I know what some of you are thinking. What’s the point in still trying to achieve perfect skin when we are all quarantined to our houses for the foreseeable few weeks? There are a few reasons.
Self-care is the first reason. Part of the complexity of maintaining a healthy mind is looking after yourself and applying elaborate skincare and carrying out at-home facials is a fun way to do just that.
Another reason to stay on top of your skin during these strange times, is because what else is there to do? Unless you’re a key worker or a busy mother of 3, then what else have you got do with your time?
Plus, the changes in our environment (for most of us, remaining mostly indoors) will undoubtedly affect the way our skin behaves also, so we must change our habits and skincare as our skin does.
This post will explore what to expect from our skin after a few weeks of quarantine and how we can keep it looking it’s best, so we feel our best.
Keep calm and open a window
According to the EPA, the levels of indoor air pollutants are 2 to 5 times higher than the pollutants outdoors. Indoor pollution can consist of small nanoparticles of dirt, dust, animal fur and soot and can impact the skin’s cells and accelerate ageing in a process called oxidation. This breaks down collagen and damage the skin’s barrier function as a result.
This is one of the reasons maintaining a clean home is vital during the quarantine season. Pollutants in a home can also lead to respiratory and sinus problems, asthma and allergies, so if you’re not keeping clean for your skin, at least do it for your health.
Open a window. Clean your surroundings, and the items you are using frequently.
Get some UV Rays
The global lockdown has caused all of us to spend most of our time inside, meaning we are experiencing less direct UV exposure.
Our bodies (and skin) still require at least 5-10 minutes of UVB rays to make Vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for the skin’s metabolism, synthesis and activity and some research has shown the link between a vitamin D deficiency and psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.
During these next few weeks, spend some time outdoors, where you can, for at least 10 minutes to get a healthy amount of sunlight for your skin. You can also source Vitamin D from foods like oily fish, red meat, liver and egg yolks, but is not a replacement for your daily dose of sun.
Although most of our time will be spent indoors, it is still a good idea to apply a broad-spectrum SPF each morning. The International Ultraviolet Association have stated that standard window glass allows UVA to pass through whilst UVB and UVC light is blocked. Up to 75% of UVA rays causes premature ageing.
So, slap on that sunblock and top it up throughout the day.
Apply your skincare
You should apply your skincare in the same routine as you did when you had work, meals and meetings to attend, bars, clubs and day trips to enjoy. Wake up in the morning and wash your face. Exfoliate 2-3 times a night. Apply that face mask. Your skin will glow, and you will feel better for it.
Reduce your blue light exposure
In most cases, our halt of daily life has increased the amount of time we are spending in front our electronic devices at home. Research has shown how too much exposure to the blue light emitted from TVs, smartphones and IPADs can lead to a negative change in our circadian rhythm and even heighten the risk of retinal damage.
There is also evolving evidence to suggest that repetitive exposure to this blue light can cause skin damage and accelerate skin ageing. If these reports hold any truth, it may be worth making use of that blue light filter available on many of our electronic devices like our smartphones.
During these strange times, it will be beneficial for you to be mindful of how much tech you are consuming. Consider alternative habits to turning the TV on and scrolling through Instagram, such as exercising, reading a book, baking, creating, cleaning, meditating and writing to name a few.
As well at this, consider investing in a broad-spectrum SPF that contains a blue “HEV” filter. There are many becoming available to the skincare market, one of my favourites is Dermaquest’s CBD Blue Light Defense SPF 30.
Avoid poor lifestyle choices
With less responsibility and lack of structure and uncertainty to the days ahead, comes opportunity to make poorer lifestyle choices. Binging on Netflix, eating your body weight in snacks, avoiding exercising, stretching, routine showers and fresh air will all have negative impacts on your skin.
Remember your skin is the body’s largest organ and its characteristics are sometimes a reflection of how you take care of yourself.
No face touching
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the significance of not touching your face need to be reinforced during a time like this. Studies have shown how a person touches their face up to 23 times per hour, which breeds opportunity for bacteria and viruses to enter our bodies.
Don’t forget your hands
There is a lot of advice out there at the moment about hand washing, but not about hand care. Following the advice of washing your hands every 2 hours and using antibacterial gel at every waking moment, can cause a negative impact to the skin. Frequent hand washing can weaken the skin’s barrier function, strip it of moisture and increase risk of irritation, dry patches and infection.
Try to moisturise your hands as much as possible, preferably with a sunblock such as Medik 8’s Hand and Nail cream. Treat your hands to twice weekly facials, by exfoliating dull skin cells with a granulated scrub, followed by a soothing massage and hydrating hand mask. Cleaning are supplies are low at the moment, but if possible, try to switch your hand soap/gel to a moisturising formulation.
Have you got any self-care quarantine tips to add to the list? Comment below or find me on Instagram.