Undeniably, the events of the past changed every facet of our lives – even our beauty routine. As we retreated inside, salons closed and by default (much to the dismay of our trusted experts) we added “hairdresser”, “dermatologist”, “manicurist” and “aesthetician” to our resumes. So, 12-months later, following a few botched box-dye jobs and skin flare-ups, how is our skin now?
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Below are a few of the common problems surging in Google searches right now…
When the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first encouraged wearing face coverings in public in April, people began searching for solutions to what the mask was doing to their skin. In fact, Google has reported a 5,000 per cent uplift in searches for ‘maskne treatment’ this year. As the name suggests, the very 2020 term refers to acne on the chin area resulting from wearing a face mask. A face mask can trap moisture and bacteria, which can contribute to acne. If this sounds familiar, your skincare routine may need some tweaking. Look for products with antibacterial properties. Ingredients like salicylic acid and tea tree oil have been proven effective in treating problem skin. A detoxifying face mask with clay may also do the trick to draw out impurities and help decongest. Bonus that you can pop it on and just let it work its magic while in the bath
While maskne is the term for acne breakouts in the area that gets covered by your face mask, maskitis, on the other hand, is something else all together. It’s characterised by a rash, redness, dryness, and/or inflamed skin under the mask area. Maskitis can even reach above the mask zone on your face. It makes sense, as the constant friction of fabric against your skin is likely to cause inflammation and sensitivity.
In this instance, strip it ALLL back. Now is not the time to experiment with something new or try a host of products. Take it right back to basics, ideally sticking to natural, fragrance-free formulas. Instead of a clay mask, look for one with calming properties like aloe vera, eucalyptus or calendula.
Dark circles, undereye bags & lacklustre skin
Ahh…sleep. The most underrated beauty investment. It’s all well and good having a comprehensive skincare routine, but (next to SPF) eight hours shut-eye is the most effective beautifier. We’ll hazard a guess that a large majority of the population is experiencing poor quality, broken sleep right now. The proof is in the mirror after a poor night’s rest: undereye bags and circles, droopy lids, lines and a dull complexion. Sleep is also when the most important skin processes take place at a cellular level, like collagen production (AKA the fountain of youth). So, put simply, sleep greatly affects your skin health. If sleep is a persistent problem, try adding a supplement like magnesium to your daily routine, or one of these effective sleep apps to help get a good night’s sleep.
An inside-out approach to your skin
For all of the above issues, your skin might benefit from an inside-out approach. Focus on nutrition and fueling your body with plenty of antioxidant-rich foods like spinach, broccoli and berries. Kickstart the day on the right foot by chucking it all into a blender and making a smoothie. By the same token, some foods are bad for your skin – avoid anything congesting that’s high in starch or deep-fried.
Supplementation is another effective way to fill in any nutritional gaps. Whether it’s a multivitamin or more targeted towards your needs – like a B-Complex vitamin for energy or collagen for skin – there are lots of great vitamins for your skin.