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Has Lockdown Made Your Acne Worse?

After what feels like an age, lockdown has finally started to ease and things are returning to normal around much of the UK. Lockdown has affected people in different ways, some people have become fitter whilst some people have put on weight, some people have found the free time helpful for their mental wellbeing whilst others have found isolation stressful. However, there is one thing that for some has got worse and they may not know quite why and that is acne.

There can be a number of reasons that acne might flare up due to lockdown. Acne break outs typically will boil down to hormonal imbalances and the two key things that may be causing a hormonal imbalance are diet and stress. Stress in particular being a major culprit for acne outbreaks and during lockdown our bodies are adapting to new routines, lack of socialising and the stress of the pandemic at large. When our body is stressed it will release cortisol which is also known as the fight or flight hormone. When cortisol is high, oestrogen production is lowered in the body resulting in the sebaceous gland producing more oil. The pores on the skin will swell to a close creating an inflammatory response which results in what we know as an acne spot.

For many of us during lockdown our diets have changed, for some of us this may mean daily bacon sandwiches for breakfast or a new found love for baking cakes. Not only this but comfort eating and eating out of boredom can be a problem for many also. This comfort eating is bad for both our gut and our skin. Eating more junk food does no good for our gut health which in turn will wreak havoc on our skin.

All of this whilst also staying indoors for longer and not catching the sun like we normally would. By missing out on our daily dose of vitamin D we can worsen our skin. Taking vitamin D tablets and eating vitamin D rich food such as egg and oily fish can go a long way in treating our skin.

On top of all this, the increased time being at home and not being in public as much can result in our personal hygiene standards dropping, showering later, sleeping more and changing our bed sheets less often. It is important to keep on top of personal hygiene to reduce our risk of worsening our skin and getting acne.

What can you do to fight lockdown acne?

Keep a daily routine

It is likely most cases of lockdown acne are bought on by stress due to a change in situation and as well worrying about the situation. To fight this change of routine it is important to understand how our bodies are happier when we have a healthy routine and consistency to our lives. Maintaining a structure similar to that you would have had when the world was normal is a good way of fighting stress. If you were used to getting up at 7am and going to sleep at 10pm but now are instead waking up at 8am and going to bed at midnight it – it would be a good idea of getting back to your existing sleeping schedule.

Maintaining a discipline over what time of day you eat and reducing snacking will as well help your body feel like it is maintaining a routine. As well drinking water regularly, along with a skincare routine and vitamin D supplements can all go a long way in reducing Acne.

Keeping a healthy diet

If you’ve found yourself indulging in comfort foods and baking cakes daily, these things may be worsening acne. Eating junk food that causes a spike in blood sugar which can lead to acne breakouts. Lessening junk food and being sure to get a wide range of vegetables that are high in vitamin A and antioxidants will massively help keeping your skin healthy. As well eating oily fish rich in omega-3s that are important for skin health.  

Managing facemasks

As facemasks have become mandatory when shopping in the UK, it’s important to know that facemasks can cause increased condensation, sweat and oil under the mask which can become a breeding ground for skin bacteria and clogged pores. It is therefore important to keep skin as oil-free as possible. Making a conscious effort to regularly clean your skin and exfoliate when not wearing a mask will go a long way to helping reduce outbreaks of acne.

What to do to treat acne?

Being aware of how to look after skin and treat acne can help reduce the outbreak and clear your skin up. When cleansing your skin avoid using balm cleansers as they can worsen breakouts. Applying a good quality acne or spot treatment in either a gel or serum. After you’ve applied that you can then apply your normal moisturiser and wearing a SPF when out in the sun. Keeping a consistent skin can routine can significantly help treat acne.

My Pharmacy have a wide range of well-reviewed acne treatments available to order for next day delivery.

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