If you’re not one of the many essential workers either laboring to save lives during the coronavirus pandemic or provide those of us able to stay home with the necessities to stay there, you’re probably not going outside much right now.
Chances are you’re eating different foods. You may not be exercising as much. Or maybe you’re exercising more. You may not be sleeping well, or at odd times. And you’re likely pretty stressed out right now as most of us are.
As a result of all of this ― plus all the other factors in your life ― your skin is probably freaking out in a number of ways. Thirty percent of people pick at their skin, and times of stress and anxiety can make people pick more than they normally would. Your skin is a reflection of your overall health. Focusing on just your skin is too microscopic. You need to take care of your whole self.
- Get enough sleep.
You need a schedule and you need to get eight hours of sleep. Try setting an alarm to tell you when to go to bed, as well as when to get up. This seems very simple, but inadequate sleep can cause your body to release more cortisol (the stress hormone) that can cause inflammation in your skin, which can manifest as acne or psoriasis.
- Remember to exercise.
You’ve probably heard that exercise causes your body to release endorphins, those wonderful little morphine-like hormone molecules that elevate your mood. Exercise also burns cortisone, making it a great way to reduce stress and anxiety and help keep your skin clear.
- What if you’re exercising more?
Exercise elevates testosterone levels, which can wake up acne. If you find yourself working out more than once a day because, well, you have the time, just remember to wash your face before and after (as well as taking a shower post-workout). Please don’t sit around in your sweat and wash your face right after you finish working out to avoid breakouts and clogged pores.
- What about all that sun you’re not getting?
We all know the importance of wearing sunscreen to protect our skin from harmful UV rays, but what happens when we spend too much time inside? First, our bodies still need vitamin D, so consider taking a supplement or getting a UV light. The U.S. Institute of Medicine suggests an average daily intake of 400–800 IU, or 10–20 micrograms of vitamin D.
Supplements or UV lights can help boost the vitamin D levels of those who can't get outside.
Many people are inside in dry, conditioned environments and this can lead to drier skin. Try using a humidifier to help put some moisture into the air. Also, try not to take too many long, hot showers: the hot water sucks the moisture out of your skin. Immediately follow up with a good moisturizer after you shower or take a bath, always!
- Use skin masks, peels, and exfoliators with caution.
With extra time on your hands, you might be tempted to indulge in all kinds of masks, exfoliators, and peels. Do these with caution, however, and make sure not to get carried away with these kinds of treatments. All of that exfoliating and peeling affects your skin’s acid mantle. You have good bacteria and bad bacteria. You don’t want to get rid of all your good stuff. If you over treat, your pH levels go up and that can lead to skin problems.
- Don’t forget to moisturize after you wash your hands.
We’re all washing our hands much more often (or we should be!). There’s been a heavy increase in more hand eczema cases because of this. All that washing and hand sanitizer dries out the skin and many people are experiencing cracked and chapped hands. If your hands are cracking, a heavy moisturizer is your best solution. Apply throughout the day and before you go to bed!
- Avoid picking and scratching in your newfound free time.
Take caution against excessive skin picking and scratching.
Thirty percent of people pick at their skin and times of stress and anxiety can make people pick more than they normally would. The most common areas that women pick is the neck and back, while men tend to pick at the skin on their calves. If you notice yourself picking at a higher intensity than you’d like, try using an ice pack or a package of frozen vegetables to quiet your nerves. Nerves can’t itch and be cold at the same time, so the ice-cold will stop the itchy feeling.
- Avoid foods with a high glycemic index.
A healthy, balanced diet is good for your skin too. While there is no one miracle food that will give you great skin, there are foods you should try to avoid. Foods with a high glycemic index are not good for your skin while some foods with a high glycemic index (a relative ranking of how carbohydrates affect blood glucose levels) include boxed cereals, white bread, rice, and crackers.
Anything rich in antioxidants ― foods like strawberries, spinach, raspberries, and artichokes ― are good choices to support overall health.
- Running out of skin care? There are household items you can use.
While none of the following should necessarily make up your entire regular skin routine, coconut oil has been shown to help with eczema and blocked pores on your body. To avoid breakouts, don’t put it on your face in its natural form though; only in commercial skin care products.
You can, however, use castor oil on your face. As a source of triglycerides (which help retain moisture in the skin), ricinoleic acid (an anti-inflammatory), and other fatty acids, castor oil can be beneficial to your skin. Just keep in mind that there isn’t a lot of real research about the use of home cooking oils so results can vary.
All in all, take advantage of being less rushed. Take care of yourself. Moisturize. Be compliant with your skin care regimen. If you’ve haven’t had time in the past to stick to a routine, now is an excellent opportunity to do that!
For the best natural skin care, shop the Wild Naturals online store today!