Changes in our skin as we age are inevitable, including loss of moisture, changes in…
Whether we’re in lockdown, self-isolating, or simply wearing face masks more than ever before, it’s no stretch to say that life has changed.
Our lifestyles are drastically different from what they once were, and most of us are working in somewhat different environments. Many of us find ourselves going outside less and less.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to remember to take care of ourselves. Mentally and physically, we live in challenging times. Taking the time to look after our minds and our bodies has never been more important.
Our appearance and how we feel about ourselves is something that we’re becoming hyper aware of. For us, maintaining healthy skin at home has become a priority, and you should think about it too.
We can help you there.
#1 – Understand Your Skin
Before you can build a routine to maintain healthy skin from home, it’s important to understand what type of skin you have. Knowing your skin type and your needs will help you sift through the myriad of products available, so you can tailor a routine that suits you.
Whether or not you normally wear make-up, skip it for a few days. Doing so will give you the opportunity to observe your skin throughout the day. Does it feel dry? Oily? A combination where some parts are dry and other parts are normal?
One simple way to test your skin is to wash your face and pat it dry. Leave it alone for thirty minutes and then press a piece of blotting paper or tissue to your face.
Try doing this on different parts of your face, such as your forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. Then hold the paper up to a light source and see how transparent the paper is.
- If the paper isn’t transparent at all, then you likely have dry skin. This is particularly noticeable if there are flakes of skin on the paper, or if your face still feels tight from washing.
- If the paper is almost entirely transparent, then you likely have oily skin. This may be on several parts of your face, or just one or two.
If the paper looks the same, your face feels normal and there are no flakes of skin, you likely have normal skin.
Besides the aforementioned skin types, you could also have sensitive skin. This isn’t as simple to check at home and depends on several things.
Try to think about how your skin has felt in the past after applying a new product, and whether you’ve had a reaction. Consider whether your skin is often sore, whether it often turns red, and how well your skin protects itself. If these things sound familiar, you probably have sensitive skin.
#2 – Remember the Basics
Knowing your skin type is only the beginning. Once you do, you can start considering products based on your needs. But there are several basic products that anyone seeking healthy skin should know about.
Vitamin A (often called retinol) is a product that any bathroom cabinet could benefit from. Using it at night can help to stimulate your skin to produce new skin cells.
Follow this in the morning with antioxidant products that contain vitamin C and vitamin E. Both will aid in reducing and preventing the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, and help to improve the skin’s texture.
When you begin to use these products, it’s important to start with a low strength. For those with sensitive skin, or who haven’t used similar products before, they can cause irritation if you go in with a heavy hand.
It’s important to build up a tolerance to them gradually. Over time, you’ll begin to see changes to your skin – but don’t give up too soon! It can take up to six months to see any real result.
#3 – Manage Stress
Knowing your skincare and the basics means absolutely nothing if you’re overwhelmed with stress.
Most of us have noticed a correlation at one time or another. Stress can cause break-outs, flare-ups of existing conditions, and even contribute to ageing.
This is because when we’re stressed, our bodies release the hormone cortisol, which is what boosts us out of bed in the morning. When we overproduce it during stressful periods, it can suppress our immune system, increase our sebum (oil) production and quickly clog up our pores.
All in all, it’s important both for our skin and for our overall wellbeing to avoid and manage our stress as best we can.
A few simple steps to do this include trying to reduce your caffeine intake, exercising or spending time relaxing, perhaps with a book or doing yoga. Meditate or spend time with friends (virtually) to socialise and share your worries.
Failing to control our stress can be detrimental for not just our skin but our mental health. So the sooner we can get a handle on it, the better.
#4 – Go Outside
Just because we’ve been told to stay at home doesn’t mean we can’t get some fresh air. Make the most of your exercising and go for a walk or a run. Go somewhere the unfiltered, non-recycled air of nature has the chance to help our skin breathe.
Staying indoors, especially in the colder months when we tend to turn up the thermostat, can be a terrible move. Skin can grow dry in cold temperatures, and when you add in all the heated air we’re surrounded by indoors, it can even cause itchiness, irritation and flare-ups.
Keeping the air in your home ventilated can help, even if opening a window doesn’t seem appealing. Getting away from the blue light of the many screens in your home can help too, as can drinking plenty of water. But it’s still important to get outside as often as possible. Just remember to apply an SPF!
#5 – Check the Fridge
Most of us have heard that plenty of fruit and vegetables and drinking two litres of water a day can work wonders. Well, it’s true. You’ll only ever look your best if you’re also feeling your best. And taking a long hard look at your diet can be crucial to maintaining healthy skin at home.
Fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains are incredibly important. Lean proteins are great too, as are fish and foods low in unhealthy fats. Tempting as it may be, when we’re indoors more often, try to avoid processed foods and refined carbohydrates – they could undo your good work.
#6 – Cleanse
Though you might have a better idea of which products to choose, it’s still important to apply them to a clean face. You should wash your face twice a day, ideally once in the morning, and once at night.
This is especially important if you’ve been wearing a face mask during the day.
Strange as it may sound, squeaky clean isn’t the goal. Squeaky implies tight, and if your cleanser makes your face feel tight, then it might do more harm than good. Usually, it means it’s removed most of the natural oils from your skin.
Find one that suits your skin type and be sure to remove any make-up or residue from the day before bed. Many cleansers work well with a muslin cloth, which can gently exfoliate too.
It’s also important to cleanse and wash your face and body after exercising. Since exercising improves circulation, it can be great for the skin. But your sweat will soon build up to trap dirt, bacteria and dead cells on the surface of your skin, so remember to shower afterwards.
#7 – Don’t Overdo It
Last but not least, it’s important to remember that everyone has different skin.
What works for your friend might be bad for you, or have no effect at all. Layering product upon product on your skin won’t create miracles, and it might actually cause you more issues down the line.
We have more time than ever to spend on developing the perfect skincare routine, but it’s still important to find a balance. It’s not a competition to use the most products or have the longest routine. Try to keep it as simple as possible, while utilising only the serums, creams and cleansers that are right for you