What number lockdown are we either currently in or on the cusp of entering into? Yes, although the restrictions are totally necessary to continue to protect our health. There are other implications which are sadly also aware such as effects on mental and physical health.
Your skin is the largest, one of the most important and complicated organs of the body. It conducts many roles in the maintenance of life and health, but also has many potential problems, with more than 3,000 possible skin disorders.
I have decided to do a skin series for Lockdown skin which will hopefully take us throughout this next lockdown, so you can come out of lockdown glowing.
‘Normal’ healthy skin has many important roles and thus should be treated with care and respect. People often say ‘I really need to invest in my skin now because they have reached a particular age milestone, special event coming up or there is an abnormality, perceived skin issue which they want to ‘fix’.
Looking after your skin should be a continuous and autonomous process like you would look after any other part of your health.
Common concerns include dryness, bumps, blemishes, slow to heal, redness, sensitivity, oiliness, congestion, wrinkles, sun damage and signs of ageing. Although these states are all within the spectrum of normal functional skin and the cycle of skin, they may be considered problematic if severe or undesirable.
Does being inside effect my skin?
Short answer, yes, it really does and not in a good way either. Have you found yourself drier, dull, unexpected out of character breakouts, split lips, looking tired? Make up just not sitting right?
We really are creatures of habit, our body reflects this. Our environments have changed and to some extent drastically. We are outside less, our daily commute is missed, we are in our central heated houses and lacking the hydration (that Christmas wine does not count as a hydrator either haha) we need both from the inside and outside.
First stop - Dry Skin.
What is Dry skin?
We are talking the dry itchy, rough, flaky, white flaky, grey, ashy, red skin (obviously, this can vary in degrees from day to day and from person to person (that is the beauty of skin, it is so individual).
Dry skin occurs when skin doesn't retain sufficient moisture. Although you can have dry skin throughout the year, seasonally (most likely in winter) and lockdown may not have been the instigator it is great to be aware of it and not alarmed when it happens. This is often due to the low humidity, both outdoors and indoors. The water content of the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) tends to reflect the level of humidity around it. I also suffered from extremely dry skin after having my children and during the first few months of breastfeeding as your body is expending so much, kids are little drainers.
If your skin actually falls within the ‘dry skin’ category then you would not be break out in blemishes as your skin will be lacking in oil to create blemishes and bread bacteria. You can have dry patches without having overall dry skin.
No oil on my skin ? Winning??
Ok, so you may have read the above and be a person who is sitting their with oily skin or blemishes and think.. what do they have to complain about then? I would love no oil. Without oil, your skin will appear rough and flaky, which will lead to more pronounced lines or ‘wrinkles’.
Dry skin also ultimately leads to damaging of the skin’s moisture barrier, which means cracks appear in the skin. This leads to that soreness, the sting the flakiness. This damage needs to be fixed as it ricochet’s into the further breakdown of the proteins which the skin loves and needs for that youthful bounce and glow - the collagen and elastin.
So what can I use?
Firstly, do not over-exfoliate. The skin does need a exfoliation a few times a week, however, we tend to look at all the benefits of retinoids, acids, physical exfoliation and just continue this breakdown of the barrier.
Plus we have all seen the hand held cleansing tools and brushes and use them twice a day. Yes, they work and ‘cleanse your skin’, however, the continuous use and exfoliation is too much for your skin.
Other issues are the type of cleansers used i.e foaming cleansers, soaps and sulphate based cleansers whilst not adequately protecting the barrier with a targeted moisturiser shortly after cleansing. Try the Antioxidant Nourishing Cleansing Oil for a cleanser which nourishes and cleanses the skin with enriching lipid fats.
Choose a Moisturiser which rehydrate the top layer of skin cells and seal in the moisture, are the first step in treating and protecting against dry skin.
The ingredients to look out for are:
Humectants - which help attract moisture - Hyaluronic Acid
Ceramides are, simply fats that occur naturally in skin. They make up over 50% of the skin's composition, they play such an important role in protecting your skin against environmental threats and helping it look younger.Ingredients to look out for containing naturally occurring ceramides include Broccoli Seed, Wheatgerm Oil and Rosehip Oil.
Emollients - which help to smooth the skin, by filling in the spacing between skin cells, ingredients which are great for this are - Avocado Oil and Buriti Oil
Glow Circle's Glow Boosting 2-in-1 Moisturiser + Serum is full of these essential ingredients, check it out
What can I eat?
It is as much about what's on the skin and what's in the skin. We are much better with hydrating in the summertime. Apart from water there are lots of water rich vegetables we can be eating in winter and during lockdown
- Bell Peppers
Other tips to help dry skin
- Keep hydrated having a refilled bottle of water which you top up during the day helps.
- Eat hydrating foods - hydrating fruits and foods such as homemade soups with seasonal vegetables, oranges, pears, strawberries, yogurt, kale, lettuce and spinach.
- Minimise the use of soaps
- Apply moisturisers to your face and body immediately after bathing, cleansing or washing your hands. This helps to seal in moisture whilst the skin is damp.
- Please resist the urge to itch. Most of the time, a moisturiser can control the itch. You can also use a cold pack or compress to relieve itchy spots.
- Use fragrance-free laundry detergents and avoid fabric softeners.
- Avoid wearing wool and other fabrics that can irritate the skin.