Pandemic Skin Effects: Is Being Stuck At Home Bad For Your Skin?
With all of us spending a majority of our time indoors, we thought you might be interested in reading about pandemic skin effects and how you can care for your skin to keep it healthy. Our top experts at Skin Theory Aesthetics will share with you our list of the best skin care practices to maintain healthy glowing trouble-free skin.
It’s been almost a year since we’ve been told to shelter in place in a bid to stop the pandemic from escalating. While staying indoors has its benefits, such as being able to remain safe and well, there have definitely been drawbacks. One of them is the effect on our skin.
Pandemic Skin Effects: No. 1 - Dry Air, Dry Skin
When staying indoors, your HVAC system helps keep you comfortably cool during the hot summer months and warm and toasty when the weather turns chilly.
Unfortunately, they also tend to remove moisture from indoor environments. Inside air is often drier than the air outside. And when you have your HVAC system on, this dry air is recirculated around your home.
Dry air affects your skin negatively:
☑️ Dry Skin. Staying indoors with dry air can strip the skin of its natural moisture as well as disrupt its pH balance.
☑️ Eczema. Because dry air causes dry skin, this can also lead to eczema and can exacerbate dry skin rashes.
☑️ Acne. Ironically, dry skin can also lead to acne breakouts. Because the skin’s natural moisture barrier is compromised, it is less able to fight bacteria and infection.
In addition, when the skin senses dryness, glands beneath the skin produce more sebum to compromise for the lack of moisture. Dead skin and excess sebum can build up and cause acne.
Pandemic Skin Effects: No. 2 - Amount of Sun Our Skin Is Exposed To
Staying indoors can both have a positive and negative effect on the skin.
Being indoors, you avoid skin damaging pollutants as well as exposure to UV light which can cause sunburns, sun spots, and premature wrinkling.
However, with more time spent inside, you may also be depriving your body of the necessary sun exposure that allows it to maintain healthy levels of Vitamin D. This essential vitamin is not called the sunshine vitamin for nothing. It is activated into Calcitriol, responsible for skin cell growth, repair, and metabolism, by the sun’s UVB light.
With people on lockdown, many Americans have been put at risk of another threat — melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Because of prolonged periods spent indoors, the skin is no longer used to exposure to the sun.
The few times a person ventures out to the park or even just to their backyard too long may be enough to cause a bad sunburn due to intense sun exposure. UV rays can penetrate and damage the DNA in skin cells, which cause mutations that can lead to skin cancer.
Pandemic Skin Effects: No. 3 - Frequent Washing Can Affect Skin pH
During the pandemic, we’re not only urged to stay indoors. We’re also encouraged to wash hands frequently as this is still our best defense against the virus.
However, admit it — you do more than just wash your hands frequently. Many people have made it a habit to bathe and clean more frequently. And doing so can take its toll on your skin.
This alters the skin pH and causes havoc on the perfect balance of fat and carbohydrates that constitutes the outer barrier of your skin.
What happens when the skin pH is off balance? Too alkaline, and your skin becomes red and flaky.
An acidic skin pH exposes you to inflammatory skin conditions including eczema and acne.
Pandemic Skin Effects: No. 4 - You Touch Your Face More
Touching your face makes you more susceptible to infection with flu or cold and certainly the coronavirus. But no matter how often you’re told to refrain from doing it, you do it anyway.
Maybe not deliberately but more out of reflex, like scratching our nose, rubbing itchy eyes or touching our lips while thinking.
Studies reveal that people touch their faces more than 16 times an hour. During this pandemic, you may be touching your face a lot more times than this.
Away from any social activities and with a face free of makeup, you may be touching your face more than it is healthy. This can cause your skin to break out in pimples and acne.
Pandemic Skin Effects: No. 5 - Stress Can Affect The Skin
The pandemic has certainly been very stressful. While social distancing and staying at home are necessary to keep the virus from spreading uncontrollably, this has also brought about feelings of isolation and loneliness and can increase stress and anxiety.
Pandemic stress can show on your skin. How so? Stress triggers a chemical response in your body that makes your skin especially reactive.
When you feel stressed, your body’s nervous system releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol causes your skin glands to produce more oil. This makes you more prone to acne breakouts and other skin problems.
