Self Isolation Skin

Self Isolation Skin

Matteo Pelucchi
Hands up if you thought being safe indoors would result in an improvement in the appearance of your skin. *Raises both hands*. Bear with me while I explain the logic behind this assumption. You see, conventional wisdom tells us that the main culprits behind our common skin complaints are environmental. From UV rays, everyday pollution, wind, rain, sun exposure – the list goes on. So, by contrast, surely being safely confined to our homes would keep our skin protected resulting in smooth, vibrant, pimple free complexions. Well that certainly hasn’t been the case for me, or many of the friends I’ve spoken to. On the contrary, my fairly normal skin has been beset by niggly ailments – continued dryness, dullness and the occasional spot, which my four-year-old seems intent on pointing out to me at every opportune moment.

After speaking to a few skincare experts, it seems like self-isolation is indeed wreaking havoc with our skin. Due to a combination of increase of sugary snacks and alcohol consumption, prolonged hours of central heating (thankfully things we’re now in the Spring months), lack of exercise, limited fresh air, and stress and anxiety - these are just a few contributing factors leading to skin that looks and feels lackluster. But thankfully there are a few steps we can take to minimise the problem.

Stress Release

An increase in our stress and anxiety levels are obvious by-products of the Corona virus pandemic, after all, this is something we’ve never experienced before as a global community, and we’re still unsure of how this will all pan out. Unfortunately, both conditions are extremely trigging to our skin. Stress increases our levels of cortisol, which then sends our sebaceous glands into overdrive resulting in extra oil and sebum production. The result? Blocked pores, excess oil, spots and greasy skin. “Acne is a common skin condition that causes spots and oily skin. Although it’s often associated with teenagers, approximately half of women aged 20-29 have acne, and a quarter of women aged 40-49,” explains Dr Rekha Tailor, Cosmetic Doctor and Skin Specialist. “In addition to hormones, stress is a major cause of adult acne so it’s no surprise that at a time like this when people are under unprecedent amounts of pressure that they may suffer from acne breakouts.” Now you have full control of your day, make a concerted effort to take stock of your feelings and in turn minimize your stress and anxiety. Limit your intake of the news (I now only receive updates from news websites). Break up your day with non-work/non housekeeping activities, whether it be going out into the garden/sitting outside your home for 10 minutes, listening to music or catching up with friends over Zoom or Whatsapp. In time, as your stress levels decrease your skin will start to settle down too.

Being at home constantly may make it tempting to cut back on your daily skincare routine, after all, there’s no daily commute, meet up with friends or other pursuits where we have to put our best face forward

Slow Down the Snacking

When Covid 19 anxiety began to set in, understandably many of us began reaching towards our snack cupboards with regularity and upped our alcohol intake to cope with the sense of dread and uncertainty. As satisfying as snacking on sweet and salty snacks is, it really does distress the skin and can have adverse reactions such as inflammation, which causes breakouts. Naturopathic Nutrition Coach Jessica Shand advises us to cut down and swap with healthier options. “Excessive refined sugar consumption from snacks like chocolate and sweets will have a negative effect on your skin (and will cause spikes in your blood sugar levels, causing you to reach for those snacks even more!) so limit sugary snacks and ideally replace with nutrient dense options including raw nuts and fruit, nut.” She adds: “Take a look at what you’re drinking, has isolation meant you’re reaching for a glass (or two) of wine on a casual Monday when usually you would wait until the weekend? Alcohol also triggers inflammation in the skin so make sure you are consciously aware of how much you’re drinking and don’t fall into habits that might be hard to break! Hydrate properly throughout the day with filtered water and remember to drink 8 glasses per day.”

Up Your Sunshine & Supplements

We’ve experienced some bouts of glorious sunshine in the UK recently, but being on lockdown means we’ve had limited exposure to it. When our bodies come into contact with the sun and the outdoors it creates vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium - the essential mineral for strong and healthy bones, teeth and muscles. If you feel that your skin feels dry, flaky and dull in appearance, it could be due to a vitamin D deficiency. “If you eat a balanced diet and lead a healthy lifestyle then you shouldn’t be vitamin deficient, so getting the right nutrients in your body is important”, says skin expert Dr Ross Perry who is the medical Director of CosmedicsUK. “Sun exposure, which is our best source of getting Vitamin D, can help in some cases to improve adult acne, psoriasis, and rosacea. Sun exposure is also good for our mental health and improving our mood and makes us feel happier.” So, whether it means going out in the garden for 30 minutes, or going for a walk down the road, it’s important not to underestimate the importance of spending time outdoors for our mind, body, soul and skin. You can also purchase vitamin D supplements if you feel that you’re not getting enough natural light.

DIY Skincare

Being at home constantly may make it tempting to cut back on your daily skincare routine, after all, there’s no daily commute, meet up with friends or other pursuits where we have to put our best face forward. Before you know it, your cleansing, toning and moisturising routine is relegated to the past, and your poor neglected skin is left craving a little pampering and TLC. Not only will your skin hugely benefit from being looked and cared for in its usual fashion, but you’ll also feel better within yourself indulging in some much-needed self care. Add a Faace face mask to your ‘at home’ routine, opting for whatever your skin needs at that given moment: there’s Tired Faace – for dry skin lacking in radiance, Period Faace - for combating oily, blemished skin prior to your monthly cycle, and Sweat Faace - for hot, bothered skin that needs a detox.

Written by Keysha Davies @msquiche

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