Many people, particularly women, had assumed that their skin would improve to look the best during the self-isolation period as it would get a break from makeup and pollution. But that never happened.
People are finding their skin breaking out, becoming oily, dull or even dry during the lockdown. No make-up for weeks, more opportunity for sleep, less exposure to pollution without daily commutes, surely our skin should all be glowing after so many days in self-isolation. Many of us are still struggling with spots and random breakouts. Is it the added stress impacting our skin?
Take a look at some of the reasons why our skin is going through the aforementioned problems even in the most comfortable environment of homes.
What is Isolation skin?
Basically, isolation skin is skin that’s changing as a result of our changing lifestyles and emotional wellbeing amid COVID-19.
Isolation skin looks like angry hormonal acne or pimples in places. Many will find they keep breaking out in a rash, or their rosacea, redness or sensitivity is flaring up big time.
Maybe your skin feels tight and dry, even though you’re doing All. And maybe you’ve got a delightful mishmash of all of the above.
Why this Isolation skin?
Clinical aesthetician and co-founder of Mortar and Milk, Pamela Marshall tried to explain the reason behind isolation skin.
Talking to Cosmopolitan, Pamela revealed that there were many factors involved with causing break outs during self-isolation and lockdowns. Of these, the main culprits are stress, diet, hygiene and lack of vitamin D.
“When our body is stressed it releases cortisol which is our fight or flight hormone. When cortisol is high, estrogen production is lowered. As our estrogen decreases, our androgen [male sex hormone] is in abundance and it will send messages to the sebaceous glands to produce more oil,”
She continued, “Our pores don’t like an abundance of anything, therefore they will swell and inflame, creating a spot.”
Chances are you’re eating different foods, you may not be exercising much, or maybe you’re exercising more. You may not be sleeping well, or at odd times and you’re likely pretty stressed out right now.
Change in diet
Easy access to your fridge and pantry rather than eating a packed lunch, and leaning towards easy comfort foods like pasta, toast, and cereal over veggies equals changes in your skin.
Leading aesthetics Dr. Nina Bal, said, “Out diets can be one of the key culprits. More people are likely to be snacking due to boredom and for comfort.”
You’ve probably heard that exercise causes your body to release endorphins, those wonderful little morphine-like hormone molecules that elevate your mood. Exercise also burns cortisone, making it a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. It helps to keep your skin clear.
Due to constant work from home, irregular eating and sleeping routine, people have limited movement hence less exercise.
When we sweat, blood circulates and comes to the surface, and blood has all the good stuff in it. Exercise is a great way to get oxygen and nutrients to the skin. So if your exercise routine has changed, this could be impacting your skin, too.
Lack of Vitamin D
Another contributing factor is also the lack of Vitamin D we are getting due to the lockdown which is keeping us inside. Vitamin D is important for cell development, so not being able to be outdoors is increasing our deficiency.
A simple way to combat this is to make sure you’re getting some sunshine on your skin in the day, whether that’s sitting in your garden or out on your one exercise session of the day.
How to improve your skin during isolation
Know that isolation skin, just like COVID-19, won’t last forever. Here are a few ways to improve your isolation skin during the lockdown.
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, they will nourish your skin with a lot of vitamins, also eating plenty of dried fruits will help because of their high fiber content and antioxidants.
- You need a schedule and you need to get eight hours of sleep. Set an alarm to tell you when to go to bed, as well as when to get up. Irregular sleeping pattern is also not good for your skin health.
- Our bodies need vitamin D, so consider taking a supplement or getting a UV light. Get some sunshine in the day.
- Try not to take too many long, hot showers. The hot water sucks the moisture out of your skin.
- We’re all washing our hands much more often these days. All that washing and hand sanitizer dries out the skin. Use the regular moisturizer or petroleum jelly to keep your skin from breaking.
- A healthy, balanced diet is good for your skin. While there is no one miracle food that will give you great skin.
We have bigger things to worry about in our lives right now like COVID-19. But making little changes to help your skin will likely boost your overall health and mental wellbeing in these trying times.
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