One month has passed since the implementation of Circuit Breaker measures by the Singapore Government. While we are fighting this COVID-19 pandemic, the sudden change in lifestyle can cause your skin to freak out. This can be due to reduced exercise, changes in diet or getting insufficient sleep.
To help you make this challenging period easier, the below are some advice to help you take care of your skin while you stay at home during Circuit Breaker.
1. Get sufficient exercise
During this period, you should be staying at home as much as possible. However, this does not mean that exercise can be neglected. Regular exercise helps maintain healthy levels of endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones. It also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisone. As high stress levels can worsen skin conditions, it is important to get regular exercise to keep stress levels low.
However, do remember to wipe away your perspiration with a clean towel and wash your face/shower immediately afterwards. The perspiration can trap dirt and clog pores, causing acne, which is the opposite of the intended effect.
2. Make up for reduced time outdoors
If you are spending more time in dry, indoor, air-conditioned environments, your skin can dry out and itch easily, especially so if you have certain skin ailments like eczema. To manage this, you can install a humidifier or apply moisturiser frequently.
Even though UV rays from the sun are harmful to your skin, your body still need some sun exposure to get enough Vitamin D. Hence, you may want to consider some Vitamin D supplements to make up for insufficient time in the sun during this period.
3. Moisturise your hands after hand washing/use of hand sanitisers
It is important to wash your hands frequently during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect yourself and your loved ones from the virus. However, while soap can kill pathogens, it also washes away natural oils secreted by the skin, drying them out. Alcohol in the hand sanitisers have a similar dehydrating effect. This can be further complicated by the increased time spent in dry indoor environments. Excessively dry skin can itch and crack, and cause other skin ailments. Hence, it is important to moisturise your hands after washing/disinfecting them.
However, this does not mean you should avoid hand washing and hand sanitisers. It is more important to protect yourselves from pathogens than to avoid skin problems. Just remember to moisturise your hands after cleaning them.
4. Get enough sleep
With many people working at home, the line between working and after work hours become blurred. Hence, some people may continue working late at night just to meet deadlines. However, insufficient sleep can increase cortisol (a stress hormone) levels. Among other effects, cortisol can promote inflammatory responses in the skin, which can manifest as acne or other skin problems.
It is therefore important to get sufficient sleep, as a healthy and regular sleep cycle can do wonders for your skin.
5. Maintain a healthy diet
While being relatively idle at home, you should remember to maintain a healthy diet. A healthy diet is crucial to maintaining smooth, healthy skin and Circuit Breaker measures should not change that. You should especially avoid consuming too much food with high glycemic indices such as white bread, rice and crackers. These foods cause a spike in your blood sugar levels, which can stimulate your sebaceous glands in increase secretion, increasing the chances of breakouts.
Instead, consider fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants, like spinach and strawberries.
6. Remember to continue applying sun protection
Yes, you read that right, you should continue to protect your skin from the sun even while indoors. This is because people tend to be exposed to direct sunlight more compared to offices, as most spaces at home are nearer to windows. Moreover, the blue light from digital screens such as your computer and cellphones can cause skin damage as well.
In this case, your regular sunblock will provide direct protection from the sun’s rays and digital screens, while Vitamin C serum can protect you from the effects of sun exposure by neutralising free-radicals and oxidative damage caused by UV radiation.
7. Do not neglect your skincare routine
Even if you are not going out to work or meet your friends, you should still take care of you skin. This is especially important considering that your skin is likely to be drier from all that increased hand-washing and time spent indoors. Skin that have worsened from neglect can take some effort to restore, much more effort than your regular skincare routine.
If you are running low on your skincare products, you may purchase them from our newly launched online store at: https://cliffordclinic.com/shop.
We update our store frequently, so do check it out often for any new products.
8. See a doctor if you need to
If your skin condition does not get better despite following the advice above, it is perhaps time to seek professional help. The Clifford Clinic is offering teleconsultation sessions for all our new and existing patients.
You can book a teleconsultation session with us by:
• Calling us at 6532 2400
• WhatsApp at 8318 6332
The Clifford Clinic is currently using Zoom as our preferred teleconferencing software. Our friendly Patient Care Executive will kindly guide you through this process after contacting us.