The ongoing pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives, including the health of our skin. You probably thought being in lockdown with no makeup, less exposure to pollution and sun and supposedly more sleep would finally give you the skin of your dreams. What you are experiencing instead is breakouts!
Confused? You are not alone. We spoke to celebrity dermatologist Dr. Rashmi Shetty to find out what is causing these breakouts. She explains why this is happening to so many people and how you can tackle this problem.
Stress and lack of sleep
Staying up late into the night binge-watching TV shows or reading news and constantly worrying about the virus can cause sleeplessness and stress. Dr. Shetty says, “Stress leads to an increase in cortisol levels, which impacts your thyroid, sugar metabolism, and over a long period of time, can also lead to insulin resistance, which increases sebum production and thus, causes breakouts.” It is important to stay calm to prevent breakouts that are a result of high levels of stress.
To combat these breakouts, apart from sleeping on time, she advises waking up before 8 AM as this is when cortisol starts getting secreted. “Make sure you wake up before that to avoid adding to the stress. Exercise, meditate and practise yoga to release happy hormones,” she adds.
Isolation often leads to increased consumption of comfort food or stress eating. Dr. Shetty explains, “Food is a big decisive factor when it comes to your skin’s appearance. Eating too much sugar, dairy and sweet carbs can lead to breakouts. Extremely high consumption of protein can cause breakouts as well.” So, make sure you stick to a well-balanced diet. Also, avoid binge-eating and use the portion control method when snacking.
Lack of a proper skincare routine
Our skincare routines have gone for a toss during the lockdown. Most people are skipping even the most basic skincare rituals like cleansing because they don’t wear makeup anymore. Dr. Shetty recommends continuing your regular skincare routine. “Following a skincare routine is as important as brushing your teeth or having a bath. It should be incorporated in your lifestyle, so you follow it even when you are indoors to get rid of dead skin cells and dirt, which will help prevent breakouts.”
If you are experiencing acne at this time, opt for a face wash that contains antimicrobial agents like thymol terpinol (TT) to protect your skin against pimple-causing germs and bacteria. The Pond’s Pimple Clear Face Wash has a unique Lock + Clear technology that targets these germs at the root of the pimple, thus cleansing your skin effectively and preventing future breakouts.
One of best ways to stay protected is to wear a mask when stepping out of the house. However, prolonged use of this mask can be damaging to your skin, especially during summer. The mask increases skin’s temperature at the tip of the nose by 3.7°C-7.3°C in 15 minutes. This could lead to excessive sebum secretion, pore clogging, acne and skin stress such as redness and barrier damage. Just a 1°C increase can cause skin to increase oil production by 10%.
“Make sure your face is squeaky clean, wash your face to remove all creams and lotions and just wear a sunscreen before putting on the mask to prevent pore clogging. Also, avoid wearing any sort of makeup. Wear a mask that fits you well; anything that’s too tight may cause friction and irritate the skin,” says Dr. Shetty.
Indoor pollution or internal aggressors are as damaging as external aggressors. So, while you are sitting at home avoiding the sun and pollution, you still need to protect your skin from internal aggressors. Dust, UV rays and smoke are some forms of internal aggressors that can irritate the skin. Dr Shetty says, “It is important to wash your face regularly to get rid of this dirt, oil, dead skin, sweat and other skin secretions.”