Whether you call it lockdown, self-isolation, or simply the choice to work remotely in the wake of a global pandemic, the situation is not easy on our skin. A lot of adults struggle with skin issues on a daily basis, whether it is caused by elevated stress or a bad diet. Who hasn’t woken up with an unpleasant spot on their chin? What is that doing here now? I’m way past puberty, you think. True enough, but puberty isn’t the only cause for bad skin.
More importantly, our skin is teaching us a valuable lesson of self-love. It isn’t perfect. But as flawed as it sometimes can be, it remains our best protection against the outside world. Thick skin, both figuratively and literally, keeps threats at bay. So it is understandable that, sometimes, our skin shows the mental and physical challenges of self-isolation. There’s a lot going on. Yet, putting your skin health first could become a valuable journey of self-discovery.
I cannot not see me
Working remotely has encouraged people to look for digital alternatives to the typical face)to)face appointment. Phone calls can only do so much. So, video conferencing tools have become an integral part of our work life. How many Zoom meetings do you have in a week? It feels like every day is turning into a single video call where you are left staring at your face. Digital interactions are necessary. But more and more people find them torturous and painful. Urgh, you think, is this really what I look like? Video calls make us more self-conscious about our appearance. Additionally, it’s the only kind of conversation where you can look at yourself as you interact with others. And let is be a lesson of humility for all: we don’t always look great. Yet, acknowledging your imperfections is the only way forward. According to scientific studies, the majority of healthy people are likely to report huge deformations in their faces when they stare in a mirror in low lighting for one minute. Zoom meetings can last on average 30 minutes to 1 hour. In short, you will notice imperfections and focus on these. For skin experts, though, it is a worrisome phenomenon as more and more adults are reaching out to unnecessary solutions to touch up their appearances.
Skin worries intensify
Zoom makes us hypersensitive about our skin. However, our life in self-isolation can also reinforce the problem. Your skin reacts to many factors, including the flow of hormones in the body. As hormones are invisible to the naked eye, it’s fair to say that most people are unaware of potential imbalance risks. But, the reality of hormonal imbalance is that it shows somewhere else in your body. Women who are trying to get pregnant, for instance, cite imbalance as a major obstacle to pregnancy.
People who stare at the spotty reflection in the mirror could also suffer from hormonal imbalance. But what creates the imbalance, you ask. Lockdown, self-isolation, work-from-home routine, or whatever you choose to call it, does. Indeed, life under lockdown brings a huge change of habits, which can cause elevated stress. Stress is often linked to skin reactions. But stress can also affect your diet, which will affect your hormones. Additionally, new sleeping patterns and work environments can also reflect on your skin health. Thankfully, there are plenty of effective prescription acne treatments for adults that can help reduce inflammation in the skin. They can take off the edge while you learn to focus on hormonal health at your own pace.
Trying out new routines with surprising effects
Is a change of routine always a bad thing? Of course not. Changing your routine could give you the opportunity to introduce health-boosters for your skin. Staying at home for a prolonged period of time is no walk in the park. Did you know that indoor air pollution is too often overlooked? The air inside your home is not clean, even though you can see it. Indeed, your furniture, cooking hob, ventilation system, and everyday household products could emit toxic particles that remain in the air. These can affect your health in matter ways, from reducing your concentration to leading to headaches. But they can always lead to sensitive skin or clogged up pores. Yet the introduction of features that can purify the air can make a huge difference. Houseplants, for instance, are a favourite for home decor and home purification. Many can capture toxins and leave your interior feeling fresh.
Alternatively, introducing a workout plan at home can also improve your skin health. Sweating helps to free up pores and cleanse excess sebum. Besides, being active also frees up your mind, which means that it can alleviate stress. Less stress means fewer spots.
The big filter-free divide
Social media platforms contribute heavily to our self-conscious fears. The abundance of selfie filters transforms our expectations on what healthy and beautiful skin should look like. Polished, smooth, pore-less… While these are desirable features, most of them are only achievable through Photoshop or any other filters. The cult of perfection is ultimately based on the lie. Thankfully, lockdown has opened the eyes of many influential social media individuals. Many have just chosen to embrace a natural and honest look and feel. No makeup or filter selfies speak volume when it comes to self-esteem. Megan Thee Stallion, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Queen Latifah, to name only a few, are some of the celebrities who have put healthy skin above perfection. Their honest selfies are truly empowering.
Skincare routines are changing
Last but not least, time spent in self-isolation encourages us to revisit our skincare regime. With more time at hand, it’s fair to say that we can afford to add some new steps to our skin health journey. Perhaps, it’s not surprising that the 10-step Korean skincare routine or the rise of natural products has been trending since the start of the pandemic. People discovered a new passion for looking after themselves, and perhaps we are witnessing the beginning of a self-love journey.
Your skin is an extension of your mental and physical health. Staying healthy when you are self-isolating is all about giving your skin what it needs. Whether it is time to heal, restoring your peace of mind, or a targeted boost, the more we look after our skin, the more we learn to feel good in it.