What has lockdown done to YOUR looks? Experts reveal the five different skin types from flushed ‘BBQ face’ to wrinkled ‘tech face’ that can make you look years older
- Spending time in front of screens or with a glass of wine can make skin feel dry
- Experts have revealed how to combat the effects of ‘wine face’ or ‘stress face’
- Some ingredients can’t be used together so check before adding something new
Do you feel like you’ve aged during more than a year of lockdown?
Many of us have been spending all of our time in front of screens while working remotely or with a glass of wine to unwind at the end of the day, and the impact is probably becoming visible on your face.
From dehydraton to fine lines and wrinkles that have seemingly sprung out of nowhere, experts have identified the five different faces of lockdown.
You might be suffering from tech face, where skin feels more dehydrated and dry, making fine lines and wrinkles seem more apparent, or BBQ face, characterised by unwanted breakouts as a result.
Here Dr Ross Perry, Medical Director of Cosmedics skin clinics, and Niamh Ryan, skin therapist and co-founder of skincare brand Ella & Jo, reveal the five different skin types and how to tackle the associated skin problems.
Do you have wine face? Alcohol is dehydrating because it is a diuretic, so it makes your skin appear more dry more dry and flaky (stocki image)
Alcohol is dehydrating because it is a diuretic, so it makes your skin appear more dry and makes lines and wrinkles more visible due to the lack of fluid or water on the skin, Dr Ross said.
Too much booze can also lead to sagging skin, discolouration and enlarged pores and also causes small blood vessels in the skin to widen.
If you’re unsure what skin type you have, medical skin specialist and founder of HHSKIN Hayley Hems said you can work it out by observing how your skin behaves after cleansing.
She said to wash your face with a cleanser and then gently pat it dry and if your skin appears shiny throughout after 30 minutes, it’s likely you have oily skin.
If it feels tight and is flaky or scaly, you likely have dry skin while if your shine is only in your T-Zone (your forehead, nose and chin), you probably have combination skin. If it feels hydrated, comfortable and not oily, you likely have normal skin.
This allows more blood to flow close to the surface which produces a flushed appearance and can lead to broken capillaries on the face.
Dr Ross said our hormone production and its ability to work properly can be affected by drinking vasts amount of alcohol while the effects on our blood sugar levels can have a huge impact on our skin.
Alcohol can increase testosterone in women, one small study found, while these increase hormone levels can stimulate the oil glands which can lead to acne and breakouts.
Dr Ross added that alcohol can also impair reproductive functions as well as interfering with calcium metabolism.
Stress face is characterised by oily skin, caused by a rise in hormones such as cortisol (stock image)
Have you noticed your skin may breakout more than usual when you’re stressed? Dr Ross said this is because stress causes the body to make hormones like cortisol, which tells glands in your skin to make more oil. Oily skin is more prone to acne and other skin problems.
Being in lockdown and coping with it can be a really stressful experience, and may also mean we’re not necessarily being as healthy as we normally area and therefore Dr Ross said a combination of stress, poor diet, more alcohol and not enough water can also cause break outs.
Those who also suffer from acne – especially inflammatory acne – are already aware that any stress whether physiological or psychological can flare up acne.
INGREDIENTS FOR HEALTHY, GLOWING SKIN FOR ALL SKIN TYPES
Niamh Ryan has shared a list of ingredients you should add to your skincare routine for glowing, healthy skin – no matter your skin type.
- Hyaluronic acid-based serum for all skin types
- A daily hydrating mist
- Vitamin A & C
- A chemical exfoliating product like glycolic toner or cleanser a few times a week to brighten and even out texture
Niamh added that face masks are also brilliant to super charge your skincare routine and put some life back into your skin.
She recommends looking out for hydrating, exfoliating and anti-ageing masks and including your serum and night creams before and after doing your mask for maximum results.
Dr Ross recommends drinking lots of water and keeping your skin hydrated, sticking to a good cleansing routine twice a day in the mornings and at night.
He added that, if you have more time on your hands, to try to invest in some self-care such as giving yourself a facial steam at home, or making a homemade face mask.
Other things you can do include relaxing by taking a bath with some Epsom salts to flush out any toxins, exercising daily or doing some Zoom yoga, minimising alcohol and trying to look after your mental health.
Dr Ross said: ‘It’s important to be able to wind down at the end of the day so spend some time on your skincare regime and try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
Cleansing your skin thoroughly morning and night will get rid of any dirt and debris, with Dr Ross recommends choosing an option with salicylic acid, glycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide. These ingredients help to break down the bonds between dead skin cells, eliminating them from the surface of your skin.
He also suggesting using a gentle oil-free moisturiser and to try not to keep touching your face, especially your chin which naturally produces more oil and sebum – and don’t squeeze your face.
If the skin is red and angry, you might want to try dabbing on some tea tree oil or witch hazel to soothe the skin.
Dr Ross added that you should eat a healthy diet consisting of leafy greens, fish and probiotics and you should also use an oil-free daily SPF30 which is non-greasy as the sun can also cause breakouts.
If fine lines and wrinkles seem to have appeared out of nowhere, it could be a result of increased exposure to blue light due to too much screen time (stock image)
WHAT STEPS SHOULD I INCLUDE IN MY DAILY ROUTINE?