Here are other ways that stress can affect the skin:
☑️ It can aggravate existing skin problems including psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema. It can also cause hives, skin rashes, and trigger fever blisters.
☑️ It can disrupt your daily skin care routine. Sometimes, when you’re stressed, you get preoccupied with other things that might make you skip your daily skincare routine altogether.
Pandemic Skin Effects - What You Can Do To Care For Your Skin
Be Kind to Your Skin. Skin care need not be complicated. You just need to know the appropriate products to use so they give maximum benefit with minimum effort:
Use mild soaps or cleansers. Because you are washing more frequently, make sure you don’t disrupt your skin pH with products with harsh ingredients.
Don’t forget to apply moisturizer or serum. These products are most effective when applied to damp skin after a bath. We recommend a moisturizer or serum with hyaluronic acid that gives your skin extra hydration.
Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF30. Because your skin is not used to sun exposure anymore, it’s even more important to ensure that it’s protected with sunscreen. Apply SPF30 to exposed areas of your skin before stepping outside.
Better yet, look for moisturizers with UV filters that can keep your skin hydrated while protecting you from the sun's harmful rays, which can cause skin damage.
Take advantage of the benefits of serums and retinols. If you’re working from home, you may be spending a large portion of your workday in front of the computer, increasing your exposure to harmful blue light.
Protect yourself by making it a habit to apply UV cream as well as a topical antioxidant serum or cream.
Stick to your usual skincare products. Now is not the time to go all crazy trying new products for your skin. During the pandemic, getting help, should you get a reaction from anything new you’ve tried, can be more challenging.
Get help for your acne. If staying indoors with dry air or stress is causing you to break out, have an acne treatment. If you’re looking for the best, Skin Theory Aesthetics offers cosmetic treatments, including those for acne to help clear out your skin.
If you can’t get out for an appointment, have on hand some hydrocortisone cream, an antifungal and antibiotic cream, to help address skin rashes and irritations.
Give yourself a facial. Give your skin some TLC with a facial. This not only does wonders for your skin but can be a great stress buster. A search on the internet can yield many results of treatments that are appropriate for your skin.
Our experts gave these useful tips so you can give yourself a luxurious and relaxing at-home facial:
Create a relaxing atmosphere. Put on some relaxing spa music, light some scented candles, and use essential oils to put you in the right mood.
Cleanse your skin well. Start with a clean canvas by removing any makeup or products from your face. We recommend a double cleanse with an oil based cleanser first, followed by a mild degreasing cleanser.
Steam your skin. This step opens up your pores and softens the top layer of your skin so it’s ready for exfoliation.
Exfoliate. This step helps slough off dead skin cells to reveal brighter skin beneath. We recommend using an enzyme or chemical exfoliator to prevent irritations and breakouts. Using a scrub can leave tiny scratches on your skin, which can lead to more skin problems.
Use a mask. Look for one with detoxifying ingredients to help clean out your pores, which will be open after steaming and exfoliation.
Apply a moisturizer. Finish your facial with a serum or moisturizer to seal in the hydration.
Keep Heating and the Air Conditioner to a Minimum. As mentioned earlier, indoor air is already dry as it is. Having your HVAC system at full blast will dry out your skin more.
Stay Hydrated. You would think that being indoors will make you more likely to drink your minimum of 8 glasses of water. However, you can easily forget to do this while sheltering at home. Remember to stay hydrated to keep your skin healthy.
Eat Healthy. It’s tempting to reach for sodium-heavy junk food and sugary drinks while working at home or even just binge watching on Netflix. Instead of grabbing that bag of chips, why not eat some fruit or nuts, or instead of that scoop of ice cream, indulge in some Greek yoghurt.
Manage Stress. While pandemic stress has become part of our new lives now, it’s important not to let the stress get the better of you. Keep your mind off aggravating news by engaging in activities that can entertain you. Read a book, do some yoga or meditation, go for a walk (while practicing safety protocols), or do some home workouts.
Let Us Take Care of Your Skin
If your skin needs some TLC, let Skin Theory Aesthetics™ take care of you. We specialize in cosmetic treatments that can make you look and feel amazing.
At Skin Theory Aesthetics™, we guarantee you’ll get exceptional results with a treatment plan custom-designed to meet your unique needs. Talk to any of our specialists for a consultation.
Call us for any questions or to book an appointment at (951) 735-5570.
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