Look back at 2019 pics and maybe you'll see, your skin looked a little more...fresh?
Without a doubt, 2020 was a chaotic year. With a global pandemic and all the emotional turmoil, financial stress, and uncertainty that came with it, our skin has certainly paid a price.
See, according to science, stress can wreak havoc on your skin and body. So could it really be possible that 2020 aged us? Absolutely!
Aging isn't a bad thing - it's a natural process that happens to everyone. However, premature aging (think fine lines, wrinkles, sagging!) is something most people want to avoid.
To find out whether these changes are real or just in your head, we've done some digging to shed light on how the coronavirus pandemic may have affected your skin - and how you can fix it with a solid quarantine skincare routine.
Stress plays a defining role in aging. A normal amount of stress is fine and shouldn't leave your skin begging for refuge. But when your stress levels get too high or become consistent, that's when you should start making some changes.
The Nutrients that Feed Your Skin Get Cancelled Out
"When we experience stress, even if it is simply imagining a stressful scenario, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol," says Rebecca Martz Spenser, a Holistic Nutritionist at Modern Mind Body. "Cortisol is designed to prepare the body with the energy for fight or flight. It starts breaking down the body for resources to use to handle the emergency."
As a result, blood sugar levels spike, triggering a depletion of minerals, vitamins, and proteins in the body. IOW, the nutrients your skin needs to stay healthy diminish, the higher and more consistent the stress!
Losing these nutrients results in slower healing, reduced circulation, and loss of collagen. Accompanying this comes sagging, less elasticity, fine lines, dryness, dark circles.
Your Skin Barrier Becomes Compromised
What's more, cortisol can reduce natural lips that keep your skin barrier - the thing responsible for taking care of your skin and keeping out harmful intruders - strong.
Without these natural lipids, the protective barrier weakens leading to an increase in water loss which causes dry skin and loss of elasticity. Evidence also suggests that cortisol can wreak havoc with your oil production levels, leading to breakouts.
So if your skin looks less clarified since the pandemic, stress could be the culprit.
If you're less than happy with the current state of your complexion, you can reverse the harm done in quarantine.
The first step is adopting a solid skincare regimen that incorporates a gentle cleanser, nourishing moisturizer, antioxidants, and sunscreen. Used together, these four elements can restore damaged skin and promote beautiful, glowing skin.
Here are some handy dermatologist-approved anti-aging tips to try.
Cleanse Daily - Even If You Spend all Day Indoors
Just because you're currently working from home doesn't mean you aren't exposed to elements that mess with your skin. Morning and night, you still need to cleanse your skin to prevent the build up of dead skin cells and remove dirt, oil, and bacteria that may cause breakouts.
Moisturize with Pro-Collagens
Moisturizing your skin daily is vital for maintaining a youthful complexion. Look for hydrating skincare products that contain retinol, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Hydration is key for keeping your skin in check and making sure it looks young and vibrant. Opt for a lightweight lotion that's suitable for your skin type. If you've got super dry skin, choose a moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid - it's a powerhouse ingredient for hydration.
Amp up the Antioxidants
Pick a serum formulated with ingredients that target your skin concern. If it's aging, seek ingredients such as retinol, collagen, and antioxidants which actively fight aging. If you've got acne-prone skin, make hemp, salicylic acid, or zinc your first choice. Regardless of your skin concern, retinol is a go-to for numerous skin concerns.
"Retinol is a keratolytic, it increases skin cell turnover unclogging the pores and preventing formation of blackheads or whiteheads and having breakouts," explains dermatologist Dr. Gaile Robredo-Vitas of BeautiqueMD. "In addition to stimulating collagen production by activating certain receptors in our skin, retinol also prevents the production of collagenase, which is an enzyme that breaks down collagen in our skin."
SPF is a Staple
Even those short walks to your local bodega expose your skin to UV radiation, which increases collagen degeneration. Wearing sunscreen every day helps with free radical prevention to keep your skin looking young and radiant. If you're still social distancing and hardly leaving the house, you'll still need some protection against the blue light emissions that radiate from your tech gadgets.
Load up on anti-aging powerhouses collagen, retinol, and vitamin C with Truly's Vegan Collagen Bundle. It's your quarantine skincare BFF!
Besides the four skincare staples, try incorporating these self-care tips into your daily or weekly regimen for optimal skin:
Beyond your skincare routine, try managing stress with a few daily wellness habits like practising yoga, meditating in your spare minutes, or doing regular deep breathing sessions. In this ever-moving, interconnected world, the key to managing stress is preventing stress in the first place and giving yourself the space to breathe, relax, and focus on the present moment can help you achieve that.