is also one of the supplements mentioned in helping to protect us against the effects of Covid-19.
Quick…… check with google to see if the local pharmacy is open!!
Lack of a routine
Finding a routine can be helpful, although we empathise is currently difficult. If you are used to getting up early, showering and getting ready for work but have swapped that for PJ’s for most of the day, try structuring your day so that not only your mental health can benefit but your skin as well. Take walks, schedule your work and also schedule some YOU time. AM and PM skincare routines can be highly beneficial to looking after the health of our skin.
This is a new term used to describe the effects of long term mask wearing. Whether it is from occasional use when attending places that it is required or for people that have to use it long term for PPE as part of their job, it is a condition becoming more and more well known. The condition describes the area of the face that comes into contact with the mask as having regular breakouts. More specifically it is caused by occlusion, which is where something causes a blockage in the pores. Typically, people are seeing inflamed acne around their mouth and nose or red and sore areas where the mask may rub due to friction between the skin and the mask. Whilst this direct cause of acne cannot be completely avoided at the moment until rules are relaxed, there are ways with which you can minimise the effects. Treating maskne is really the same as treating any other form of acne, it is simply the cause that differentiates it. Change your face mask as often as possible throughout the day, use oil free products whilst wearing your mask and reducing stress will also be beneficial but possibly easier said than done.
Aesthetic and beauty treatments can’t go ahead
Now let’s look at the obvious (sorry). Beauty salons and clinics are currently closed so unless you are super motivated and using some of your treatments at home in your own time, the majority of us don’t have the luxury of being able to rely on treatments to help keep our skin under control. Our clients most certainly don’t. even though the government may class our treatments as “non-essential”, considering the negative impact on mental health that some of the conditions can have on our clients (and our) mental health, it Is going to be a worrying time for a lot of people who can’t have treatment.
As mentioned earlier, the difference in weather means that we may not be outdoors as much, however if you are still enjoying your daily walks, it is important that SPF is still a part of your daily skincare routine. UVA rays can still penetrate through thick cloud and through double glazing, and can be damaging to the skin throughout the year. For UVA, think A+ Ageing. This is the type of skin damage that can be long lasting. Although pigmentation, in particular hyperpigmentation may not be as much of a concern as it would be in summer months, we can still be using our antioxidants (Vitamin C for example) on a daily basis.
Not having the same social interactions that we may normally do whilst we are at work, the kettle may be on less frequently as we are not standing in the staff room gossiping about when the next series of Bridgerton will be available to watch, or perhaps more frequently if you are trying to get through the home schooling and frequent zoom calls. Try not to rely solely on that kettle to keep you hydrated throughout the day. Caffeine found in tea and coffee can dehydrate you and your skin due to its action as a diuretic, it can also cause and increase in cortisol production which, as we know can lead to skin inflammation. Reducing caffeine can also improve blood circulation, thus enhancing the skins natural “glow”.
In the winter months especially, skin will be naturally drier than normal. Moisturising will protect the barrier function of the skin. Of course, you need to make sure that you are using the correct moisturiser for your skin. A product containing Hyaluronic acid will be beneficial for balancing the natural hydration levels within the skin. Check out this link to have a look at some of our best-selling products.
Despite the fact that you are no doubt wearing less makeup than you normally would if working, it is still important to effectively cleanse the skin of debris that can accumulate over the course of a day. For your night time skin routine, this is when you should cleanse twice. Once to remove all of the creams, SPF or any makeup that you have used throughout the day and the second time to properly prepare your skin to efficiently absorb active ingredients from products that you will be using overnight. Use a gentle cleanser to ensure that you don’t interfere with the skin’s natural oils. Dry skin will benefit from a cream based cleanser to boost hydration and to avoid too much irritation.
Remove dead skin
Exfoliation is an effective method of removing dead skin cells that will build up on the surface of the skin causing it to look dull and possibly even flaky for some. Exfoliation can be carried out manually, with facial scrubs (keep away from St Ives!!) or microdermabrasion/ Dermaplaning. Or it can be carried out Chemically, with AHA’s (Alpha hydroxyl acids) such as glycolic acid which can be found in some cleansers or other topical products. BHA’s (Beta Hydroxy acids) such as salicylic will help to deal with blemishes and acne.
This point is certainly easier said than done as a lot of us will be seeking comfort and solace in the form of comfort food but a balanced diet (we don’t mean super clean eating) will help to add nutrients to your body and to your skin. Small amounts of physical activity will also help to keep your metabolism healthy and improve blood circulation, having a positive effect on the appearance of the skin.
We hope this blog has been helpful in pinpointing some of the causes of problem skin that both you and your clients may be facing during lockdown. If you need any more information or would like to get in touch with any questions, you can find us here https://www.skinhealthsolutions.co.uk/contact-skin-health-solutions/