Many of us thought going makeup-free during quarantine would be good for our skin, but some of us might actually be wrestling with unpredictable skin issues during self-isolation. During this time when you can’t go to your favourite spa or doctor to air your skin grievances, here’s some help from Dr Low Chai Ling, founder of the SW1 Clinic and SW1 Spa.
Dr Low says that there are many reasons why your skin might be showing signs of stress normally. During self-isolation, a sudden change to your normal routine may be to blame. If you are experiencing new or more breakouts now, it could be a good time to look at your skincare regime.
“Stress and changes in our diet during a pandemic can affect our skin. Our body increases production of cortisol, a stress hormone, which results in increased oil production. You could also be stress-eating your way through self-isolation, or eating more processed, junk food, or perhaps you have had to change from a non-dairy to some dairy in your diet.” Says Dr Low.
She suggests cleansing oily skin twice a day with an acid face wash, such as Skin Laundry III which contains three acids – salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid, and to add on a salicylic acid to dissolve oily plugs in the pores, such as Sapphire serum or Sapphire Peel.
DULL SKIN TEXTURE
You are definitely not the only one wondering where the glow went. Dr Low suggests using a gentle exfoliant to tide you through this dull period. You can opt for milder daily chemical exfoliants such as sustained release glycolic acid serum Sleep Mode (which also works its gentle magic on fine lines and pigmentation), or once-weekly physical exfoliants such a scrubs like Crystal Healing Scrub. For a quick brightening fix just before your next Zoom meeting perhaps, try the Oxygen Facial Purifying Mask, which energizes fatigued complexions stat.
DARKENING PIGMENTATION OR REDNESS
If you haven’t been able to try hyperpigmentation-fixing products because you normally live an active lifestyle requiring extensive time under the sun, now could be a good time to try it. Intensive pigment correctors such as Age Defy, Skin Rescue (for post acne hyperpigmentation) and Vitamin C Elixir. Pesky pigmentation woes such as melasma can be treated with White Plasma or the Tranexamic acid ampoule.
If you are a fan of SW1’s anti-redness treatments like many with sensitive skin or rosacea do but have no access to their pulsed-dye laser during this time, Dr Low suggests trying the Nicotinamide ampoule, also known as Vitamin B3, which soothes redness with its anti-inflammatory properties.
A final word of advice? Dr Low says that if you are starting new products, start slow, especially with exfoliative products so as not to irritate skin.