Three Ways to Give Your Skin a Little Love During a Pandemic
Believe it or not, less is really more right now! And it’s not just affecting your face! Your skin is one of your best accessories, so it makes sense to treat it well. After all, you wear it every day!
The current pandemic has affected people in myriad ways. It has even affected the state of their skin. Even if you are highly-diligent about the manner in which you take care of your skin, this past year has probably thrown a few curve balls at you that have somewhat derailed your practice. Think of the added elements of our daily lives now that can wreak havoc on your skin: irritation from constant face-mask wearing; increased levels of stress and frequent hand sanitizing. And when you wear a mask, you are probably touching your face more than usual, as you continually adust it. None of these matters are going to aid in a proper and healthy skincare regimen.
More than likely, you have been experiencing stress this past year in one degree or another that perhaps you have not felt in years prior. (Yeah, a global pandemic will do that to a person!) However, stress can manifest itself on your skin and can be attributed to the exacerbation of a variety of skin conditions, such as rosacea and eczema.
Because the skin and the brain are connected, stress can cause additional inflammation on the surface of the skin. Thanks to increased cortisol levels, your skin could be taking an unnecessary beating now.
Time for a strategic skincare regimen!
Calm your skin.
If you are ready to calm your skin, try to resist the temptation to purchase numerous products that claim to mitigate inflammation. Believe it or not, the old adage of “less is more” is the best course of action right now. Opt for skincare products that provide soothing ingredients for added relief. At the same time, these products should help to repair and strengthen the barrier of the skin, making it more resistant to irritants. Avoid products that contain fragrance or alcohol. And stick to products designed with airtight packaging, which helps to prevent contamination.
Change the type of mask you wear.
While we appreciate and understand the need to wear masks, they can be a nuisance to our skin. Ever hear of “maskne?” If you wear a mask for an extended period of time, you can subject your face to breakouts caused by increased moisture and heat on your skin. In order to combat this issue, use products that contain hydrating ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid, which repair the skin barrier.
A 100% cotton mask is a good choice, as opposed to synthetic fabrics that are not as breathable and can contribute to increased sweating. Make sure your mask fits well and provides a good seal but is still comfortable. What you don’t want is a mask that creates friction on your face.
Review your handwashing regimen.
It’s not just about your face! Frequent handwashing, although important during a pandemic, can strip moisture from our skin and exacerbate conditions such as eczema. Hand sanitizers, heavy in alcohol, will also greatly dry out the skin. You will know you have been affected if you have dryness, itchiness, abrasions and excess flaking.
To circumvent this problem, pair your handwashing with frequent moisturizing. Keep hand cream within reach and choose one with nourishing ingredients such as jojoba oil and shea butter. Keep your skin moisturized to avoid drying and cracking that can cause a breakdown in its protective barrier function, leading to potential infection from bacteria and other germs.