Hayley Hems has shared some steps you should include in your daily routine, as well as additional things you can do, depending on your skin type.
- Double cleanse (AM+PM)
- Eye cream or serum (AM+PM)
- Antioxidant Serum – Vitamin C (AM)
- Moisturiser (AM+PM)
- SPF (AM)
You can also invest in a silk pillowcase, exfoliate twice a week and use a hydrating or brightening face mask twice a week.
- Double cleanse (AM+PM)
- Hyaluronic Acid Serum (AM+PM)
- Eye Cream (AM+PM)
- Hydrating Mist (to mist over skin during the day)
- Hydrating Moisturiser (AM+PM)
- SPF (AM)
You can also practice Gua Sha for a few minutes daily, which is when you use a tool to apply pressure and scrape the skin to relieve pain and tension.
Hayley also recommends exfoliating three times a week and using a hydrating face mask three times a week.
- Double cleanse (AM+PM)
- Eye Cream or Serum (AM+PM)
- Antioxidant Serum – Vitamin E or C (AM)
- Moisturiser (AM+PM)
- SPF (AM)
You can also use a cold face roller for a few minutes daily, exfoliate three times a week and use a hydrating face mask three times a week.
- Double Cleanse (AM + PM)
- Niacinamide Serum (AM)
- Eye Serum (AM+PM)
- Oil Free Moisturiser (AM+PM)
- SPF (AM)
You can also use an oil-control paper for blotting throughout the day, but a tissue also does a good job.
Hayley also recommends exfoliating twice a week and using a hydrating face mask three times a week.
Dr Ross said that, while technology is a part of our everyday lives, we still don’t have a full understanding of the damage ‘blue light’ causes to our skin after omitting from our screens.
There are simple measures you can take to reduce the damage to your skin – from turning off the blue light function on your phone if you have it to always wearing a daily SPF of 30 all year round which is also high in antioxidants.
Antioxidants are naturally occurring vitamins and minerals – like vitamins A, C, E, and green tea – that protect your skin against free radicals, Dr Ross explained. You can also use an antioxidant rich serum underneath your SPF for added protection.
Dr Ross also recommends taking breaks away from your laptop or even having a ‘digital detox’, keeping hydrated by drinking plenty of water and eating a well-balanced healthy diet – which all help with the ageing process.
Niamh Ryan said that you may be spotting more lines and wrinkles appearing on your skin due to dehydrated wrinkles exposure to blue light from our laptop screens and phones.
She said that dehydrated wrinkles are premature lines that come about due to a lack of hydration in our skin, with more than 90 per cent of us needing extra hydration in our skin routines, whether you have oily or dry skin.
An easy way to check your hydration levels are to pinch a little bit of skin on your forehead between two fingers – little crepe like lines will appear when the skin is dehydrated.
Niamh added that you can keep a bowl of water open in your room to add some moisture to the dry air and making sure you have a hydrating facial mist near by to hydrate throughout the day.
She added that it is not just our face which needs protecting from blue light as we work on our screens for more of the day but also our necks.
Our necks is not an area we tend to bring our skincare routine down to, Niamh said, as she recommended making sure you bring your full routine down to your neck and including SPF to protect the neck from drooping.
You can also use a pro ageing serum with hyaluronic which will help to plump and protect the skin here.
Sweating it out at the gym is good for your skin, but can lead to clogged porses, causing unwanted breakouts. So make sure you cleanse properly before hitting the treadmill and again after exercising (stock image)
Dr Ross said that, when our face sweats, it’s a great way of ‘opening up and clearing out the pores’.
However, he said you should not wear a full face of make-up when doing a workout as the pores get clogged and the face is unable to breathe, leading to unwanted breakouts and congested, dull skin.
He recommends making sure your face is properly cleansed before doing a workout and to ensure you apply a high SPF if you’re working out outside, even if it’s a cloudy day. After you have finished exercising, you should cleanse the skin again.
If you suffer with rosacea, exercise can be a trigger as it tends to worsen with increased blood flow to the skin, which leads to redness. A serum for sensitive skin might help to reduce the appearance after cleansing.
As we rush to catch up with friends who we’ve not seen for months on end, overindulgence in rich foods and alcohol can leave skin looking red and congested (stock image)
Niamh said that congestion and redness can appear in the skin from over indulging in rich foods, extra dairy and sugar from alcohol – especially all those cocktails.
She recommended keeping an eye out for your triggers if you have started to get more breakouts or redness, adding that for some people it’s alcohol while for others its dairy or sugar.
You can bring in ingredients to tackle that particular problem, with a salicylic-based product used topically on the area which is red and broken out in spots – a serum or mask can work here as a spot treatment.
If you have redness but with no breakouts, Niamh said you can look at introducing some vitamin C or niacinamide into your routine in a serum format.
You should also make sure that you are wearing your SPF at all times to protect your skin.
Being exposed to more sunlight in the summer can lead to pigmentation getting worse, which can be noticed in the skin as dark patches of melanin appear on the forehead normally first and can also be found under the eyes, chest and on the hands as well as the cheek area.
Preventative measures are needed here, which include vitamin C and SPF to protect the skin and some vitamin A in a serum or topical format to slough off the pigmentation that is already built up.
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