Leading Dermatologist of the Children-Butterfly Foundation
What problems does the skin face when we sit at home
The skin is the largest organ in the body: it makes up more than 5% of the body weight and is 1.5-2 square meters in area. m. To understand how constant stay at home affects the skin, you need to know its composition and functions, on which depends how we feel and what we see in the mirror.
It would seem that we do not go outside, which means that the skin is not exposed to the environment, and everything should be fine with it. In reality, this is not entirely true. The skin is stressed with us. It triggers the increased production of hormones - cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine. Cortisol is especially important for the skin, it increases the sensitivity of receptors to sex hormones - androgens. They, in turn, trigger inflammation and disrupt the function of the skin. Among them, it should be especially noted the barrier, thermoregulatory and respiratory. It is they who bear the greatest load during the period of self-isolation.
The first thing that the skin encounters during a long stay at home is dryness. It develops due to a violation of the respiratory function of the skin. We consume less oxygen; when it's cold, batteries and heaters work; the diet has become less balanced, there is a deficiency of vitamins A, B2, D, F, E, C. On self-isolation, we eat more rapidly digestible carbohydrates: flour and confectionery products, instant food, and not fresh fish, vegetables and fruits. Do not forget about the correct drinking regime. For 1 kg of body weight, there should be 30 ml of water - namely pure drinking water, and not tea, coffee or juice. This will help fill the cells with moisture from the inside out and deal with dryness.
An additional factor is irrational care. The constant use of cleansers with a high content of surfactants (for example, Sodium laureth sulfat) in combination with hot water (this is how we were taught to wash our hands), leads to a violation of the second function of the skin - the barrier.
The process of heat exchange with the environment is important for normal existence. In medicine, the removal of heat from the body through the surface of the skin is called physical thermoregulation. The temperature of the skin in different parts of the body is different, for example, on the hands and feet the temperature is low, and the highest (36-37 ° C) is in the folds. During the day, the temperature of the skin fluctuates along with the biorhythms: it rises in the evening from 17:00 to 19:00 and falls at night in the interval from 01:30 to 03:00.
But while we work remotely and rarely go out, our schedule is changing. We wake up and go to bed later, which means that the amplitude of fluctuations in skin temperature adjusts to new biorhythms. The negative effect of a violation of the thermoregulatory function of the skin can be seen on oneself. In the evenings, redness and dryness may appear, sometimes these symptoms do not go away even in the morning. That is why, during the period of self-isolation, a more thorough and careful approach to the health of your skin is necessary.
Three steps of basic care:
- gentle and atraumatic hygiene;
This is a mandatory order of procedures that should not be neglected.
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How to determine your skin type and find products for it
Dry skin is distinguished by barely noticeable pores, there is not the slightest hint of an oily sheen. Sometimes small foci of peeling appear. Oily skin is porous, with a permanent oily sheen, and in some cases with acne. With the combined type of skin, both oily sheen and dry areas are observed, often there is a feeling of tightness.
These are three main options, but they can be combined with subtypes. Dehydrated skin is dull in color, has many fine lines and causes a constant feeling of tightness. Sensitive skin quickly turns red and inflamed from any external factor; capillaries and venules are clearly visible on it.
The last subtype requiring separate basic care products is aging skin. It is typical for people over 45.
For cleansing, ready-made foams, creams and oils are suitable. You can tone the skin with thermal water without a high content of calcium and aluminum salts, in their composition they are always indicated in the last place. You can choose a tonic with hyaluronic acid, preferably two fractions - high and low molecular weight. In this composition, the word Hyaluronate will be repeated 2-3 times. For a moisturizer, opt for rich textures such as balms or creams that include oils, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and ceramics.
If you are the owner of oily skin, choose cleansing products in the form of gels or “soap without soap” - it will not contain Sodium laureth sulfat. It is a surfactant that creates a dense foam, but additionally dries the skin, which means that oily skin will release more protective secretions, sebum, and, as a result, more inflammatory elements will appear. For toning you need thermal water, but already with a high content of calcium, aluminum and zinc salts. Choose a moisturizer that is light with a gel or cream texture, such as an emulsion. The composition should not contain substances such as Dimiticon and shea butter.
And finally, if we have combination skin, then when choosing products for cleansing, give preference to a foam or cream-gel, tone the skin with products with niacinamide, fruit and berry extracts or thermal water. But the choice of a moisturizer will have to be approached in a special way: in order not to overload the T-zone, choose gels and emulsions, and apply cream on your cheeks.
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How to properly wash and apply care products
After we have determined the skin type and selected the right products, we need to learn how to properly cleanse the skin. Washing is a very important stage of care, which determines the condition of the skin and its readiness to take care products.
Cleansers are applied not with rubbing movements, but with light touches along the massage lines of the face. This will improve lymphatic drainage, reduce puffiness and maintain a clear facial contour.
Use the same principle to apply the rest of the products: try not to stretch the skin or press too hard on it.
During self-isolation, one more item must be added to the basic care - means of local or targeted action. These can be masks and serums, which contain Asiatica Centela, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, probiotics, sunflower seed oil and evening primrose oil. For oily and combination, products with tea tree oil are suitable.
Another useful component is antioxidants: alpha-lipoic acid, vitamins E, C, A. Keep in mind that vitamin A products can only be used in the evening, otherwise unwanted pigmentation may appear. In addition, it is better to choose products where vitamin A is contained in the form of microencapsulated retinol (check the composition). Antioxidants fight oxidative stress, a major culprit in aging.
It's not just the face and décolleté that need care during isolation. The skin around the eyes and lips, hands, body - all this may require additional care.
© Shiny Diamond / Pexels
You can help your skin with a spa in your bathroom. On self-isolation, it is good to include breathing exercises, meditation and taking a bath with bombs into the standard program of procedures. They usually contain oils that nourish the skin, and the bubbles that come out on contact with water give the effect of a light hydromassage.
While you are relaxing in the bathroom, you can apply steam masks, for example, from Korean manufacturers, under your eyes. They will relax your eye muscles after a busy day at the computer. An alginate or sheet mask will be a useful purchase. This therapy, which is gentle and with a slight cooling effect, will help relax and tighten the skin.
After the bath, be sure to apply moisturizers - cream or balm - with a pleasant texture and scent. By acting on all the senses, you will surely lift your mood and feel better.
The Butterfly Children Foundation is helping children with epidermolysis bullosa - a group of genetic and clinical diseases in which blisters and erosion form on the surface of the body and mucous membranes, and the skin becomes extremely vulnerable and sensitive to any mechanical stress. You can support the fund here.