Clearly the situation we’re experiencing at the moment is exceptional from every point of view, causing big changes in our lives… and also our skin! One of them is what I would like to call “quarantine acne”.
I definitely experienced it and I received many messages on my personal Instagram account, I’m definitely not the only one!
What can cause this phenomenon and what can we do about it? Here are a few tips on how to treat stress acne and breakouts during self-isolation!
What can cause this quarantine acne?
First of all, no surprise, stress is probably the biggest offender here! In this period, everyone is feels more stressed/anxious!
And stress can have an impact on sebum production. Nerve cells located close to the sebaceous gland can start to produce a substance under stress that stimulates the sebum production.
Excess sebum is a trigger for acne, because the bacteria responsible for blackheads and blackheads love to feast on sebum!
Some ideas to help you relax?
– yoga. Personally, I practice yoga on my Nintendo Switch. It might make the purists scream with horror, but it makes me feel good and that’s all that matters! 🙂
– meditation. I discovered the Calm app and I like it very much. Believe me, I’m as surprised as you are, I never thought I’d get into it!
– sports (for endorphins!). Personally, I practice it at home. It’s not at all a new practice for me, I’ve always more or less done at home workouts. At the moment, I really like Heather Robertson‘s YouTube channel for easy sweat sessions. They’re not too long, easy to follow and you don’t need a lot of equipment!
And if you workout at home, a piece of advice: don’t wait too long before showering! Especially if you’ve done a little cardio training and have been sweating a lot. Sweat and its bacteria can be responsible for causing breakouts and blackheads, so don’t spend too much time in your gym clothes! 🙂
The second cause of these unwanted breakouts is probably our interior! And since we’re spending a lot of time in it right now for a lot of us, it definitely counts.
Indoor air is often more polluted than we think: the emanations of some household products or even certain scented candles, the persistent humidity, the fine particles of pollution captured outside, the cigarette smoke…
For this particular cause, it’s relatively easy to do something about it. Just remember to regularly ventilate your home. At least half an hour a day! Well, there is also the solution of the air purifier (my husband is super allergic to pollen and dust so we invested years ago!) but it’s definitely more expensive.
Another thing that can have a big impact on our skin: sheets and pillowcases! If you don’t think about washing them regularly, they can turn into a nest of bacteria pretty quickly. Which is a bit of a problem considering how much time you spend lying in them!
So especially if you have a tendency to get more breakouts at the moment, don’t forget to change your pillowcase more often than usual (twice a week at least) and to do a regular laundry of all your bedding (at least once a week).
Finally, at least one good thing with this pandemic is that we’ve all gotten into the habit of not touching our faces and sanitizing our smart phones more often! Two good “anti-acne” habits to keep after self-quarantine is over 😉
Some cosmetics products that can help you to deal with quarantine acne:
Your skin is already a bit confused as we stated above, so I think it’s probably best not to add more products and to stick to your usual skincare routine, or even simplify it if you feel that some products feel more irritating at the moment! A sensitized skin may respond by creating even more breakouts. You can just listen to your skin and see which products are currently not working too well for you. Put them aside for a few days, and you can always come back to them after the crisis is over!
It’s also important to keep taking care of your skin, even if you don’t leave the house. Personally, I strongly recommend cleansing your skin as usual, especially at night. Even if you haven’t been out of the house and you haven’t put on any makeup on, your skin has been secreting sebum all day long, it has been exposed to particles (even inside, as we saw above), so it’s good to get rid of impurities as you’d normally do.
Personally, I also tend to keep a few products on hand in case my skin is acting up, and usually, these products are face masks that I use as soon as I feel my skin is “in crisis” mode. They’re more occasional products for me usually, but at the moment, I’ve been using them quite consistently (once to twice a week).
My favourite face masks to soothe my skin at the moment:
My favourite purifying mask at the moment, because it’s quick (you only leave it on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing it off with water) and effective without drying out my dehydrated combination skin!
It contains some purifying salicylic acid, 3 types of absorbent clays and some regulating green tea. In its ingredients list, there are also several soothing and anti-inflammatory plant extracts (allantoin, bisabolol…).
Its texture is creamy and it doesn’t dry completely, which I now prefer with this type of mask. It’s great when I want to gently purify my skin!
It’s a rinse-off mask with a calming and soothing effect. Thanks to the extract of Mugwort (Artemisia Princeps) it contains, it quickly soothes irritation and redness while having a refreshing and calming effect. It also has a gentle detoxifying and purifying effect. It’s not at all drying, quite the contrary!
Its gel texture contains mugwort powder to help regulate the skin’s heat as soon as it’s applied to the skin. It’s ideal in case of inflammation for an immediate refreshing effect! As a bonus, it also helps the skin heal faster.
I use it in a medium layer on my clean skin, once a week. I leave it on for about 20 minutes (it doesn’t dry) and rinse it off with warm water. It contains small pieces of Mugwort (they look like tiny twigs), so it’s a little hard to rinse off, but if you apply it before taking a shower for example, there’ s no problem!
One of my favorite sheet-masks! I love Mediheal, and this mask is one of their best-sellers.
And for good reason: it calms and purifies the skin while moisturizing it. It contains Tea Tree Essence, Chamomile Extract and Centella Asiatica. It also has a refreshing effect on the skin, which feels great on warmer days!
I find it super effective to soothe my skin. After 20-30 minutes, the skin is visibly soothed and clarified. Its anti-redness effect is quite spectacular!
I always have several of them on hand, it’s probably my most repurchased sheet-mask 🙂
What about you, do you have any tips if you’re prone to quarantine acne? Which ones work best for you?