Why Is My Skin So Dry In Quarantine? A Dermatologist Explains
Your dating life may not be the only thing drying up as we all stay inside to #flattenthecurve. Cue a whole lotta dry skin. In an unofficial poll of my group of galpals, I found a little bit of solace knowing that excessively dry—and sometimes flaky(!)—skin is something a lot are experiencing in quarantine (in addition to perhaps one too many Zoom happy hours).
"Skin is getting dry for a few reasons. When you are inside all day and the heat is on, the humidity in the air diminishes and that translates into less moisturizer for your skin," says Nava Greenfield, MD, a New York dermatologist and advisor for Belli Skincare.
Dr. Greenfield explains that, usually, going outside and experiencing a change in climate typically helps with stimulating oil glands to produce more moisture, but that’s not something many of us can do at the moment. Pair that with an influx of showering and constant hand-washing, and we’re now stripping away the skin’s natural oils as well as any moisturizer that was applied earlier on in the day.
So, what’s a lady under quarantine to do? For your body, Dr. Greenfield suggests creams or oil-based formulas with hydrating ingredients like jojoba oil, ceramides, cocoa butter, and avocado. “This is usually something you’d have to scoop for a jar or squeeze from a tube, as opposed to lotion which you typically pump.”
For your face, seek out products that are not as heavy, with ingredients including glycerin, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C and E. “Aim to use these products two to three times more per day than what you would typically do,” she suggests. “Adding in afternoon and late-morning moisturizing in addition to morning and night might be all you need.”
The good news? There is a light at the end of this Netflix-and-WFH tunnel: Clear skin awaits. “I have seen many of my patients break out while in quarantine, but I would not be surprised if faces clear up once the stress is lifted and we are able to go outside again,” says Dr. Greenfield.
Ready to make dry skin a thing of the past? Look no further than these 10 editor-tested solutions for your precious skin.
Formulated without parabens, phthalates, SLS, or petrolatum, this all-day moisturizer brightens skin and improves firmness. It’s also got Vitamin E and bakuchiol, a natural alternative to retinol.
This daily serum uses both 20% Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, which work together to help brighten the appearance of your skin while amping up the hydration factor. Put on your chemist hat and mix together the pure Vitamin C powder with the serum activator, and make sure to use the contents within three months of activation for best results.
We’re all trying to amp up our body’s natural defense mechanisms against infection. Find comfort that this moisturizer has got your skin covered, too. Complete with green tea extract to help reinforce your skin’s natural defenses, this vegan, cruelty-free formula from Bliss will boost your skin’s elasticity while offering up intense hydration.
With prickly pear fruit extract and shea butter, this one sounds like a treat. Another prime ingredient: Cica, otherwise known as tiger grass. Fun fact: Injured tigers often rub against it to help heal their wounds (aka prepare to channel your inner lioness).
Is there anything more fun than waking up with a fresh face? This overnight mask hydrates, plumps, and smooths with the help of plant-derived hyaluronic acid, mango butter, and squalane.
That play on words, though. This balm is meant for evening application, the last step in your turn-down routine. Wear it as an overnight mask, and layer it with a facial oil (try their Virgin Marula) for an extra hydration boost.
If your skin is super aggravated, this is your new BFF. The combination of bisabol — a soothing plant-based anti-irritant derived from chamomile, and mallow extract — an anti-redness hydrator that gives some TLC to sensitive skin, are complete game-changers.
Complete with jojoba and baobab oil, this balm prevents the loss of moisture while also penetrating deep into the epidermis to help restore your skin’s natural integrity.
Made with irritated skin in mind, this almond-oil infused lotion is fast-absorbing. I’ve gone through an entire tube of it within a week’s time in the past, craving the locked-in moisture feeling tapping away on my keyboard all day.
We know that essential fatty acids are a good part of our diet, sure. But they’re also really great for your skin when it comes to long lasting nourishment. This Malin + Goetz pick has avocado and grape seed oil to stave off dryness.
If the thick, buttery feel of this body cream doesn’t win you over, the smell will. The hinoki scent of this plant-based body cream, made with shea butter and coconut oil, is inspired by the soothing, fresh scent lingering around the Buddhist temples of Mount Koya in Japan.
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