Unless you are one of our hero key workers, you have probably been stuck indoors for much of the time since Christmas. The UK is more than a month into the current lockdown and it could be many weeks – or even months – before the economy fully opens up again. This could be bad news for your skin as well as your overall health.
Winter is never a good time for the face. It takes the full force of biting, cold weather and needs extra attention to ensure it remains hydrated and smooth. But what about a protracted spell indoors?
Here are some of the problems likely to impact skin care during the current crisis.
Effects of Central Heating
With sub-zero temperatures outside, it is easy to whack up the central heating and leave it on a high setting. Staying warm is important at this time of the year but it can also damage the skin.
Often lack of humidity in a home is to blame for the recurrence of a niggling skin condition, such as patches of eczema. Even if you have never had a problem before, you may find skin has become dry and irritated.
Loss of moisture in the air dries out the skin, which can increase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. You can tackle this by ensuring you keep your face moisturised, cool and supple. Use a hydrating cream morning and night. You may also want to revisit your cleansing routine to include a hydrating cleanser.
Drinking More Alcohol
Research carried out by a leading charity has found that people’s drinking habits have changed over the past year. The stress of the pandemic has seen more of us turn to booze. In fact, Alcohol Change UK, which carried out the research, says its findings point to a worrying uptick in people breaching safe alcohol limits. It surveyed drinkers and almost a third said they have been drinking more.
If you have noticed yourself sipping more wine than usual*, your body is likely to be dehydrated. This can cause the skin to become dry, flushed-looking and puffy. You may even suffer from breakouts. At the end of the day, excessive alcohol consumption will age you.
Try limiting your intake. Replace a glass of wine (or three!) with water or a weak squash instead. Aim to consume at least a litre of water a day. This is especially important to combat the effects of drier air in centrally heated homes.
*Safe alcohol limit: 14 units per week.
Fatigue Leads To… More Fatigue
Going out less often means many of us are not getting enough exercise. This can lead to fatigue and even insomnia. If you are feeling lethargic, your skin care routine is likely to suffer. ‘I can’t be bothered’ is a feeling many of us have at the moment. You are not alone.
The best way to give yourself more energy is to actually exercise. If you are shielding or don’t feel ready to walk too far away from home, consider doing some simple exercises indoors. You don’t have to do a full body fat workout or try to keep up with some trendy vlogger giving Zumba everything they’ve got.
Saga has some great tips on how to keep fit during lockdown. Alternatively, why not – finally – check out The Body Coach’s ten-minute workout video? I find walking up and down the stairs ten times in the morning and evening gives me the ‘burst’ of energy I need to do a few laps of the garden! It doesn’t have to be elaborate. And eating fresh fruit and veg can help.
‘The Shops Are Shut’
If you are used to buying your skin care products from a particular shop or department store, you could be sat at home with low or no supplies. But you don’t have to go without. Why not buy essential items online and have them delivered to your door?
It’s safe and may even save you some money – handy if your income has taken a big hit. What’s more, you could even discover a new brand that better suits your skin.
- Alcohol Change UK
Today’s note to readers: We have added Moogoo Skin Milk Udder Cream to our review list, along with a leading brand of aloe vera gel. With Spring just around the corner (at last!), now is a good time to invest in a good hand cream – especially if you plan to do a spot of gardening or get out more. Take a look at our shop for some super ideas.
Entries are still being accepted for our Win a Phoera Foundation Bundle competition. Enter here. Good luck to everyone taking part.
Clinique update: Products across the brand’s range are now in very limited supply. I will let you know when stock improves.