Is Your Skin Showing Signs of ‘Mask Fatigue’?

March 1, 2021

Just about a year ago, as we headed into the first lockdown with thoughts of it all being over in 12 weeks, we find ourselves still in lockdown and all the accompanying restrictions. Although in many professions, wearing masks or face coverings has been a normal part of life, it has been harder to get used to for many of us.

Not only is there the act of remembering your face covering when you grab your shopping bags, many people are also finding that their skin has changed or become more irritated than previously. A bit like sensitive skin being aggravated by the increased hand washing (don’t stop doing it, simply look for natural soaps and use a good quality handcream after washing your hands.) many of us are feeling that our skin is not as in good condition as it could be.

Some of the advice is fairly obvious, always throw away disposable covering s after use and regularly wash fabric or reusable ones. Not only do you want to keep it free from any virus particles that may be there, stale make up, dried skin, pollutants and other matter could be present. As this reminder from many local authorities says, treat your mask like your undies!

Good hygiene cam play an important role, but how else can we look after our skin? Skin cells grow from the inside out, they travel up through the layers of the skin as they mature. Our skin cells are being replaced all the time, but as with most parts of our bodies, healthy cells depend on good nutrition and good hydration. Drinking plenty of water or herbal teas, especially the cleansing ones such as nettle, can help keep our skin in good condition. Hydrated cells are happy cells. Working from home may mean more frequent tea breaks and cups of coffee, but the simple step of replacing a couple with water or herbal tea can make a big difference. You will probably find you feel better overall too.

How about adding healthy oils to your salads and smoothies? Using nut oils, avocado oil or a good quality olive all can all add healthy fats to your diet as well as some of the oil-based vitamins such as vitamin E. Little changes can make a big difference.

Healthy fats and good hydration are key to healthy, supple skin.

What we may not have considered is that one of the impacts of the restrictions is that we are using devices such as phones and tablets more often and for longer periods. This can lead to an increased exposure of short-wavelength visible light on the skin, especially blue light. Although in early stages of research, many feel that blue light triggers oxidative stress in the skin which can damage healthy skin cells. There is also research to suggest that in sensitive individuals, excessive exposure can cause hyperpigmentation. If you feel your skin are affected, it is worth looking into blue screen filters and perhaps making sure that your moisturiser contains an SPF.

One of the downsides to the current restrictions is that we are spending more time in front of devices and that means more exposure to blue light.

Vitamin C plays a role in protecting cells from oxidative stress, so if you are in front of a screen for increasing amounts of time, add a vitamin C supplement to your regime. As a water-soluble vitamin that is easily destroyed by light and heat, it is easy to lose it from foods that are stored in the light or overcooked.

Vitamin E is also important for healthy skin and works closely with vitamin C. When looking for a supplement look for one that has the full vitamin E complex in it, mixed tocopherols and tocotrienals, not just d-alpha-tocopherol.

Vitamin D is in the news every week, as a nutrient it has many functions, one being healthy skin. So make sure that you are regularly taking this important vitamin. Look for vitamin D3, the form that is most easily recognised by the body and most easily utilised. The good news is that although it is commonly sourced from lanolin, vegan versions are now available too. Let’s hope that as we head into Spring we get more chances to get outside and grab some of the sunshine vitamin.

Vitamin D is in the news every week. While we can’t spend much time outside, a supplement is a good way to ensure adequate amounts of the sunshine vitamin.

Are you missing facials and special treats at the beauty salon, maybe it is time for a home facial. Using ingredients you can find in your kitchen such as yoghurt, honey and oats, you can create a little moment of TLC for you and your skin. Set the mood with relaxing essential oils and scented candles. Not only will your skin thank you, your mind will too after a moment of calm and restoring balance. All too important in our current situation. Leading fashion magazine Elle has some great home facial recipes here.

As we know, healthy skin begins on the inside, think about supplements that will add to your beauty regime. While you can’t get out to the salon, you can still give your skin the best care. A collagen supplement that contains hydrolysed collagen and elastin can be taken as part of your beauty regime. Look for sustainably sourced ingredients that are water soluble for the best absorption. Collagen supplements are a great addition to a vitamin C supplement, vitamin C is needed for normal collagen formation.

If you can’t get to the salon, you can look after your skin with good nutrition and home facials.

Something else that works well with the addition of vitamin C is hyaluronic acid. You will have heard of it as an ingredient in many upmarket skin creams for smooth and mositurised skin, but have you considered taking it as a supplement to help support the skin? When combined with lysine and vitamin C, it is another useful addition to the beauty toolbox.

If you are looking for a supplement that can easily be added to your beauty regime, another one to consider is Astaxanthin. This is a carotenoid that is sourced from an algae, (Haematococcus Pluviali),carotenoids are fat soluble antioxidant nutrients that have a great affinity with the skin, added vitamin F helps to protect the proteins and lipid (fats) in the body from oxidative damage, so a great combination.

We have all had to adapt and change routines over the past year, but with good diet and good nutrition and healthy hygiene habits, we can all keep our skin looking and feeling at its best. Hopefully we can look forward to a summer of time outside, fewer restrictions and some sort of normal.

You can find all of the products included above in our skin care section of the website.

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