Dry skin, acne, redness… Since the very first moment of quarantine, our skin has faced a plethora of problems due to excessive amounts of time spent indoors, wearing masks, stress, and other environmental and physiological factors.
However, these negative side-effects don’t have to be suffered in vain. In fact, many of these skin dilemmas can be fixed with a few easy lifestyle tweaks and careful grooming tips.
Here, we’ve rounded up a number of common quarantine skin concerns along with advice on how to solve them, with specialist input from aesthetic doctor and expert trainer in cosmetic dermatology, Amiee Vyas.
1 – Change your mask regularly
You might be doing your bit for others by covering up, but wearing the same old mask over and over again is actually doing harm to your skin.
“Maskne is a real issue. Wearing a mask creates a warm, dark and damp environment, which is exactly what bacteria need to thrive,” explains Dr. Vyas.
“My advice is to wash or change your mask regularly. Spray your hands with antimicrobial spray before and after touching your mask, and wash your face before and after wearing it. Applying a gentle, non-comedogenic moisturizer is also beneficial. Avoid wearing makeup under your mask – this can worsen maskne for men and women who wear concealer over spots.”
2 – Exercise outdoors
Constantly being deprived of fresh air isn’t good for the mind or the skin. Exercising outside is a perfect excuse to spend time in the great outdoors (even if that’s just your back garden, on your balcony or in your local park).
“Being outdoors has lots of benefits for our physical and mental health,” says Dr. Vyas. “Exercising will increase circulation and thereby improve the delivery 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 particularly needed during winter when we’re exposed to central heating that dehydrates the skin and contributes to skin damage through oxidative stress.”
Dr. Vyas does have one perennial warning when working out outside, however: “If you’re exercising outside in a busy, polluted city, wearing an antioxidant serum or using an SPF that has antioxidant protection is a must.”
And, finally, just make sure you’re sweating the smart way. “Excessive sweating can trigger skin issues like acne, and tight, non-breathable activewear will only make it worse,” warns Dr. Vyas. “Choose workout gear that is made of breathable material and doesn’t cause too much friction while exercising, and always wash your active gear after workouts.”
Using a powerful antiperspirant that’s kind to your skin will also help. The dermatologically proven and sulfate-free Clean Comfort Antiperspirant from Dove Men+Care is tough on sweat but not on skin, as it uses a triple action moisturizer technology to protect against irritation.
3 – Try to minimize stress
Stress acne is a very real thing, so taking the time to look after your mind is just as important as the products you’re putting on your skin. Making sure you take your lunch break, getting away from your WFH desk, using mindfulness apps like Headspace, lowering your alcohol consumption – there’s a multitude of ways you can improve your mental wellbeing, which in turn will benefit your physical health.
“Stress leads to cortisol peaks, which cause our oil glands to swell and produce more oil and increases inflammation – both of which are key drivers of acne,” says Dr. Vyas. “This inflammation means acne will also leave a pigmented mark or flat scar that can hang around for much longer than the spots themselves. Minimizing stress, as well as staying consistent with an appropriate skincare regime, is key in reducing these effects.”
4 – Take regular showers
Just because you’re staying inside for most of the day, doesn’t mean you should let your hygiene slip (you’re sniffing your armpits right now, aren’t you?). Keeping clean has arguably 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 flare-ups of conditions such as acne.”
Make sure you’re showering regularly and right after your workouts. It’s a good idea to use a nourishing plant-based body wash like Dove’s Men+Care Clean Comfort body and face wash, which gently cleanses, instantly hydrates and strengthens skin. “Ideally, use a gentle body wash that is non-comedogenic but moisturizing, so it will clean the skin without stripping it of its natural oils,” suggests Dr. Vyas. You’ll find yourself in good company—according to a survey managed by the Dove medical team, they are the number one dermatologist-recommended men’s bar and body wash brand.
Support your skin with the Dove Men+Care range.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io