We're feeling more fragile lately...and so has our skin. While we're always down for an at-home facial or peel to reveal a baby-smooth visage, these days, we're also taking a more comforting approach to our skincare regimens. As quarantine orders are still in place for many of us, it's worth noting that a new and improved skincare routine with a focus on repairing and nurturing might be a good way to spend your time spent indoors. We spoke with celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau and Heyday's regional trainer Jeni Montoya to get their tips on how to take care of our skin in the age of isolation (spoiler alert: don't stop using SPF!).
Protect Your Skin's Moisture Barrier
Most of us are wearing less makeup at home, but that doesn't mean you should be cleansing your skin less. Montoya says that it's important to prioritize cleansing (gently) and moisturizing regularly during this time. "Just like our hands are being stripped from our natural oils due to so much washing, we need to be aware of how we are washing our face and how we protect it," she says. Opt for gentle, sulfate-free face washes and always, always follow with a protective moisturizer.
And why is moisturizing so important? "Regularly moisturizing will help keep your skin’s protective moisture barrier intact," Rouleau explains. "This is important because when our skin’s barrier is compromised, it develops tiny cracks that lets moisture out while letting irritants and bacteria in”. Moisturizing with hydrating and nourishing ingredients will help to keep your skin balanced and keep irritation at bay. Ingredients to look for in your moisturizer: antioxidants, humectants and ceramides. Antioxidants help to protect your skin from outside elements—think of them as your skin's armor. Humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin attract and lock moisture into the skin, while ceramides strengthen your skin barrier. Rouleau suggests using a dollop of your favorite moisturizer as a hand cream if you're experiencing super-dry skin and knuckles from overwashing. Shop some of our favorite skin-repairing moisturizers below:
This moisturizer was created to soothe post-treatment irritation and is full of peptides and ceramics to restore your protective barrier, as well as ginger root to soothe.
It's award-winning for a reason: Charlotte's hyaluronic acid and vitamin c-infused Magic Cream is designed with great skin in mind and this plumping and powerful moisturizer will leave your skin hydrated, protected and supercharged.
This thick, goopy moisturizer from CBD brand Lord Jones was specifically created to repair your acid mantle and undo years of over cleansing and over exfoliation.
Yes, You Still Have to Wear SPF Indoors
Just because you're not outdoors doesn't mean you're safe from the sun. Even indirect sunlight coming in from your window can lead to sun damage, so now is not the time to be lazy when it comes to applying your SPF. “I recommend always wearing SPF even indoors or when going out for a quick walk to the grocery store," Montaya says.
In addition to UV exposure, your skin is also trying to defend itself from blue light damage a.k.a. the light emitted from your laptop screen or iPhone. Experts have noticed an increase in data on the potential long-term harming effects that blue light has on your skin. According to a 2019 report, millennials check their phone on average 150 times a day and as our current isolation situation stands, that number has surged. Consider a skin-soothing product that has HEV protection like, Isla's Face Base Priming Moisturizer.
Double Down on Hydration
No more excuses—with more time on our hands, we should be doubling down on hydration. This includes drinking more water and eating hydrating foods, yes, but also loading up on hydration in your skincare regimen. If you've been considering a hyaluronic acid serum, now is the time. Hyaluronic acid is the hydration powerhouse your skin has been asking for with the ability to hold up to 1,000 times it weight in water. Highly impactful as a serum, hyaluronic acid is a potent humectant that will draw the water to your skin and give it that plump, bouncy feeling.
If you're an overachiever, try cocktailing your hyaluronic acid serum with other serums made with antioxidants, like vitamin c. "Serums can increase hydration as well as minimize fine lines and wrinkles, brighten darker areas of hyperpigmentation, and work to reduce and prevent breakouts," says Montoya. "This is where I can create real change in my skin”. Shop two of our favorite hyaluronic acid serums below:
Lightweight in texture but heavy in hydration, this serum is packed with three molecular weights of hyaluronic acid and soothing Vitamin B5 to keep your skin bouncy and soft.
Made with 2% hyaluronic acid and moisture-enhancing B5, this small-but-mighty serum delivers an intense and long-lasting dose of hydration to the skin.
Incorporate Retinol and Seal It In With a Face Oil
Retinol can do everything from accelerate cell-turnover to treat wrinkles to resurface your skin’s texture, but can lead to irritation, especially when exposed to sunlight. “People shy away from using their retinoids because they don’t want to be out in public with their skin being dry and peeling," says Rouleau. "Well, this is the perfect time to pull out that tube and use it to get more advanced results for your skin since you're no in the public eye." If you're using your retinol at night, consider following with a nurturing face oil. “I usually like to add a facial oil to my night-time routine," says Montoya. "Oils create a stronger skin barrier, seal in important nutrients, and protect us from pollution or harmful debris."
Renée Rouleau's Advanced Resurfacing Serum is cleverly formulated as a cream treatment that focuses on repairing hyperpigmentation, large pores, fine lines and wrinkles. Formulated to treat sensitive skin especially, this is a treatment that will do your skin good, especially during these stressful times.
This face oil is rich in omegas that replenish, nurture, and restore balance to the skin. Treat your skin to this at night and wake up with a much glowier visage, or use it in the morning to blind your coworkers with your glow via Zoom.
Mask in the Morning
We like to think of face masks as the ultimate skin pick-me-ups—a hug for your skin that repairs, clarifies, and soothes. An effective mask works fast and leaves your skin looking brighter, smoother, and all-around better after just a few minutes. Now that you're not rushing to your office job in the morning, consider doing a face mask in the morning to start off your day and give your skin a surge of antioxidant protection. Below, find some of our favorite face masks to do morning or night:
This mask is famously hydrating, with a creamy, whipped texture and infused with vitamin C, niacinamide and green tea extract. Use it in the morning or anytime throughout the day, even if you're on your couch and not jetsetting anywhere anytime soon.
The purifying mask can be used as a weekly face mask, daily face wash and targeted spot treatment. Leaving no congestion behind, it balances, purifies and clarifies the skin—just always follow with your favorite moisturizer.