Lots of unexpected things have come about in the craziness of isolation. Some, like Banana Bread’s astronomic popularity, make perfect sense. While others, like Isolation Skin, have been baffling and frustrating.
To get some much needed guidance, we called in Expert Facialist, Natasha Tchernobryvko.
“Natasha has the magic touch. That’s the only way to explain it. I started seeing her for facials 15 years ago and try to see her whenever I’m in Sydney. There’s no fancy lasers, no hard sell, just experience, pampering and results beautifully entwined in one. Yes, I walk away with fantastic skin, but her massage technique and her warmth and energy adds another five million gold stars.” - Zoë Foster Blake, Go-To Founder and facial snob.
Luckily LUCKILY, Natasha generously agreed to share her skin smarts (but not her banana bread recipe), and tell us what’s going on and how we can fix it.
What Is Isolation Skin?
“The skin reflects the internal state of the body,” explains Natasha. “During isolation, our lifestyle has changed dramatically. We are mostly indoors, are not as active as usual, and exercising could be difficult as gyms and fitness clubs are closed. Our diets might have changed due to the increased level of stress. Obviously all of these factors affect the skin.”
It’s not all bad, though. There ARE things you can do to stop isolation-induced bitchiness and keep your skin calm and clear. Here are Natasha’s top five recommendations:
Be Specific About Your Surroundings
Pay close attention to the microclimate of the place/s where you spend most of your time, and ensure the temp in your home remains (relatively) stable and doesn’t increase or decrease drastically. Constant temperature changes can cause our blood vessels to spasm which stops skin from getting sufficient blood circulation. This means our skin doesn’t get enough minerals and oxygen, which causes our skin to look saggy and lifeless.
Other essential things to keep in mind when you’re indoors: Keep your home clean (wash and vacuum floors), make sure there’s sunlight, fresh air, and sufficient moisture.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Dehydrated skin doesn’t feel good. And since your skin is not a life supporting organ, saturation of skin with water happens after internal organs obtain their share. This means you need to drink at least 1.5 - 2L of water per day (depending on your body weight) to keep your skin properly hydrated.
Before you ask: No, that doesn’t include coffee and black tea. Caffeine is actually dehydrating for the skin, so if you can, cut back on coffee and sub in herbal teas.
Vitamins And Veggies
Green vegetables contain powerful antioxidants, and green pigment is scientifically proven to be an anti-aging pigment. So up your intake of greens, and add in some vitamins, too. Things like water soluble vitamin c, and oil soluble vitamin a and e are essential for skin health. (Ahem, Natasha also suggests you try not to overdo it with sugar and alcohol.)
Stress can be as bad for your skin as smoking and UV exposure. So for the love of luminous skin, try to manage and reduce your stress. Even if it’s just doing little things like taking a walk in fresh air. Moving your body everyday can be very beneficial.
Pick Your Products Carefully
It’s important to treat your skin topically, too. When you’re creating your routine, make sure that the product you are using is suitable for your skin type and age.
Recommendations for oily and congested Iso Skin:
- Use products that can help to balance sebum production; a double cleanse is good. Start with an oil cleanser to dissolve excess oil on the surface, and after that follow with a gel or a mousse cleanser.
- Follow by toning your skin, to finish cleansing and improve pH level and then moisturise. Keep an eye out for products with hyaluronic acid which is a great way to keep your skin hydrated for longer.
- Supplement your everyday routine with clay and mud masks will help to balance oiliness. Afterwards apply sheet masks to hydrate skin at a deeper level and brighten skin right up.
- Be gentle and avoid alcohol-based products. Salicylic acid can be used for white heads, be sure to only use it on the pimples, not all over the face.
Recommendations for dry, flaky Iso Skin:
- Cleanse, tone, moisturise, nourish, and exfoliate (twice a week).
- Facial oils like Face Hero can be your best friend in isolation, and hyaluronic acid, vitamin c, or vitamin a serums (only at at night, please) are also great.
- Supplement your daily routine with nourishing “stay-on” masks (which are good for dry skin) and sheet masks (which are good for hydration, refreshing, rejuvenating the skin).
- Include more olive oil, avocado, and red fish in your diet. These foods have fatty acids to nourish the skin from the inside out. In some cases supplements such as fish oil or evening primrose oil can be very helpful.
Recommendations for inflamed or irritated Iso Skin:
- Pare your routine right back. Give your actives a rest for the time-being and give your skin a chance to settle down.
- Avoid any alcohol-based products in favour of gentle alternatives with ingredients like calendula or arnica that will soothe and nourish any irritation.