The pandemic has likely impacted your life in a number of different ways, but have you ever stopped to think about how it’s affecting your skin? Ever since the pandemic began, dermatologists have been seeing an increase in certain skin concerns, and with nobody knowing how long Covid-19 is going to rage on for, those issues are only going to become more and more common. If you can relate to any of the following, then it’s time to take back control and pandemic-proof your skin.
Acne was already one of the most common skin conditions in the world, but the pandemic has led to pimples affecting more people than ever before.
There are a couple of reasons for this, with the first being face masks. The way in which a mask rubs against the skin, causing inflammation while pushing oil, sweat, and dead skin cells deeper into the skin, results in pore blockages. A mask also creates the perfect environment for acne-causing bacteria, which will quickly produce a pimple when it comes into contact with a clogged pore.
The stress that the pandemic is causing you isn’t helping either. Stress increases both inflammation and natural oil production in the skin, putting you at even greater risk of a breakout.
While there are plenty of effective acne treatments out there, don’t go buying the first one you see. Research the ingredients and read reviews to make sure that what you’re buying really does work – pierremichelbeauty.com is a great place to start when looking for guidance on acne products.
2. Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles
Chances are that the pandemic has interfered with your daily routine. As a consequence, many have experienced a disrupted sleep schedule, meaning that dark circles and puffy eyes have become the norm.
While you may be able to turn to makeup to temporarily de-puff and brighten, ignoring the problem isn’t doing your skin any favors. Not only does sleep deprivation cause your blood vessels to dilate, resulting in the thin skin around your eyes looking darker and swollen, but it also leads to everything from pale and dull skin to fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, a lack of sleep isn’t good for your health either!
Although eye creams can help with the puffiness, especially if you store them in the fridge before using them, establishing a solid sleep routine that you can actually stick to is the best way to deal with this.
3. Dry Skin
While humidity helps to keep your skin hydrated, a lack of humidity has the opposite effect – it can severely dry the skin out. Dry environments draw moisture out of the skin, leaving it parched. Due to heating and cooling systems, indoor air usually lacks humidity. With social restrictions confining people to their homes, and therefore subjecting the skin to more time spent indoors, it’s no surprise that dryness has become such a common complaint.
To counter this, keep your skin well-moisturized. If your dry skin is feeling itchy or looking flaky, then go for a thick, emollient-rich moisturizer that’s packed with plant oils and butters – botanicals are full of antioxidants that will also help to repair damaged skin cells and improve natural moisture retention.
Another pro tip is to try applying your moisturizer onto damp, rather than dry, skin. This traps all of those extra water molecules into your skin, giving it some extra hydration. A facial mist that’s immediately followed by a moisturizer will leave your skin looking instantly plumper and softer.
4. Fine Lines and Wrinkles
In addition to pandemic-related stress triggering breakouts, many have also noticed an increase in fine lines and wrinkles. Again, this is largely down to long-term stress, which triggers premature skin aging.
While there’s nothing wrong with stocking up on anti-aging products (even if you don’t have any fine lines or wrinkles, you should still be using them as a preventative), learning how to de-stress is even more important. Yes, stress has such a destructive effect on the skin, but it can also severely impact your mental health, so start trying out some of the many stress reduction techniques out there.
5. Dark Spots and Hyperpigmentation
The amount of time that people are spending behind a screen has drastically increased since the pandemic began. While electronic devices provide a safe way for people to both work and play, they also expose the skin to blue light.
Otherwise known as High Energy Visible (HEV) light, the blue light wavelength penetrates deep into the skin, even deeper than UV rays do. Although research into this is still ongoing, increased blue light exposure has been linked to dark spots and hyperpigmentation. It’s also known that blue light damages the collagen and elastin in the skin, causing fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin.
Antioxidants are key for fighting this damage, while brightening and exfoliating products will deal with any existing dark spots. In terms of prevention, the pandemic has meant that cutting back on screen time is simply not an option for some. So, instead, install blue light filters on each of your electronic devices, and be sure to keep your face at least 12 inches away from a screen each time you’re using one.
6. Rosacea Flare-Ups
Since there isn’t a treatment for rosacea, a skin condition that causes redness and small bumps on the face, it’s important to try to keep flare-ups to a minimum. However, with both stress and face masks causing inflammation in the skin, which then triggers a flare-up, rosacea sufferers have really been struggling during the pandemic.
Soothing flushed skin with cooling and calming ingredients can really help – the sooner you treat your symptoms, the faster your flare-up will clear. Then, in addition to managing your stress levels, look for a face mask made from cotton or silk – these fabrics are far less irritating on the skin, which should help to prevent future flare-ups.
The pandemic has taken its toll in so many ways. While your skin may not be your biggest concern, ignoring any skin problems that have arisen during the pandemic will only cause them to worsen, making them even tougher to treat further down the line.