It’s happening to almost everyone: skin flaring up and breaking out, as if in protest at the times we find ourselves in. But what can you do about it? We look at possible solutions to lockdown flare-ups.
This is obviously a tricky one; how on earth can we destress in the middle of the most intense global event for a century?! But calming yourself down is probably the most important thing you can do for yourself and your skin right now; stress is one of skin’s worst enemies.
- Get outside into the fresh air, even for a short time, if you possibly can
- BREATHE: long, deep, slow out-breaths stimulate the vagus nerve and rest the body. Give yourself five minutes every few hours to slow it down.
- Find an activity you can lose yourself in: colouring in, knitting, cooking, drawing, gardening. Find the flow.
- Download a soothing app and check in with it regularly
- Get on a video call with your friends and family: a laugh with mates is a great way of lowering stress hormones like cortisol.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is an underrated skincare treat! You need it. Your skin needs it. At the moment plenty of us are struggling to get enough sleep, but please take it seriously. For more tips about skin and sleep, see Ruth Holroyd’s great blog on Sleep Tips For The Eczema-Prone.
Boost your diet
You might find yourself stress-eating crisps, or ordering takeaways, or eating junk food out of out of boredom. Or maybe you’re quite understandably being kind to yourself with chocolate and desserts! None of this is bad: don’t give yourself a hard time about nutrition mid pandemic. It’s all good! But if you’re finding your skin is breaking out, find ways to boost your immune system and up your intake of nutrients that will help your skin.
Think of it as treating your body to the good stuff, rather than beating yourself up about the bad! Look for food that is rich in skin-kind vitamin D, essential fatty acids, iron, and antioxidants.
It's a great time to subscribe to some good cooking channels or sites to inspire yourself to eat well; we love Healthyish.
And talking of which - you need your vitamin D now more than ever! Your skin needs it, your immune system needs it. The best way of getting the magic D into your body is to be outside in the fresh, sunny air. Take your allowable exercise, even if it’s more a stroll than a run.
And you can also supplement with daily vitamin D capsules or sprays.
Being inside a lot can really dehydrate the skin, especially if your central heating is going on and off as the seasons change.
- Drink plenty of water
- Invest in a humidifier
- Open windows and get the air circulating
- Hydrate your skin with regular applications of moisturiser throughout the day
Keep up with your regular skincare routine - or establish a new one! Your skin still needs care and attention, even if you aren’t going out and facing the world at the moment. Try these ways of keeping your skin in good condition:
- Treat yourself to a weekly natural (maybe homemade?) face mask
- Park the fragranced skincare: stick to unscented products as they’re less likely to flare you up
- Cleanse, pat dry, and apply moisturiser while your skin is still slightly damp
- Apply a natural facial oil every night - and use it on cuticles, nails, eyelashes as well!
Skin Salvation with hemp seed oil, beeswax, calendula, from £7.99 for 30ml
Natural Shampoo & Body Wash with nettle and chamomile, £19 for 200ml
Intensive Facial Oil with rosehip, chamomile & lavender, £22 for 30mlIntensive Hand Cream with shea butter, chamomile & sea buckthorn, from £10.99 for 50ml
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.