Remember when COVID-19 hit and we all stayed home baking banana bread (or maybe drinking gin for breakfast… no judgement here). It seems like forever ago. Getting out and about again means we need to make some tweaks to our routine of loungewear and afternoon naps. This has us facing a whole new set of challenges when it comes to skincare and wearing makeup again, so I’ve put together my top tips on how to avoid a reverse ‘iso skin’ freak-out.
Keep it Clean
Returning to civilisation means pollution and dirt coming into contact with the skin again, possibly causing irritation, congestion and breakouts. Just like you need to remove makeup at the end of the day, you need to properly cleanse the skin of environmental stressors to avoid breakouts and premature ageing.
Moisturisers are essential in the cooler months but they’ll only get you so far. Add a hydrating serum to power up your routine and you’ll reap the rewards. We’re also in and out of heating which can disrupt skin function and increase dehydration. Choosing a serum with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial ingredients, like Bohemian Skin’s Rejuvenating HY C Serum, will also work to repair and strengthen a stressed skin barrier.
Slow and Streamline
Multi-product routines, like K-Beauty’s 12 steps, are out and minimalist is in. ‘Slow Beauty’ is the next big sustainable movement picking up speed to focus on quality over quantity. It’s the idea that less is better, for our skin and the environment. Ingredients matter so choose safe, effective, natural skincare to avoid further stressing the skin with hard-core active elements. This is especially true when dealing with ‘iso skin’ – keep it simple and high quality.
Eat it Up
Skincare is not a one-stop-shop when it comes to skin health. Good nutrition also has the power to transform our skin from the inside out. Consuming antioxidants – like Vitamin C from citrus fruits and berries – and essential fatty acids from avocado and nuts, will help keep your skin function at an optimal level. If you’re experiencing skin issues from wearing makeup again, lay off dairy and added sugars until the irritation or breakouts clear up.
Sweat it Out
Skin can be fickle, especially when you’re under stress or stuck inside, and then complicating things further by wearing makeup. Stress suppresses the skin’s immunity making ‘iso skin’ breakouts slower to heal, but a great antidote to general stress AND stressed skin is exercise. Getting the heart rate up improves blood circulation which delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the dermal layer, while sweating can help clear out congested pores – if you remove your makeup first! Get outside for your exercise, even if it’s just 15 minutes. That’s all the vitamin D the body needs to produce vitamin D3 which has anti-inflammatory properties, perfect for healing stressed skin.
Sleep it Off
Importantly for right now, sleep boosts our immunity. Getting enough good quality sleep also improves our mood, our productivity and our skin. Lack of sleep triggers the release of the stress hormone cortisol which causes inflammation in the skin. Your body repairs and recovers while you snooze so examine your sleep hygiene – no screens before bed and no more afternoon iso naps! Then adjust your routine to ensure you’re getting those essential 8 hours of beauty sleep.
Refresh your Look
Make the transition back to wearing makeup on the daily by adapting your look to a fresher, simpler style. Ditch full coverage foundation and reach for skin tints and BB creams to avoid causing congestion. Use concealer to correct under-eye darkness or cover any pigmentation and blemishes to cheat the look of perfect skin. Making your eyes the feature doesn’t have to be complicated (or take more than 5 minutes). Start with a neutral-toned cream eyeshadow blended across the lid with your finger, then add a dab of your favourite highlighter in the centre or inner corner to brighten the eye. Curl your lashes for instant wide-awake impact and load them up with mascara. Smudge a black, or dark brown, liner through the upper waterline to darken the roots for thicker-looking lashes. Frame the eyes by brushing through brows with a balm for a naturally bushy, or groomed, finish and fill any gaps with pencil hair strokes. Finally swipe on your favourite lippie, dab a little of the same on the apples of your cheeks for subtle glow, and rock your new polished look!
About the Author
Sian is a professional hair and makeup artist, beauty therapist and experienced educator with over 15 years’ experience in delivering high quality beauty services.