How to Keep Your Skin Healthy and Glowing at Home
After a full week of social distancing and spending most of the day inside, you, like so many others, might be wondering why your skin isn’t glowing like it usually does. You might be wondering, I’m staying home, I’m not coming into contact with pollutants and sunshine — I’m not even wearing makeup! So why is my skin freaking out?!
To help you rejuvenate your face (and hands!), we turned to local skincare experts for their tips on how to take care of your skin at home. Bonus: You can DIY a lot of treatments.
Across the board, our experts agree that the biggest way you can be helping your skin right now is by moisturizing, especially when we’re all washing our hands to the nth degree. To replenish your skin, you can keep using your go-to lotion, or use some at-home staples like olive or coconut oil, or honey, as it contains hydrating humectants and naturally occurring antimicrobial properties, according to Rescue Spa founder Danuta Mieloch. The team at Freedom Apothecary suggests applying a little bit of olive oil to hands and feet, then covering with gloves and socks for 15-20 minutes every day.
Adeline Koh, owner of Sabbatical Beauty, encourages us to incorporate multiple layers of skincare. Instead of a heavy cream alone, incorporate a serum or two, a hydrating toner, and a facial oil. “Think of it like a wardrobe,” Koh says. “The layers of hydration will keep skin plump and hydrated and you can take them on and off just like you would in different seasons.”
Don’t forget to wash your face
Even though you may not be exposed to the outdoor elements as much as usual, or are wearing makeup less frequently (if at all — we’re not!), our experts agree it’s still important to wash your face daily. In addition, esthetician Lynn Gallagher says you should exfoliate up to three times per week to “ensure you are not letting oil, debris, bacteria, and dead skin build up, which can lead to break outs.”
Utilize your pantry for DIY treatments
Sure, your pantry has been keeping your belly full, but it can also be a huge resource for nourishing your skin. Just be aware that some ingredients might not be appropriate for your specific skin type. Julie Featherman, owner of Juju Salon, offers this weekly foot exfoliating treatment: Crush six to eight aspirin and dissolve in lemon juice. Stir in two tablespoons of honey to thicken into a jelly-like substance. Apply the mixture to the bottoms of your feet, paying extra attention to the callus prone areas. Cover with a warm cloth, elevate your feet for 10-15 minutes, then rinse.
For an anti-aging DIY face mask, Skin House owner Shireen Mustafacombines yogurt and honey to gently slough off old skin and leave your skin glowing, soft, and hydrated. (Skin House actually uses a higher concentration of this in their peels!) To create, mix two tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt with one tablespoon of raw honey in a small bowl. Apply to the face and let the mask dry for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water.
To wake up your skin in the morning, Freedom Apothecary recommends a simple body scrub of sugar, coffee grounds, and oil. Combine one cup of already-brewed coffee grounds, ¼ to ½ cup of brown sugar, and a dash of olive or coconut oil. Right before turning off the water in the shower, gently apply this mixture all over your body except your face — a product this coarse is too abrasive for the skin on your face — and rinse.
Change the way you’re showering
As much as we love long, hot showers and sudsy soaps, they actually take away from our skin’s natural thin layer of oil. Featherman says you should brace yourself for shorter, more tepid showers, reach for a gentle lotion-based cleanser, and use deep-hydrating body lotion or oil immediately after. Plus, you should “look for key ingredients like calendula, shea butter, sunflower seed oil, and borage” when buying shower products.
Be mindful of general wellness
The added stress the majority of folks are experiencing right now can cause your skin to react and change in unexpected ways. As Gallagher reminds us, “This does not mean your skin is “bad” — it just means your body is sending a message that you may be under stress and will have to manage it to avoid further inflammation, which can lead to sickness.” The Freedom Apothecary team say factors like dehydration, increased caffeine intake, lack of vitamin D, and changes in nutrition and sleep patterns can affect what happens to our skin, and “change our immune system’s ability to regulate and detoxify, creating inflammation in the body.”
To help rejuvenate your skin, our experts encourage getting consistent, adequate sleep and drinking more water. Additionally, they say it’s beneficial to eat fruits and veggies rich in vitamin D and antioxidants, including mushrooms, blueberries, and spinach.