With many of us now self-isolating and staying indoors, it is important to make sure we are taking the right steps to maintain the health of our skin.
Leading consultant dermatologist, Dr JinahYoo, from sk:n clinics says; ‘A change in environment and routine can have an impact on your skin, so it is important to consider new daily habits and try introducing some golden rules to maintain healthy skin at home.’
1: Fresh Air and Diet
You might not be wearing any makeup, but fresh moist air is key for allowing your skin to breath. One of the main functions of the skin is to create a barrier against the environment. The climate created by central heating – a high temperature combined with low humidity- can make your skin drier. When skin becomes dry, the barrier function can be disturbed causing inflammation and irritation of the skin.
Regular ventilation, daily intake of 6-8 glasses of water and other liquids (1.2 to 1.5litres) and regular application of moisturiser can help to improve the hydration in your skin. Vegetables and fruits are also a good source of antioxidants which can help to boost your immune system.
Prolonged screen time on digital devices can also put your skin under stress. Studies suggest that blue light causes prolonged hyperpigmentation in darker skin types. To reduce the amount of blue light reaching your skin, you can cover your phones and computers with a blue light shield or change the setting on your phone to night mode. You can also apply tinted sunscreen or compact with iron oxide, which can reflect away the UV and visible light reaching your skin.
2: Alleviate Stress
Stress is a well-known factor contributing to skin ageing and worsening of existing skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, rosacea and acne. Chemicals released in stressful situations can suppress your immune function leading to a flare-up of your eczema/psoriasis as well as increasing oil production on your skin causing more spots. Try to develop your own way of controlling your stress at home. Tips to help reduce stress whilst at home include:
– At home workouts, there are plenty of videos now circulating the internet and social media all for free from some of the top trainers and boutique classes from at home circuits to body weight classes and yoga.
– If you’re a tea or coffee drinker try and reduce your intake. A simple way to do this is to gradually reduce the amount you usually have by having one less cup a day. Another way to do this is to opt for non-caffeinated tea or coffee, there are plenty of alternative options out there or maybe you simply switch it out for an herbal tea instead.
– Don’t go quiet with friends and family. It is important to keep talking with them and keep your spirits high with laughter, there are now so many virtual games that you can join it is a great way to have some fun with people you love without the need to leave the house.
3: Take Time to Understand the Skin you’re In
It is really important to understand your skin type so that you can find the correct skincare products. With many of us going make-up free while staying at home, we should take the opportunity to monitor our skin throughout the day. Knowing whether you have oily , dry or combination skin is vital as not all skincare products will be right for everyone. You may see something that has worked for a friend, but it could be completely redundant on you, wasting time and money.
4: Less is More
A lot of people use too many products on their skin which can cause skin irritation, especially now as we have more time on our hands to spend on our skincare routines. Don’t overdo it, you could find that your pores start to clog up with too many products being used, or possibly dry out as you are trying to make too many things happen at once. I recommend that everyone starts off by making sure they are using the correct products for their skin type when it comes to cleansing and moisturising. For SPF it is always best to try and use a product that is light and an oil free formulation to avoid that greasy feel and blocked pores.
Oily skin sufferers: Try using a cleanser with glycolic acid or salicylic acid which can help to remove excess oil and dead skin, followed by a moisturiser that is oil-free and non-comedogenic to prevent your pores becoming blocked.
Dry skin sufferers: Try using a gentle cleanser for sensitive skin, followed by a moisturiser containing hyaluronic acid, which can hold 1000 times its weight in water, and ceramide.
5: Introduce Vitamin A, C & E into your Skincare
Retinol, also known as a Vitamin A, and Vitamin C&E are all scientifically proven anti-ageing ingredients. By using retinol at night-time followed by antioxidants in the morning that contain vitamin C&E, this will help to improve the skin’s texture, tone and pigmentation. However, these can cause skin irritation especially on those who have not used it before. It is best to start off with a low strength such as 0.3% and gradually build-up your skin tolerance over time. This, however, is not a miracle treatment which works overnight, and you are expected to use it for 6 months minimum to see the best results.