As if finding your perfect skin care routine wasn’t hard enough, you’ve got the addition of a global pandemic to complicate the matter.
Stress, air-conditioning, lack of Vitamin-D and maybe the occasional taquito or two can cause all sorts of disruptions to whatever normalcy your skin had prior to lockdown. I know they did for me when lockdown first got me down. But being the “Oh, heck nah” gal that I am, I’ve spent my time solving all of these common quarantine-skin woes.
- The Good Old Breakout
From anxiety to dietary changes, a new normal, or a combination, it’s likely that the majority of us have seen a pimple or two in the past few months. The addition of face masks and blue light overexposure hasn’t helped, either.
What I Did:
Seeing some breakouts nearly sent me into overdrive, I’ll admit. As a skin-junkie, I take pride in maintaining my clear complexion, and my ego certainly took a hit. My first plan of action?
Lowering my stress.
Yeah, I know. In one of the most confusing, stressful times in our current history, how are we supposed to lower our stress? Many of us had lost our jobs, and the world seemed a little less happy-go-lucky. But what I came to realize from very many hours alone is that I am ultimately the only one in power to control how I feel, and what I make out of difficult times.
This meant unwinding every night with ginger-lemon tea and gentle yoga, and not skipping out on skincare despite the day I may have had. This looked like using a gentle cleanser, nourishing serum (I like Vitamin C serums to brighten post-acne scarring), moisturizing day and night, and applying a hydrating eye cream.
- Flakey and Shaky
If you’re like me, you might be 1 of the 35 million of us here in America who suffers from stress-induced eczema flares. And if not, excessive skin washing and air conditioning may have done the trick.
As a woman, it feels great to glow. I feel like I’m at my peak, and whenever I see another woman with a healthy glow, I know that she is, too. With an onslaught of stress, my flakes reappeared, and the dew started to slip away.
What I Did:
Refer to key point #1. Lowering my stress had the largest impact on my skin as a whole, but there were certainly other factors that helped.
Gua Sha is a calming Chinese medicine technique that works to calm muscle tension, prevent fine lines and wrinkles, and drain puff from the face while increasing blood flow (healthy circulation = healthy glow.) When I read up on its facial benefits, I hopped straight over to Amazon and got myself a $10 facial gua sha tool. One or two times per week, I applied a lightweight facial oil in place of my moisturizer, and gently used the tool to massage my skin in upward strokes. I kept my gua sha tool cool in the fridge, too as it helped calm inflammation and brought my skin back to life in the morning.
- We Talked About the Taquitos, Right?
You’re not alone. With less room to roam, a depletion in motivation, and some emotional eating, really anything is bound to happen to the skin.
I loved my normal fitness routine, and I did my best to accompany it with a nutrient dense, healthy diet. But at points, hardship got the best of me, and I found myself back on the couch with my good old friends Ben and Jerry.
What I Did:
The number one thing to keep in mind when you fall off the wagon is self-forgiveness. Though an extreme example for many of us, in addiction recovery, the importance of self-forgiveness is crucial for sustaining sobriety.
And that same forgiveness applies to us when we slip up.
When you ruminate in your misery, skipping a workout, or overeating, you’re only snow-balling it into a continual habit. The first mistake that I made wasn’t my last. But each time, it was okay. And I had to get real with myself about the reasons why I was neglecting to take care of myself. It’s not always easy to go that deep, but it was the only way I could start feeling better and put an end to the junk-food skin.
You don’t need to go spend thousands of dollars to combat any of the skin struggles you’ve seen in lockdown. And don’t let big marketing companies tell you otherwise. Of course, skincare products have their place, but taking it back to basics is where all the difference is made. Especially in times of uncertainty.