If you’re finding that your skin is struggling during lockdown, you’re not alone – and we’ve got to say, this seems a little unfair. After all, haven’t we always been told that factors like make-up and pollution are the root of all skin evils? We don’t know about you, but with we’ve hardly worn make-up in weeks – months even. Alas, there are plenty of stresses and strains that can show themselves on your face in the form of pesky breakouts.
We called on the wise advice of Helen Richie, founder of cruelty-free and vegan friendly skincare range Gym For Your Skin, and a clinical skincare specialist with over 10 years’ experience, for the rules she lives by when it comes to keeping her skin in tip-top condition.
Keep It Simple
With an ever-increasing range of serums, oils and face mists just a click of a button away, the temptation to try everything out by layering product-on-product is very real. However, overcomplicating your routine is something Helen cautions against: “Quite often you find that the people with the best skin are the ones that do the least to it. For most people, a simple conditioning cleanser, supported by day and night moisturisers is sufficient, with serums thrown in for an extra hydration boost or to target problem areas.”
Keep It Consistent
According to Helen, one of the major keys to great skin is the ability to be consistent with your routine – hence why it’s best to keep things simple: “You don’t go to the gym and come out after one session with buff arms and washboard abs, and your skin doesn’t work like that either. While certain ingredients will help to reduce inflammation or redness quickly, there are no ‘instant fixes’ when it comes to better skin – you have to keep your routine manageable and consistent.” Generally, Helen suggests using serums at night to give your skin the chance to feast on them while you snooze!
Resist the urge to purge
On a practical level, this means avoiding things such as foaming cleaners and wet wipes: “When you’re suffering from a bout of ‘problem skin’, it’s completely natural to feel like you need to wash it all away but really this is the worst thing you can do. All these products do is strip your face of the natural oils it needs to repair itself.”
Instead, Helen recommends focusing on nourishing and strengthening your skin: “Think of it in the same way you would your nutrition if you know your body needs a boost. You want to make it stronger, not weaker. A properly balanced, hydrated complexion with an intact moisture barrier heals sore skin faster and this extends to quicker breakout clearing too.”
Don’t suffocate your skin
While stripping your face of all its goodness is a no-no, so too is coating your face with as much product as possible, or the highest strength of ingredient out there: “Focus on what your skin concerns are, choose your product accordingly, and then resist the urge to suffocate your skin with that product. Having more product or a higher concentration doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting any benefits – it may well overwhelm your skin. Likewise, doubling the application doesn't mean doubling the dose.”
Although your skin type will fall broadly into a ‘category’ – oily, combination, dry – Helen points out that you really need to consider what your skin is like and what you’re hoping to achieve before slathering on product: “In your thirties you may want to use a retinol-based serum such as our ‘A-HIT’ to combat early signs of ageing building it up slowly as it can be harsh on the skin, whereas if you’re dealing with cystic acne it will be better to use a product packed with Vitamin C, such as our ‘C-HIT’ serum. Of all three, our B-HIT is more of a ‘general use’, aimed trapping moisture.” Don’t be afraid to mix them either, depending on what you need.
Find out more about Gym For Your Skin over on their website