Whether you've stripped back your beauty regime recently, or taken time to indulge in some pandemic pampering, it's easy to make mistakes when it comes to looking after your skin. Here, experts offer their advice on how to care for your complexion during lockdown, and nine skin sins to avoid.
1. Don't forget SPF
"The sun can cause damage to our skin 365 days a year," says tanning expert Amanda Harrington. "It is so important to wear SPF every day to protect our skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays that cause premature ageing and skin cancer. Even if you don't go outside, sitting by a window exposes your skin, so always end your morning skincare routine with SPF."
2. Turn down the heat
"Even though it might feel like a spa experience, steaming your skin with hot water is always a problem. Heat ends up causing irritation and that damages skin," says Paula Begoun, founder of Paula's Choice. "It's a myth that steaming increases circulation and you don't need to use a high temperature to open your pores, she adds: "Washing your face with a gentle cleanser and tepid water does the same thing, without damaging skin from steam heat."
3. Don't aggravate maskne
"It is important to refrain from squeezing and picking your pimples, as this can lead to scarring," says Abigail Williams, national education manager at Caudalie. "Opt for formulas containing salicylic acid, which will exfoliate dead skin cells and deeply cleanse the pores."
4. Keep it simple
"It's great to have a little more time for self-care and skincare rituals, but it's important not to overdo it," says Pamoja skincare founder Sarah Taylor. "Stick to a simple skincare routine that's suitable for your skin type."
5. Don't abandon your usual routine
"My advice is do not stop your skincare routine just because you are not leaving the house," says NMC registered independent nurse prescriber and lifestyle consultant Natali Kelly. "Cleanse your face morning and evening to remove built up oils and bacteria caused from wearing masks."
"We still need to remove daily dirt from the skin, despite being indoors more," says Liz Warom, co-founder of Templespa. "Indoor pollutants such as dirt, dust and gases contribute significantly to skin ageing, dehydration and inflammation."
6. Stay hydrated
"The combination of cold weather and central heating often means an increase in sensitivity and dryness and, as a result, extra moisture is a must," says Kelly. "Making sure the heating is turned off during the night, or using a humidifier, will also help to reduce skin dryness."
7. Don't neglect hands
"All the washing and hand sanitiser dries out the skin, and in the cold weather, more people are experiencing cracked hands," says Dr Nina Bal of Facial Sculpting. "You should choose hand gel sanitizers, which are not too drying, and also use a hand cream daily."
8. Don't ignore your moles
"Skin cancer can be quite hard to detect, as it's frequently not itchy nor painful," says Dr Hiba Injibar, founder of Dermasurge. "At home, we advise people to keep an eye on their moles using a full-length mirror, checking every part of their body using the ABCDE technique."
Look for moles that may have become asymmetrical; has the border become irregular; has the colour changed; has the diameter grown; is the appearance evolving?
9. Avoid aesthetic procedures
With clinics currently closed, some people have resorted to having aesthetic procedures carried out by unqualified individuals. "In an unregulated market, there are still some of these cases happening when treatment is carried out by a non-medical injector, which is the result of many 'Bad Botox' faces, eyelid droopiness and facial asymmetry," says Dr Pujaa Patel, chief medical officer at Unndoo Botox service.