COVID-19 has forced many of us to stay indoors. While it might seem like the opposite would be true, spending time mainly inside can negatively affect your skin, causing it to break out or feel dry and irritated.
I’ve had personal experience with this problem. When I moved to a high rise with no patio and I was too high up to open windows, I noticed my skin quickly changed. It was super dry and easily irritated.
Everyone’s skin is different, but there are common factors that impact your skin if you’re spending most of your time indoors. Here’s why (and how to combat these skin issues even during lockdown).
Why the indoors affects your skin
You’re not alone if you’ve been experiencing skin issues from an extended time indoors. More than 80% of women saw an increase in skin problems since COVID-19 happened.
Crazy indoor skin issues such as acne or dry skin can be caused by a number of things. You could be stressed which produces the cortisol hormone and increases oil on your skin and inflammation. Or maybe your sleep patterns are off from being indoors all the time.
Your diet might also have changed and foods like dairy and sugar can cause inflamed skin. If you’re not drinking enough water, your skin can then become dehydrated.
But skin issues can also be caused by external factors. If you’re using an air conditioner 24/7, your skin could be getting dried out from the dry air
coming out of these units. Dry air leads to dry skin which is why it’s not unusual to have skin issues if you’re stuck indoors for long periods of time. On top of that, not being able to get fresh air or vitamin D from the sunshine can be tell-tale signs if your skin is looking and feeling less than glossy.
How to improve skin issues indoors
Even though staying indoors might be the only option for some of us (especially if you live in a city and COVID-19 restrictions are still in place), there are solutions to improving your skin’s condition.
- Ensure that your skin stays hydrated
Air conditioning feels good on a hot day but it can strip the air of moisture within your home. Any moisture goes through the pores of your skin and creates a dry skin surface. Your skin then tries to remoisturize and when it can’t, it goes haywire and breaks out.
To combat this problem, keep your skin hydrated and moisturized. Drink plenty of water, but also use moisturizers with ingredients like urea or glycerin.
Also consider purchasing a humidifier which circulates moisture in your home. If the rooms in your home are relatively big, the moisture from your humidifier won’t circulate as well. Whole-home humidifiers (like the AIR CARE Whole-House Humidifier) are an option as they work with your heating and cooling system to balance humidity levels in your entire home.
If you can’t get a humidifier that matches with your heating and cooling systems, there are portable options. Whatever option you choose, put the humidifier in the space where you spend the most time so your skin gets the moisturizing benefits.
2.Keep up with your skincare routine
Just because you’re indoors most of the time doesn’t mean you should give up on your skincare routine. Continue your routine in the mornings and evenings. This practice is even good for how you feel mentally.
Use skincare products such as face and night cream, as well as a good skin serum. I also follow up my face wash with a face scrub every other day to remove any dirt.
In addition to your routine, avoid touching your face too often since the oil and dirt from your hands can clog your pores and cause breakouts. Also avoid long, hot showers as these strip your skin of protective oils and dry out your skin.
3. Find ways to get vitamin D
Too much sun exposure is harmful for your skin, but not enough can also be hurtful. Your skin requires exposure to UVB light at least 5-10 minutes a day to form vitamin D which is necessary for your bones and muscles.
If you live in a high rise (like me) without many windows or a patio, take a quick walk outside in your neighborhood such as in the morning or evening to rejuvenate your skin and give it the UVB light it needs.
Do the same even if your home has windows so you get the necessary UVB light. At the same time, don’t forget to use sun cream or moisturizer with SPF 30-50, even indoors, and reapply every few hours. The harmful UVA rays that come straight through the windows can still damage your skin.
Improve your skin indoors
If your skin is misbehaving during COVID-19 – despite the fact that you thought time indoors and away from makeup would help your skin – give the above solutions a try. If your skin continues to act up, go see a dermatologist.
Above all, if you’re struggling with skin problems right now, be easy on yourself. These are challenging times being inside more than normal and can hurt you both physically and mentally. Try to reduce your stress levels by doing a favorite activity such as cooking. Exercise as you can and eat healthily. Combined with the solutions above, these practices can help you and your skin feel better.