It’s no secret that the COVID-19 crisis is stressing us out. In fact, Americans across the country are experiencing vivid dreams because of collectively high cortisol levels. But it’s important to keep stress and anxiety under control to prevent it from harming your body.
Uncontrolled stress can cause a whole slew of problems from insomnia to weight gain. It can even have a major impact on (you guessed it) your skin. While over 50 million people in the U.S. experience acne on a regular basis, breakouts and dry patches brought on by stress can be a serious pain.
To give yourself some seriously needed self-care, here are a few ways you can take care of your skin during the COVID-19 crisis.
Hydrate From the Inside Out
Whether you’re healthy, sick, or recovering, hydration is essential to your overall well-being. According to Michigan State University, hydration allows your kidneys to do a good job of balancing electrolytes and filtering waste from your body. Hydration also helps you fight back against illness by reducing congestion so you can cough any mucus up and out of your body.
Drinking water throughout the day is also essential to skin care. Dehydrated skin loses its elasticity and appears thin and dry. It can even leave temporary lines on your face. To stay healthy and keep your skin clear during this stressful time, make sure you’re following the 8×8 rule (eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day).
Kick Exfoliants to the Curb
Exfoliants aren’t inherently bad for you. But when you use exfoliants for too long or you’re too rough when using them, you can actually end up hurting your skin. If you have sensitive skin or rosacea, it isn’t recommended to use exfoliants at all.
Instead, aim for facial cleansers that are gentle and fragrance-free. For those with rosacea, aim for a facial cleanser that’s a cream rather than a gel or oil.
Forget the Fancy Face Masks
When you’re stuck at home, you might not be able to access your usual skin care products and face masks from your local stores. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself a DIY facial that works just as well with the ingredients you have right at home.
From vinegar to oatmeal, there are a wide variety of ingredients sitting in the back of your cupboards that you can use to improve your skin care routine.
Keep an Eye Out for Unusual Reactions
Getting to know your skin is not only important for finding the right products to use. It’s also important for knowing when there’s something wrong. For instance, if your skin is flushed and irritated, there are many different potential causes from rosacea flare-ups to a fever.
If you’ve been getting in your daily exercise at one of the 16,000 parks and campgrounds in the country as a way to soak up the sun while social distancing, rashes, or flushed skin could be caused by sunburn or something more serious like poison oak. If you’re using a new skin product, you may be experiencing an allergic reaction.
About 21% of patients visit an urgent care center for non-severe allergic reactions because the location is more convenient. But if you experience a sudden and severe allergic reaction, call 911 or go to the Emergency Room immediately.
Form New Habits
No amount of face masks and skin care routines can keep your skin happy and healthy if you’re not keeping yourself healthy. During this stressful time, consider forming new healthy habits to help you manage your stress and anxiety. Develop a new routine and limit how much news content you’re absorbing.
It isn’t easy to manage stress. But by practicing good self-care and establishing a new normal that’s healthy, you can better support your own wellness and peace of mind.