COVID-19 has altered the way that we live our lives. With no clear end in sight, it’s become more important than ever to find a routine and establish a schedule that works for your lifestyle. As we collectively shift to the digital landscape, the way we communicate with coworkers, friends, and family has shifted as well. Enter, Zoom, FaceTime and the like. Video chats have become the new normal, and while it may be nice to take a break from wearing slacks and blouses, it’s no excuse to drop other everyday practices.
You may not have control over how the pandemic evolves and continues to affect the population, but you do have control over your skincare routine. Now more than ever focusing on something tangible, like a proven regimen, can relieve stress and help you to keep a sense of normalcy during these unprecedented times. (Not to mention it’ll help boost your confidence during your next video call.)
Here are the top five ingredients you should be using to achieve glowing skin, even in isolation.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
This super-star substance is naturally found in the body and helps cells retain and maintain moisture — in fact, one gram of HA can hold up to six liters of water. However, as we age, the amount of HA found naturally in our body begins to degenerate.
Topically HA has the ability to restore moisture and revitalize the skin’s outer surface: this means a softer, smoother and more hydrated look and feel. The result is an instantly improved appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, as a skincare ingredient HA is versatile and can be paired with most products without detriment.
HA is actually what injectable fillers are made of so while you may not be able to rely on injectables to diminish wrinkles right now, topical HA is the next best thing.
While we’re all stuck in quarantine, it’s a great time to add a Vitamin C serum to your routine. Vitamin C is a powerful, well-researched ingredient that can improve the signs of aging and brighten an uneven skin tone, while restoring and soothing the skin, too. However, depending on what you’re looking to treat with the serum, the effects can take a couple of months for visible benefits — which makes it the perfect ingredient to try out during the shelter-in-place protocol.
HINT: If you’ve never used a Vitamin C serum, it’s important to work your way up to everyday use as sensitive skin may react poorly to the high acidity.
While you may not be able to get your monthly facial, you can maintain your skin using retinol (aka Vitamin A), a powerhouse ingredient that has the ability to diminish the visible signs of aging. Whether mixed in tandem with other antioxidant ingredients or used in a concentrated dose — like with Retin-A— the product has the ability to transform your skin.
Still, like with Vitamin C, it’s important to work your way up to a higher dose, as the ingredient has the potential to irritate and dry out the skin.
If you’re new to retinol, look for a formula with a concentrate of 0.01%-0.03%. Concentrations in this range minimize pores, even skin tone and diminish the appearance of fine lines. As you work your way up to an advanced concentration (0.3% -1%), retinol can address deep wrinkles and decreased firmness. You will need to protect your skin with sunscreen especially when using a retinol.
HINT: Packaging matter. Look for opaque, airless, packaging. Air and sunlight alter the chemicals resulting in a subpar and potentially harmful product.
Being stuck inside may not be glamorous, but finding the perfect exfoliant can transform your skin for good. AHA (an acronym for alpha hydroxy acid, most commonly seen in the form of glycolic and lactic acid ) is an exfoliant that works by breaking down the substance that holds dead skin together.
Used as a chemical exfoliant, AHAs can improve dry skin and uneven skin tone while promoting blood flow and collagen production: all of which lead to younger-looking skin.
HINT: AHAs work best when applied after you’ve already cleansed and toned. When used as a rinse-off product, the benefits are minimal.
Forget an elaborate makeup routine and a ring light, you can glow on your next conference call with a little help from the right oil. A naturally-occurring ingredient, jojoba oil is made from the nut of the jojoba plant, which is a perennial plant. The oil contains vitamin E, which works as an antioxidant and soothing moisturizer for chaffed, irritated skin. As a natural anti-inflammatory, the oil has even been shown to help with skin conditions from acne to rosacea.
It can be hard to find solace during the Coronavirus pandemic, but ensuring that your skin is still glowing is a great way to take back some control during isolation. Besides, self-care is always a good idea— not to mention it’s sure to have you radiating on your next Zoom call.