'Lockdown skin' is probably what's causing your spots and breakouts

When lockdown was announced, many of us thought it could at least be a chance to give our skin a break.

No make-up for weeks, more opportunity for sleep, less exposure to pollution without daily commutes – surely we should all be glowing and dewy by now.

So why hasn’t it worked out like that? Loads of us are actually finding that our skin is breaking out, oily, dull or dry during lockdown. Which is an added stress that we really don’t need right now.

We asked a couple of experts to explain the phenomenon of ‘lockdown skin’ – and help us understand why being inside and doing nothing isn’t necessarily the best thing for our beauty regimes.

Leading aesthetics doctor Dr Nina Bal, says our diets could be one of the key culprits.

‘More people are likely to be snacking due to boredom and for comfort,’ Dr Nina tells Metro.co.uk.

She also says that being at home so much might mean we are increasing the time we spend with out electronic devises.She says tablets, computers and phone screens create damaging radiations that are reflected back on to our skin.

Skincare expert Vivienne Taslmat says the stress of being in lockdown and having our normal routines upended could also be behind skin problems.

‘Bad skin is often caused by stress, your body creates cortisol under stress (especially stress you have no control over),’ Vivienne tells Metro.co.uk. ‘Which in turn leads to oily skin and breaks out – also swelling and rashes. 

‘What many people do not realise is that the gut and the skin are interconnected, if you are overeating or stress eating this can often lead to eczema and rosacea.’

Another key issue that Vivienne highlights is potential dehydration. Are you drinking enough water now you’re working from home? And are you drinking the right kinds of liquids?

‘Dehydration can be from two factors; not drinking enough water and drinking too many cups of coffee, tea or sugary beverages which will dehydrate your skin,’ says Vivienne.

‘If dehydration is your issue, have a bottle of water by your bed – as soon as you get up drink it, use a water app to remind yourself to drink water and don’t ignore it,’ she adds. ‘Replace tea with hot lemon water.’

As well as making a big effort to stay hydrated, there are other things you can do to try to limit the effects of ‘lockdown skin’.

How to improve your skin during lockdown

Dr Nina says we should avoiding eating too much refined sugars and chocolate, because they will dehydrate the skin and can cause breakouts.

‘Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, they will nourish your skin with a lot of vitamins, also eating plenty of dried fruits will help because of their high fibre content and antioxidants,’ she suggests.

‘This will help your digestive system get rid of toxins, great if you want to prevent spots and acne too.’

When it comes to technology, Dr Nina says it’s vital to make sure you’re taking breaks from being in front of screens.

‘Please make sure you are protecting your skin with a combination of Vitamin C and spf to bounce back more than 80% of UV rays,’ she adds. 

‘Despite the very limited time allowed outside, make sure you apply religiously at least factor 40 + on your skin as the UV rays coming from the windows are enough to age your skin and create pigmentation.’

Dr Nina says that the extra time we have at home means you can spend some time perfecting your skincare routine, and there’s more chance you’ll be able to stick to it every night.

‘Make the most of self isolation to work on your skin texture, using prescribed medical grade retinol from your aesthetics doctor once or twice a week,’ she suggests.

‘Sunny holidays seem far away but we can rejuvenate our skin by applying this incredibly active ingredient which accelerate the new skin production. Even if we peel and have redness, we don’t have any events or parties to attend.’

Peeling and redness can be a normal side-effect when using retinol – particularly at first. It’s important to use SPF protection alongside retinol products, and start with a low concentration.

Dr Nina adds that lockdown is a great opportunity to work on your overall wellbeing, which can help to make your skin better too.

‘Relax make time for meditation, exercise or stress relief,’ she says. ‘Your skin will thank you!

‘Go to bed early if you can and sleep. You can use this self isolation time as a retreat for your skin and mind.

‘The skin cells need time to renew and repair.’

Self-care is important at the moment, but don’t worry if you are breaking out or struggling with dryness.

If you have bigger things to worry about right now, that is completely understandable. But making little changes to help your skin will likely help to boost you overall health and mental wellbeing too.

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