How is lockdown 2 treating you? Granted, the different countries that make up Great Britain are all facing different restrictions and rules around the coronavirus pandemic but we’re all facing the same thing - lockdown anxiety and worry.
Especially so, as this time around, the weather isn’t on our side. Dark mornings, cold winds, rain, fog (so much fog!), shorter days and longer nights are enough to dampen our spirits alone. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, is a type of winter depression linked to less natural daylight each day that commonly affects many of us from around October to early March.
Now, with restrictions placed on our movements, who we see, where we see them and the prospect of a Christmas without friends and family, the nation's mood is palpably blue.
If you’re struggling with your mental health now or at any other time of year, it’s important to speak to someone. We know that might seem daunting or difficult, but a friend, close family member, online help group or your GP (who is still very much open to see you) can help.
Mental health aside, you might be noticing that your skin health is also suffering. This can be down to lots of different factors including the dry heat of central heating, falling out of sync with your normal routine and stress.
Whatever the reason for your lockdown lacklustre skin, we hear you, and we’re probably suffering in the same way.
So here’s our tried and tested tips for keeping your skin playing ball, for however long the stay at home message lasts for.
Skin problem 1: central heating
If you’re not leaving the house as much, then the temptation to have the heating on full blast all day is undoubtedly high. But the costs of all that energy use are only one downside to this.
Central heating takes moisture from the air, leaving the air dry. This has a direct impact on our skin, stealing moisture and drying it out too.
So make sure you’re taking breaks from the heating every now and again. It’s also helpful to use a humidifier that sits on top of your radiator using the heat from it to warm up its water content and evaporate it into the air.
A bowl of warm water or a wet towel on top of each radiator will do just as well at topping up the moisture levels in the air.
Also make sure you’re using a moisturiser to replenish any lost moisture from your skin and keep it well hydrated. Because dehydrated skin looks dull and sullen, and there’s already enough dullness about!
Skin problem 2: a change in routine
Are you neglecting your cleansing routine in the morning as you aren’t going out during the day? Or at night because you haven't put makeup on? You’re not alone, as a lot of people we talk to have lost their way and are neglecting their usual skin care regime.
Here, we’d advise you to be gentle with yourself, and do things that make you feel good. Your skin care regime is a few minutes each day where you can practice self care and reap the benefits both physically and mentally.
Failing that, use your skin care regime as a defiant act against Covid and tell it (metaphorically) that you’re not going to let it win! Your skin deserves care and attention, and no lockdown causing virus is going to get in your way!
Skin problem 3: pure boredom
Bored? Yep, being at home all day and all night can be incredibly mind numbing especially if you’re on furlough or not working.
So why not add a night of skincare treats into your weekly routine? Light a candle and treat yourself to a long soak in a bubble bath, with a good book, maybe a glass of wine and our brand new face mask?!
In this new world, the word ‘face mask’ might now conjure up thoughts of fabric face coverings or medical type visors (irritating maskne, anyone?). But we mean face masks in the old fashioned sense! Our Purifying Clay Face Mask is the ideal team mate for purging those pores of anything that shouldn’t be there, leading to clearer, glowing skin.
Or take the time to do your nails or throw on some fake tan, just like you would if you were off to the salon for a treatment.
Skin problem 4: must I wear makeup?
As we all get used to not seeing people face to face or just via Zoom calls and FaceTime, we might be choosing to wear less makeup.
But now is the ideal time to play around with a new makeup look! If you’re not going to see as many people, why not get used to the new ‘look’ you’ve been keen to try?
We sometimes think a new look appears ‘weird’ on our faces as we try to get used to it. So these strange times are ideal for trying out new looks and getting used to them. This could mean adding in a strong eye or lip, trying out different foundation coverages or minimising the look we’ve always stuck to. Enjoy and have fun with it!
Skin problem 5: more exercise equals more sweat
Lockdown has given many of us a kick up the proverbial and encouraged us to exercise more or to try out exercises we might not have tried before.
We might be lacing up our trainers and pounding the pavements for the first time (or the first time in a long time). Or we might be trying out yoga or HIIT (high intensity interval training) via online classes as a complete beginner or in lieu of the gym.
Either way, carry on because exercise is fantastic for both our physical and mental health. The only downside is, extra exercise equals extra sweat.
If we don’t wash this layer of sweat off soon after exercising, it’ll dry on our skin and potentially clog the pores, trapping dirt, oil and makeup as it goes. Then this can lead to spots, breakouts and irritation.
So even if you’re exercising at home and not seeing anyone, avoid the temptation of staying in your gym gear all day, or going to bed without showering. It’s far better to shower and get into clean pyjamas instead - even if it is still day time outside!
Skin problem 6: hand sanitiser woes
Now that we’re all following the stay at home advice, the one saving grace is that we can cut down on the amount of hand sanitiser that we’re using. (Although we should still use it if we accept a parcel, post or food delivery at the door if we can’t wash our hands straight away.)
The alcohol contained within hand sanitiser dries out the skin, so whilst it’s more convenient, it’s harsher on the skin. Giving our hands a break from the hand sanitiser now that we’re at home more often will mean that our hands will feel less dry, sore and parched.
Stick to washing your hands with a gentle soap and warm water often, and always use a good quality hand moisturiser afterwards to replenish any lost moisture.
Skin problem 7: stress
Stress levels seem to be high everywhere at the moment, caused by the worry of our jobs, finances and the health and safety of our loved ones. A consequence of stress is the possibility of spots and breakouts caused by the release of stress hormones.
At the moment, it's easier said than done to “just relax” so we must do all we can and whatever it takes to try to relax. Be that having a glass of wine over FaceTime with friends, going for a walk, practicing mindfulness and yoga or seeking professional help to manage our stress levels.
Skin problem 8: lack of interest
If you’re feeling a little bit ‘meh’ at the moment, you’re amongst like minded friends. Everything just feels, well, a bit rubbish, doesn’t it?
But this lethargy isn’t impossible to overcome. With a bit of oomph and get up and go, we can all form new habits that can make us feel a little more in control of the situation.
And forming a new skincare habit is a great place to start! New habits take about 21 days to form so you could have a new one going by the end of lockdown.
For example, if you’re used to using face wipes to cleanse and remove your makeup, why not commit to changing this to a more thorough cleanse each evening?
Make things easy on yourself by keeping it simple. Our Rebalance & Reset Cream Cleanser is actually quicker than face wipes as it lifts dirt so easily with no need to keep wiping over and over at your skin. Just apply our cold cream, allow it to melt away the dirt, makeup and grime, then use a cotton pad or cloth to wipe off.
See you in 21 days!
This article is not meant to treat or diagnose. Please visit your doctor for advice about any health concerns you may have.