It is more important now than ever, during the Covid-19 lockdown, to try and maintain ‘normality’ in our daily lives. Healthcare professionals insist that routine is an essential tool for us all as we forcibly adapt to this ‘new normal’ - and skincare is no exception.
While it is tempting to neglect your physical appearance while existing in isolation, there is, in fact, no greater time than now to up your skincare game.
But how to go about it?
Well, with that in mind, our in-house experts have weighed in with some advice on how to alter your regime during quarantine.
1: Make Use of the Extra Time
Let’s start on a positive note.
Your morning is no longer built around the daily commute.
While we aren’t confined to those 5-minute morning and night-time rituals, take your time and explore some of the more indulgent skincare options.
Face-masks are fantastic for immediately noticeable results, not to mention a great way to even your skin tone through cell regeneration and reduce sebum content. Why not treat yourself to a weekly at home facial and come out of lockdown with a clean and even skin tone.
2: Beware the Impact of Extended Screen-Time
There’s no denying that we are spending a substantial amount of extra time in front of our screens. Be it your TV, phone or countless hours of virtual meetings.
Unfortunately, the ‘Blue light’ emitting from your devices is far from friendly to your skin.
Over-exposure can cause weakening of the skin’s surface and leave you susceptible to ‘photo-aging’. Despite remaining indoors, dermatologists say that blue light can penetrate even deeper than the sun’s rays – all the way down to our dermis where our collagen and elastin live.
To combat this, incorporate topical anti-oxidants into your skin care routine and apply moisturiser more frequently for that extra protection.
A replenishing eye serum will combat strain on the thinnest and most delicate area of the face.
Not only will your skin thank you, but you’ll make a far better impression on all those zoom meetings filling your weekly planner.
3: Protect Against Stress-Induced Break-Outs
Let’s face it, these are stressful times.
And what does stress do to the skin?
Well, Cortisol (the stress hormone) causes your sebaceous glands (the ones that produce your skin’s natural oil) to go into overdrive.
Yes, quality sleep, exercise and deep breathing will help to combat the emotional impact of stress.
But the physical evidence of feeling under pressure can wreak havoc on your self-confidence and, you guessed it, lead to further stress-induced break-outs.
Use a pH balancing cleanser to flush out impurities while protecting the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
Seeing the visible effects on the texture of your skin will fight those physical give-aways, freeing you from this negative cycle and is, therefore, likely to lower your stress levels while increasing your self-esteem. So keep it up.
4: Avoid Too Much Hand Sanitiser
While hand sanitiser is a must-have when braving the outside world, we advise you limit your use of it indoors.
Why? Because the alcohol in hand sanitisers can cause dryness of the skin and strip the barrier of essential proteins and lipids.
BUT, rather than investing in hand cream, we recommend keeping it simple. Moisturiser is not just for the face. You can (and should) also use it on the hands and neck. So save yourself some time and money by just sticking to your all-in-one moisturiser.
5: Avoid Product Contamination
And, while we’re on the subject of hand cleanliness, it’s also important to wash them thoroughly (and we mean thoroughly) before coming into contact with any of your skincare products to avoid contamination (this especially applies to pot-based creams without pumps).
6: Feed your skin
While topical treatments are an essential part of any skincare ritual, do not neglect treating your skin from within.
Tempting as it is to reach for the quick-fix, indulgent treats or junk food, as far as your skin is concerned, a poor diet is a recipe for disaster.
Making smart choices when it comes to your meals will reduce breakouts, particularly when combined with a powerful skincare ritual. Healthy fats like those found in avocados, nuts and “fatty fish” like salmon are ideal.
And here’s the good news - dark chocolate is great for the skin as cocoa powder is high in anti-oxidants leading to thicker, more hydrated skin
7: Take Extra Precautions Post-Shave
The human skin is designed as an effective barrier against viral infections with the outer layer consisting of a layer of dead cells.
These dead cells cannot be transported into the underlying living cells unless through cuts or abrasions. But if you are to snag your skin, you are leaving it open to bacterial infection (so be especially careful when shaving and make sure you follow up any shaving activity with a post shave product).
8: Avoid Contact With the Face or Mouth In-Between Washes.
Lastly, and forgive us for hammering home the point when it comes to contamination, touching your face or hair during the day is more hazardous than you’d think. It can not only cause more bacteria to form, but can also lead to viruses penetrating the dead skin cell barrier. This is easier said than done as (fun fact) the average person unknowingly touches their face once every 15 seconds. Being mindful of this will help you curb the temptation.