Whether you’re currently in isolation or finally entering post-lockdown freedom, chances are you’ve seen some changes in your skin. We’re talking breakouts, dryness, unexpected patches of redness and flaking… the list is endless.
But why? What’s going on? Is it just because we’ve been cooped up indoors for too long and not getting enough sunlight? Is it because we’re all stressed? A mixture of both?
We take a look at what lockdown skin is, including what’s causing it and some tips on how to treat some of the most common concerns.
What is lockdown skin?
Yes – ‘lockdown skin’ is a real thing! It’s a term used to describe the changes in your skin due to the different, more sedentary lifestyle shifts and emotional impact of COVID-19.
And it’s actually a very common thing right now – whether you’re currently in lockdown or not – so don’t feel like you’re alone if you’re finding your skin is playing up.
‘Lockdown skin’ is also not a one-size-fits-all category, and it can look different for everyone.
Some people might be experiencing angry breakouts, whereas others will maybe experience dryness and flaking or even a flare-ups of underlying skin issues such as eczema or dermatitis.
What’s causing it?
When it comes to what’s causing these changes, experts say there are a plethora of different factors that are behind our skin changes during and after lockdown.
Below are some of the most common causes:
Whether you realise it or not, stress is probably one of the biggest factors as to why our skin is playing up – and it’s inevitable during a global pandemic.
When we’re stressed, our body produces a hormone called cortisone, which causes inflammation, excess oil production, rough textured skin and – you got it – breakouts.
Stress can also trigger flare-ups of underlying inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.
Second on the list is diet and regular exercise. It’s likely that most of us have experienced changes in our diet over lockdown – snacking on sugary treats and alcohol. And while it’s totally normal, it could be showing up on your skin in the form of inflammation and skin flare-ups.
Together with a change in diet, many of us are probably exercising a whole lot less – something that is actually really beneficial for your skin.
Exercising is a great way to promote blood flow to the skin, reducing inflammation. So, if your exercise routine has changed, this could be another factor wreaking havoc on your skin.
If you’re anything like us, the side effect of stress has really messed with your sleeping routine. A lack of sleep not only leaves your hormone’s out of whack, but it can also deprive your skin of the chance to repair and nourish itself.
Not getting enough sleep can cause your skin to become imbalanced, leading to dehydration, a dull complexion, breakouts and redness.
How do you treat it?
Along with ensuring you’re getting adequate sleep, eating well and getting some form of exercise on the daily (even a walk around the block!), there are several changes you can make to your skincare routine that can help.
Here are three of the most common isolation skin concerns and what you can do to help improve each one.
We know it can be tempting to try a whole heap of different products, but when it comes to breakouts and acne flare-ups, sometimes less is more.
That’s why Skin Virtue’s products incorporate powerful ingredients at comfortable concentrations – so you can work them into your daily routine and help decongest your skin, without the risk of irritation.
Products like our Super Clear Clarifying Solution include salicylic acid at low concentrations, so it will help keep your pores clear and regulate oil while supporting a healthy skin barrier.
Incorporating other exfoliating actives such as glycolic acid, found in our Pure Radiance Glow Serum, will also help promote cell turnover and assist in the removal of dead skin.
You could also opt for a multi-tasking product, such as our Super Clear Essential Cream. It contains vitamin A, lactic and salicylic acid to help exfoliate dead skin, regulate oil production and impurities and help clear blocked pores. So, it covers all bases.
For severe breakouts and acne flare-ups, it may be worth checking in with a dermatologist or skin specialist.
If your skin is feeling uncomfortable and itchy, this may be due to dehydration. A mixture of weather changes, indoor heating and cooling and more time spent inside (ahem, lockdown) can result in increased water loss, making the skin drier and more prone to irritation.
To combat this, focus on improving your skin’s moisture content by replenishing it with barrier-loving fatty acids and ceramides.
Opt for moisture-boosting serums such as Future Advanced Radiance Serum or Future Advanced Serumist® and lock it all in with high-quality lipid-rich formulations such as Pure Nourish Moisturising Cream.
Red, blotchy skin can be caused by a range of different skin conditions such a rosacea, sensitive skin, allergies or inflammation.
If your skin is looking constantly flushed, it’s time to pare your routine back and look for ingredients that will help soothe, nourish and protect your skin barrier.
We recommend looking for products with ingredients such as ceramides, niacinamide, panthenol and free fatty acids.
A good place to start is your cleanser. If you have normal to oily skin, try our Super Clear Cleanse - it helps to effectively balance oil and remove grime and debris from the skin, helping to create the perfect environment for happy and healthy-looking skin.
For normal to dry skin types, our Pure Nourish Cleanse will help preserve the lipids within the skin and help the skin to maintain moisture levels.
To boost the protective abilities of the skin barrier and help reduce redness and rosacea, try incorporating ultra-hydrating products that will help replenish the skin’s barrier, like Pure Nourish Moisturising Cream.
Of course, if the redness and blotching is persistent, you may need to see a dermatologist for a skin assessment.
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By Gary Williams, Bio