The indoors are stripping your skin of moisture.
We’ve been inside for quite some time now- with the middle of winter fast approaching, it feels like we haven’t seen the sun in years. Is this time spent inside doing more bad for our skin than good?
Our confinement to our cozy homes has brought a number of changes to our skin and a seriously lack of fresh air. While maskne is by far one of the most common concerns, we’re here to talk about how this newfound lack of fresh air can be affecting your skin, too with the help of Licensed Esthetician and Skincare Expert, Tomás Glenn.
Get Some Oxygen to Your Skin!
Have you ever seen a celebrity praise an oxygen facial? Since my head is buried in the beauty community, I’ve seen my fair share of oxygen facial reviews, where people marvel at how plump their skin looks after being infused directly with oxygen. This just goes to show the power a little fresh oxygen can have on the skin.
The air in your home is likely recycled and possibly contains pollutants from cleaning products and dust. A simple solution to ridding the air you breathe of unwanted particles is to open some windows when you can and allow fresh air to circulate through the home. Sure, getting fresh air in your apartment won’t give you those same results as infusing it directly into your skin, but it won’t hurt either!
If you don’t have access to fresh air 24/7 (hello, apartment life), don’t fret! Facial massaging can seriously help. Tomás emphasizes that “one of [his] goals with facial massage is to re-establish energy flow, circulation, and draw oxygen to [his] client’s skin.” He adds that “when you skip regular facial treatments, which create circulation and draw oxygen to your skin, your face will show facial muscle laxity, overall dullness in appearance, and occasional skin congestion.”
So why facial massage? According to Tomás, “serums and creams can’t resolve your skin’s laxity, dullness, and congestion alone as a result of oxygen deprivation as creams are only topical solutions.” Facial massaging tones our facial muscles and activates lymphatic drainage, making it seem like our skin hasn’t been exposed to the same stuffy air for months on end.
Your AC and Heating Units Aren’t Helping!
Whether you’re blasting your radiator, slowly introducing the air conditioner on warm sunny winter days, or just using a fan, systems like this in the home can be incredibly drying to the air and have dramatic effects on the skin. The reason? All the air these systems use are recirculated, not fresh.
According to Tomás, “indoor cooling and heating systems reduce humidity and moisture in the environment. This is not ideal, as all skin types require epidermal moisture for overall protection and to fight against signs of aging.” In short, although these systems keep us comfortable, they’re taxing on our complexions. He adds that, “those with psoriasis, rosacea, eczema, or similar skin conditions may see even further irritation from over exposure to heating and air systems” from prolonged periods inside.
One non-skincare option you can introduce to try and help the appearance of your skin is a humidifier. Adding some humidity to the air will allow your skin (which is over 50% water, remember!) to soak in additional moisture. Overall, you’ll likely notice less flaking, peeling, and overall irritation.
Exfoliation is Still Important
Although upping hydration should definitely be top of mind while lacking fresh air, exfoliation is still important. Many have made the mistake of throwing exfoliation to the wayside, as it’s associated with getting dirt off the skin.
Dryness and lack of humidity can cause small bumps like milia or flaking patches and no amount of hydration will fix it alone. “If you’ve been over exposed to heating and cooling systems, which often will cause your skin to become defensive and drier, textural changes are possible.” Tomás suggests “using a professionally recommended enzymatic or lactic acid based cleanser / exfoliant, [as it] will help safely remove surface dead cells.”
Something too abrasive or harsh carries the potential for an adverse reaction, so always give a little patch test first! Regular and gentle exfoliation, coupled with the use of amazing hydrating agents, is bound to improve indoor skin in no time.
Hydrating + Exfoliating Products We Love
If you need powerful hydrating or exfoliating products to manage newfound skin issues stemming from an uptick in inside time look no further. Some of our top rated hydrating and gently exfoliating products for you to choose from are below.
Then I Met You Calming Tide Gel Cream – This light as a feather gel cream can be used as a moisturizer alone or can be used as a thick serum, whatever your skin craves. It’s packed with three different peptides that help to improve the skin’s natural moisture barrier and stimulate collagen production, so it will not only adequately hydrate the skin, but protect it strongly. The cream also contains an antioxidant derived from hibiscus flower to help further repair any cellular damage (think: broken and flaking skin) and niacinamide to even the complexion as a whole.
Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner – This lightly exfoliating and cleansing toner has a cult following, and with good reason. With high concentrations of licorice water, peony extract, and green tea, this helps to remove any remaining impurities and grime on the skin that might have built up over time. You can notice softer skin and reduced blackheads / breakouts, but also revel in the incredible brightening properties the formula contains to reduce acne scarring and other dark marks.
Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream – Having a solid moisturizer is a great place to begin, and this well rounded cream is super highly rated. With ceramides to protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier, jojoba oil hydrates with fatty acids, and papaya extract for gentle exfoliation, this will keep the wearer’s skin soft and plump.
Skinfood Rice Wash-Off Face Mask – If you prefer a physical exfoliant, we can’t blame you! Rice bran is the star ingredient and makes for a fine powder to polish the skin. It’s paired off with jojoba oil to hydrate the skin, as well, and in turn never leaves you feeling too dry. It’s a great option for someone who would typically identify as having sensitive skin and for someone who would typically stray from any kind of scrub!