Tips to Maintain Healthy Skin During the Pandemic

With the majority of us now 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 although there are far more serious events to be concerned with right now, it is undeniable that our skincare regime requires some fine-tuning.

Wearing little to no makeup, 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 indoors has caused an increase in breakouts, spots and dryness.

So why is it that your skin seems to be unhappier than ever, and what can you do about it?

A host of skin afflictions in quarantine arise from the over-indulgent “stress-eating” at home. We are not eating in the same way or exercising half as much. Our work, businesses and earnings have been affected, leading to heightened levels of stress. When we’re anxious, the body ramps up cortisol production, causing inflammation. Not to mention an increase in oil production in the sebaceous glands, which eventually leads to breakouts.

So now is not the time to get to get lazy with our skincare habits!

We should take advantage of this extra time at home and practice a 5-minute facial massage with your favourite oil or even a mask every night. Use a GuaSha stone to help drain and soften lines and furrows. The enhanced blood circulation will boost your immune system and increase lymph drainage. The happy side-effect is firmer skin and sculpted facial muscles. 

P.S: I always people that if everyone practiced a 5-minute facial massage at home, 2-3 nights a week, they’d all have such positive benefits that I’d probably see 50% less clients!

Will staying indoors affect the health of your skin?

One positive of being indoors is that we get to give our skin a break from damaging pollutants and photo-ageing UV exposure. That said, in a temperature-controlled environment, with the likes of moisture-sucking central-heating or even air-conditioners, this could lead to dry skin build-up.

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 also help the skin’s cellular turnover.

Do I still need to wear SPF while indoors?

Absolutely! SPF doesn’t just shield your skin from photo-damage when you’re outdoors. A study conducted in 2015 showed that constant use of SPF30 over the course of a year also reversed signs of photo-ageing.

When working from home, especially if your desk is set up near a window, it is essential to wear SPF. Glass may block the high intensity UVB wavelengths responsible for burning, but the skin damaging UVA light still gets through.

And if applying a sunscreen seems like yet another step to add to your already tiresome skincare routine, start blending an edamame bean-sized amount of SPF with your daily moisturiser. It’ll soon become an effortless part of your daily regime.

Is it still important to cleanse in the morning and evening? 

AM and PM cleansing works to clean the skin on different levels. A gentle, pH-balanced morning cleanse will wipe away overnight oil build-up and bacteria picked up from your pillowcase. In contrast, the PM routine should focus on deep cleansing to pick up the day’s dirt, makeup, oil build-up and indoor pollutants. Evenings are the best time to double cleanse, just like we facialists do during treatments. Use an oil cleanser to remove makeup and oil first, followed by a gentle cleanser to hydrate.

Is increased screen-usage harming my skin?

Facing your phone and devices is ageing your face!

These digital devices emit a blue light, or a high energy visible (HEV) light, that can lead to elastin and collagen damage, pigment changes and ultimately, photo-ageing. Night time exposure to blue light from your devices also disrupts the circadian rhythm, our body’s natural sleep / wake cycle.

This is all the more reason to wear SPF indoors to shield your skin. Setting a nightly timer to automatically switch your device to night mode will disable its blue light in favour of yellow light. It’ll benefit your skin and improve your sleep too.

For added protection, incorporate an antioxidant booster to your nightly serum or moisturiser to strengthen your skin’s defence against environmental stressors like pollution, infrared and HEV damage.

 Keyword: Best facial in NY

Be skin smart.

Words by Adeela Crown.

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