Dry skin, acne, redness… Since the very first lockdown, our skin has faced a plethora of issues from time spent indoors, wearing masks, stress, and other environmental and physiological factors.
However, these negative side effects should not be suffered in vain for the good of the world. In fact, many of these skin dilemmas can be alleviated with a few simple lifestyle tweaks and careful grooming tips.
Here, we’ve rounded up a number of common lockdown-related skin issues along with tips on how to fix them, with expert input from aesthetic doctor and expert trainer in cosmetic dermatology, Amiee Vyas.
1 – Change your mask regularly
You may be doing your part for others by covering up, but wearing the same old mask over and over is actually harming your skin.
“Maskne is a real problem. Wearing a mask creates a warm, dark and moist environment, which bacteria need to thrive,” says Dr. Vyas.
“My advice is to wash or change your mask regularly. Spray your hands with an antimicrobial spray before and after touching your mask, and wash your face before and after wearing it. Applying a mild, non-comedogenic moisturizer is also beneficial. Avoid putting makeup on under your mask – it can make the mask worse for men and women who wear concealer on the spots.
2 – Exercise outside
Sleeping, eating, working and exercising in the same place is not good for the mind or the skin. Mix your kettlebell swings in the living room and do some of your sweating outdoors (even if it’s just your back yard, on your balcony, or at your local park).
“Being outdoors has many benefits for our physical and mental health,” says Dr. Vyas. “Exercise will increase circulation and thereby improve the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the skin. This benefits the process of collagen stimulation and cell turnover and contributes to a healthy glow, which is especially needed in winter when we are exposed to central heating which dehydrates the skin and contributes to skin damage through oxidative stress.
However, Dr. Vyas has a permanent warning when training outdoors: “If you are exercising outdoors in a busy, polluted city, wearing an antioxidant serum or use an SPF with antioxidant protection.”
3 – Try to minimize stress
Stress acne is a very real thing, so taking the time to take care of your mind is just as important as the products you put on your skin. Make sure to take your lunch break, get away from your WFH desk, use mindfulness apps like Headspace, cut down on your alcohol intake – there are tons of ways to improve your mental well-being , which will benefit your physical health.
“Stress leads to cortisol spikes, which cause our sebaceous glands to swell and produce more sebum and increase inflammation – both of which are major drivers of acne,” says Dr. Vyas. “This inflammation means the acne will also leave a pigmented mark or flat scar that can linger much longer than the spots themselves. Minimizing stress, while remaining consistent with a proper skincare regimen, is key. to reduce these effects.
4 – Manage your perspiration
Sweating is perfectly normal – it’s the body’s way of regulating your temperature when you’re overheated. But excessive sweating, something that affects many of us who exercise frequently at an intense level, can have its downsides.
“Excessive sweating can trigger skin problems like acne, and tight, non-breathable gym clothes will only make it worse,” warns Dr. Vyas. “Choose workout gear that’s made of material that’s breathable and doesn’t cause too much friction during exercise, and always wash your active gear after workouts.”
Using a strong antiperspirant that is gentle on your skin will also help. Dove Men+Care dermatologically tested, sulfate-free Clean Comfort Antiperspirant is tough on sweat but not on skin, as it uses triple action moisturizing technology to protect against irritation.
5 – Take regular showers
Speaking of sweaty, just because you’re indoors most of the day doesn’t mean you have to drop your hygiene (you’re sniffling your armpits right now, right?). Staying clean has probably never been more important, as Dr. Vyas explains: “If you’re prone to sweating or have a lot of body hair, sweat, oils and bacteria can build up and cause outbreaks of conditions such as acne.
From redness and irritation to dryness, if your skin has become sensitive due to the repercussions of confinement, be sure to shower regularly and right after your workouts. It’s a good idea to use a nourishing plant-based body wash like Dove Men+Care Clean Comfort Body & Face Wash, which gently cleanses, instantly hydrates and strengthens the skin. “Ideally, use a gentle non-comedogenic but moisturizing body wash, so it cleanses the skin without stripping it of its natural oils,” suggests Dr. Vyas.
Support your skin with the Dove Men+Care range
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