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Ever-Changing Epidermis: How Life During a Pandemic Affects Skin

May 14, 2020

Ever-Changing Epidermis: How Life During a Pandemic Affects Skin

Our skin is constantly changing. I’ve always touted that there’s no such thing as skin types. It can change daily. We can wake up with dry skin and go to sleep with oily skin. This is even more relevant right now. Our lifestyles during the pandemic are creating a host of new skin issues. Many of us are eating differently, under stress, not getting enough fresh air, feeling depressed, exercising less, and lacking intimacy, all of which can be detrimental to skin causing everything from breakouts, excessive oiliness or dryness, signs of aging, redness, or a combination. 


It’s time to reassess. What you think your skin “type” is, what products you’re using, and what works for you. It might be time to break up with (or take a break from) some of your go-to’s.


All skin

  • Drink plenty of water. Stress dehydrates skin, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Liven it up by adding fruit and/or veggies to a pitcher of water and leaving in the fridge overnight for delicious, at-home spa water. Some of my favorites are cucumber, watermelon, pineapple, lemon, and basil.
  • Get enough shuteye. Sleep is one of the foundations of health and affects skin, too.
  • Skin needs oil to keep hydration in balance. Using an oil-based moisturizer with a non-pore-clogging oil, such as jojoba, will help keep skin glowing.
  • Get cultured with a probiotic deep-cleansing mask or spot treatment. Activate it with kombucha for extra goodness. To make a probiotic mask at home, mix your sourdough starter discard or yogurt with turmeric and honey.
  • Eliminate the chemicals in your skincare routine. Now’s the time to take the plunge into squeaky-clean skincare. 

 Oiliness/Breakouts

  • Look for products, like cleansers and masks that contain charcoal that will dig deep into pores to draw out impurities.
  • Keep breakouts at bay with this blemish-busting toner mist: bring 1 teaspoon (or 1 teabag) of rooibos tea to boil with 2 cups of water. Simmer down to 1 cup of liquid. Add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and mist your face throughout the day. 
  • Tread lightly when it comes to exfoliation. Scrubbing away at breakouts can actually spread them. Powder some sea salt and mix with honey to create a gently exfoliating paste.
  • Bee pollen is magical for acne. It’s full of antioxidants and fatty acids that are great for fighting inflammation and repairing damage. Try adding 1/2 teaspoon to a smoothie or powdering some and putting it in your face mask.

Redness

  • Diet plays a big role in the state of our skin, but particularly for those with rosacea. Right now, more than ever, we’re seeking comfort. A recent New York Times article spotlighted the uptick in processed food sales during the pandemic. Be mindful of what you’re consuming and avoid common triggers like spicy foods, sugars, coffee, and alcohol. It might be helpful to keep a food journal.
  • To soothe redness, try adding pure licorice root (without flavoring) to the above rooibos toner recipe.
  • Neroli hydrosol is known for its mending properties and is a wonderfully calming ingredient for those dealing with redness.

Dryness/Signs of Aging

  • Stress accelerates skin aging and robs it of hydration. For a youth-promoting, hydrating spritz, follow the above toner recipe, but use green, black, or white tea instead of rooibos.
  • Keep lymph moving by giving yourself a gentle facial massage.
  • Slough off dead skin cells that can lead to signs of aging. Mix together powdered sea salt, honey, green tea, and turmeric powder for an enlivening, nutrient-rich exfoliant.
  • Seal the deal and lock in moisture by applying a rich moisturizer over your facial oil.