In unusual times like these, it's easy for routines to go amiss. Weekdays and weekends easily blur into one, and with no commuting boundaries, work hours often extend into late nights. Add to that the constant flow of stress-inducing news, and keeping on top of regular exercise and a balanced diet – it's no surprise if you’ve felt your body and skin acting up recently.
But beyond having to adapt to a whole new way of life, there are other factors at play that can impact the health of your skin. Here are some ways in which it could be taking a hit at home, and our top tips to keep it healthy.
"Just because you’re not directly exposed to outdoor pollution doesn’t mean your indoor air is pollutant-free"
Indoor air pollution is real
Just because you’re not directly exposed to outdoor pollution on a daily basis doesn’t mean your indoor air is pollutant-free! In hot, humid countries, air conditioning is often a necessity, and vice versa; in freezing cold environments, heating is rather essential. Unfortunately, the air from artificial heaters or coolers can wreak havoc on your skin by drying out the air, leading to dehydration, dryness, flakiness and cracking.
Other factors that can lead to bad indoor air quality are VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) – harsh chemicals found in spray cleaners, detergents, and air fresheners – which are known to have harmful repercussions on the body and skin. Household items that emit burning fuels – such as gas ranges, stoves, wood heaters, furnaces and fireplaces – are also major indoor air pollutants. When you spend days on end at home with constant exposure to these elements, the risks to your skin’s health increase tenfold.
Harness the power of plants to purify your air
So, what’s the easiest way to filter your air? Bring nature home. Certain house plants have powerful air purifying properties that will detoxify your living spaces from airborne toxins, dust and germs with minimal effort. The bigger and leafier the plant, the better. Some of our favourites include the rubber fig plant, the spider plant, aloe vera, devil’s ivy, bamboo palm (or any type of palm), peace lily, chrysanthemum flowers, the banana plant, and the snake plant a.k.a. mother-in-law’s tongue.
Aside from introducing more plants into your space, make sure to rid surfaces from dust and other impurities, but refrain from dry dusting and use a damp cloth instead. Don’t forget to clean your air conditioner or furnace filters regularly too, so that they’re better equipped to catch harmful particles. Last but not least, let in some fresh air every once in a while to boost air circulation.
"House plants have powerful air purifying properties that will detoxify your living spaces"
Stick To Your Skincare Routine, Religiously
This one goes without saying, but it’s easy to slack on skincare when you’re not always facing the outside world, or perhaps you’re wearing less or no makeup daily. However, regular gentle cleansing (at least twice daily) ensures airborne toxins don’t build up on your skin; moisturising (even if you have oily skin) keeps your skin well hydrated and acts as a protective barrier.
We highly recommend choosing products filled with active ingredients, which often have pollutant-repelling properties. We turn to a lot of these ingredients to create our personalised regimens, including poppy cells and ruby extract, which cleanse and protect the skin from toxins, vitamin E, which tackles UV and pollution damage, and Buddleja a.k.a Butterfly Bush – a powerful skin protector which has anti-aging and anti-bacterial properties.
Just make sure you’re not over doing it; it’s important not to exfoliate or mask too often just to kill time – stick to just once or twice a week for both. While these skincare steps are useful and important, they will strip the skin of its natural moisture and lead to dehydration if overdone.
Superfoods are your best friend
Hello pantry full of comfort foods and munchies. In these current times, the temptation to stress-eat or munch out of boredom is unparalleled. When you’re stressed, it’s easy to fall back on ill habits and convenience. Plus, limited access to fresh foods on a daily basis can push you to rely on processed foods. This can make existing skin conditions worse, or give rise to completely new ones.
If fresh produce is available to you, prioritise this. You can also freeze fresh fruits and vegetables or grab already frozen bags which will last much longer and won’t diminish in nutrients. Additionally, keep an eye on your portion sizes – try not to overeat, or under-eat; make sure to limit your salt and sugar intake; add more superfoods which are rich in vitamins and antioxidants to your meals. These include fruits (especially blueberries), veggies, olive oil, fatty fish, oats, rice, wheat, nuts, and avocado, which are great for keeping your skin cells healthy from within. Finally, drink lots of water!
"SPF is still a must. UVA light can penetrate through glass windows and bounce off light surfaces in your home"
Don't Forget About the Sun. Or yourself!
The truth is we need Vitamin D, so it’s no surprise if you’re craving some sunshine. Since you’re spending most of your days indoors, consider taking Vitamin D supplements to keep your levels up, and make sure to get out in the sun when you can (even if it’s just for 5 minutes). Just note that even when you’re laying on your sofa, slathering on SPF is still a must! UVA light can penetrate through glass windows, bounce off light surfaces in your home, and reflect onto your skin.
Your lifestyle and environment are a direct reflection of your skin’s health; maximising your self-care routine and making small, easy changes to your living space while you #stayathome will go a long way in keeping your skin healthy. So, keep up your regular beauty sleep (at least 8 hours), stick to a fitness schedule as much as possible (getting those endorphins going daily will do wonders), nourish your body with antioxidant-rich foods, and fill your home with lots of air purifying greens. Remember, #ThisTimeIsYours – make sure to invest in you.
Want to find out what Yours can do for you? Click below to personalise your regimen and discover which clean active ingredients are just right for your skin, lifestyle and environment: