Is your skin dry, lacklustre or breaking out? Try these great at-home remedies and products.

It just doesn’t add up. You’re wearing considerably less make-up; barely lighting the candle, let alone burning it at both ends; drinking lots of water and now have the time for a twice daily skincare routine. Yet your skin has broken out like never before. The cause? Stress. Global pandemics, it seems, can play havoc with our skin as well as threaten our health and livelihoods. Whilst a few breakouts may be low down on your list of priorities right now, here are some tips on how lockdown can affect your skin as well as seven products to add to your bathroom cabinet to combat it.

1. Mobile phones are breeding grounds for bacteria – if you have noticed more breakouts along your jawline, your increased call schedule while #wfh could be the culprit. Ensure you are wiping your phone down daily with an anti-bacterial wipe and consider switching to hand-free calling – it’s better for your neck, too.

2. Whilst restrictions are easing every week around how much time we can spend outside, we are still heading into summer with a serious Vitamin D deficit. Vitamin D is a huge factor in our immunity and a deficiency can lead to inflammation and acne. Getting a daily dose of vitamin D through natural sunlight (whilst wearing sunscreen) can help gradually boost your levels. You could also consider taking a Vitamin D rich supplement, such as Montgomery + Evelyn’s 360ME range, which is designed to boost your mood and brain health, too.

3. Stress itself, especially chronic ongoing stress, produces a hormone called cortisol in the body, which can crank up our skin’s oil production, clogging pores and causing breakouts. Cortisol has also been shown to contribute to weight-gain too; increasing cravings for sugary/junk foods as our wired brains crave that dopamine-high that sugar provides, to level out our stress. However, sugar is a known offender when it comes to dehydrating the skin, increasing fine lines and dulling the complexion as well as also contributing to increases in oil production. Try getting your dopamine hits through exercise, or balance out those cortisol levels with some mindful breathing techniques, good sleep and balanced nutrition.

4. If dullness is an issue, get your glow back with a targeted Vitamin C product. The powerhouse antioxidant will boost collagen levels and also help with pigmentation to give skin a more even tone and increase elasticity. Sunday Riley’s CEO Glow Vitamin C + Turmeric Face Oil blends these two radiance-boosting ingredients with Vitamin E rich evening primrose oil to imbue a healthy glow to lockdown, lack-lustre skin.

5. Adding in a regular Glycolic Acid treatment will eat away dead skin cells, without the need for harsh physical exfoliants, revealing softer, brighter skin. This REN skincare bestseller is a weekly mask treatment with a gentle yet effective 5-6 per cent Glycolic Acid level, as well as a whole host of supporting act acids and enzymes that work together as full clean-up operation for dull, dead skin cells.

6. Salycylic Acid or a ‘BHA’ is a great go-to ingredient in your daily cleanser or toner as it effectively unclogs pores and has antibacterial properties. It can also reduce that oil production we mentioned earlier which cortisol sends into overdrive. A great ‘lockdown’ addition to your beauty cabinet. Try this 2 per cent concentration from Paula’s Choice for skin-clearing results.

7. If you’re looking for something to take the heat out of a breakout, Mario Badescu’s cult Drying Lotion can be applied topically to blemishes to dry out and heal them overnight with skin-soothing calamine.

8. If your skin is feeling drier, flakier, more sensitive and generally meh, your skin’s microbiome could be out of sync thanks to your increased stress and inflammation associated with raised cortisol levels. Esse’s Probiotic Serum does exactly what a probiotic supplement would do for your gut With 50 million live probiotic bacteria in each drop, it helps your body restore balance to your skin’s natural good bacteria.

9. Cortisol, that stress-hormone we keep coming back to, decreases the natural production of hyaluronic acid in our bodies and contributes to the breakdown of collagen, which accelerates skin’s ageing. Boost your HA levels with Vichy’s Mineral 89 Serum – with 15 rare minerals, the water-light texture adds a much-needed hit of hydration to stressed-out skin.

10. If you’ve got dry, itchy eyes from OTT screen time or hayfever, Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair eye masks soothe, hydrate and relieve dark circles. A step up from the humble cucumber slice.

By Lydia Mansi
June 2020

Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.