With the majority of us having been confined to our homes and limiting ourselves to one form of exercise outdoors every day, various elements of our previous lives have been forced to change. And while there are far more serious events to be concerned with right now, it is undeniable that our skin care regimen requires some fine-tuning with the shift in our daily lives (plus the added stress).
Wearing little to no make-up combined with a speedy bed-to-desk commute might sound like the recipe for a flawless complexion, but for many the reality of being cooped up has caused an increase in breakouts, spots and skin drier than a Monday night during lockdown.
But why is it that your skin seems to be more unhappy than ever and what can you do about it?
Find out how staying indoors is affecting your skin and the changes you should be making to your routine during lockdown to help maintain glowing, healthy skin during this pandemic.
Why am I experiencing more breakouts and what can be done to prevent them?
There are a number of reasons why people might be experiencing skin breakouts right now, including an increase in anxiety. Stress is a recognized trigger for inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne, so it’s unsurprising that more people are reporting breakouts during this uncertain and very stressful time.
Even our evening rewards such as sweet treats and alcohol are also likely to contribute to flare-ups while they’re meant to help ease the stress of the world’s current predicament. As well as ensuring you stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet, it’s suggested using lockdown as an opportunity to start doing at-home facials to give your complexion a boost!
We should use this forced hiatus and the extra time suddenly available to us to practice a five-minute nightly facial massage with your favorite oil or even a mask. Self-administered at-home facials needn’t be complicated; isolation should be a chance to reach into our pantry or fridge and introduce the clean simplicity of natural ingredients back into our skin regimen, in the likes of manuka honey, rose water, green tea, turmeric, probiotic yogurt and berries.
Will staying indoors affect the health of my skin?
There are some positives of being indoors, such as avoiding skin-damaging pollutants and photo-aging UV exposure. However, skin can begin to look sullen due to a lack of vitamin D. Staying indoors will reduce exposure to ultraviolet light and will reduce sun damage, albeit this will be minimal compared to a lifetime of exposure prior to the Covid-19 lockdown.
It will reduce vitamin D activation in the skin but this can easily be overcome with vitamin D supplements of the appropriate type. Often called the ‘sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D plays an integral role in skin protection and rejuvenation. It’s activated in the skin by ultraviolet B light and, in its activated form as calcitriol, vitamin D is involved with skin cell growth, repair, and metabolism. It also enhances the skin’s immune system and helps to destroy those free radicals that can lead to premature sun aging.
Exfoliating can help remove the build-up of dry skin likely to be caused by moisture-sucking central-heating and lack of exposure to the elements. Not many people take the time to properly exfoliate. To make the scrubbing process more effective and less messy I suggest using a physical exfoliant like a scrub or cleansing device once a week in the shower.
Chemical exfoliation using gentle oil-control pads with active AHA/BHA concentration every other night (after cleansing) will help the skin with healthy cellular turnover.
Do I still need to wear SPF while indoors?
Whether you’re staying at home or going outdoors once a day for exercise, it’s important to continue to use sunscreen. It’s essential. UVA rays are present all year round and are responsible for premature aging, plus they penetrate through glass.
Even if you are sitting by a window and enjoying the sunshine, you are still at risk of UV damage. Whilst you may not burn when sitting next to a window the UV exposure can cause premature aging. When applying sunscreen, make it seem like any other skin care step by blending a bean-sized amount with your daily moisturizer in the palm of your hand. It’ll seamlessly become a part of your daily routine that way!
Is it still important to cleanse in the morning and evening?
It is important to keep up with your regular cleansing routine, even if you are not wearing make-up during the day. We need to clean our skin twice per day to remove sweat, sebum production, or any toxins we may have produced. If you are going make-up-free changes in diet can contribute towards skin becoming more congested.
Morning cleansing will help to remove nighttime skincare products, especially if you are using retinol as this can make your skin more sensitive to UV light. In the morning, use a gentle pH balanced cleanser while your evening routine should focus on deep cleansing to pick up the day’s dirt, make-up, and oil build-up, as well as indoor pollutants.
Evenings are the best time to double cleanse as facialists do during treatments!
Is increased screen-usage harming my skin?
With many of us working from screens at home and anxiously looking at our phone screens for news updates, our skin is becoming more exposed to blue light – a high energy visible (HEV) light that can lead to elastin and collagen damage, pigment changes and ultimately photo-aging.
It’s really hard to strike a balance at the moment in anything as our routines are up in the air but if we can try and not stare at our phone late at night or work on our computer too late that would be a very good thing. Turning off our screens also helps regulate our sleep pattern and a good night’s rest is something we all need!
If you are concerned about the impact of blue light on your skin, wear SPF indoors and add an antioxidant booster to your nightly serum or moisturizer which will help to strengthen your skin’s defenses against environmental stressors like pollution, infrared, and HEV damage.
Skin Care at Home
For the best skin care products to protect, repair, and keep healthy, look no further than Wild Naturals! Shop our full online store for everything you need (even an alternative hand sanitizer option using aloe vera) to maintain glowing skin, even after life returns to normal after the pandemic!