In case anyone hasn’t asked you in a while – how are you? We are over a year into the pandemic. 2020 was a lot (A LOT) in every imaginable way. Last year what we were experiencing was grief. Over the last few months, some of us experienced something called languishing (yes, it’s a thing, and it has a name).
With the lockdown restrictions easing and things getting back to some semblance of normality, there is another emotion on the horizon. It’s called “re-entry anxiety.” We were anxious when the lockdowns started. Now we are anxious because we need to socialise again. After over a year of social distancing and being told to stay away from people, it is no wonder we are apprehensive about re-entering society.
It might seem inconsequential, and you might wonder how our skincare routines play into all of this? Skincare routine matters for two simple reasons – the physical state of our skin and the state of our mental health. And the two are connected.
The physical aspect
The skin is our body’s largest organ and protects us from the daily onslaught of various environmental stressors and bacteria. For it to do its job, we need to take care of it.
Prevention is better than the cure. By taking some simple steps like cleansing our face daily, moisturising, and using sunscreen, we keep our skin in tip-top shape. Also, we avoid problems down the road, be it hyperpigmentation or (heaven forbid) skin cancer.
The skin’s needs change over time. Aging does play a part, but don’t underestimate lifestyle changes. Remember at the beginning of lockdown when your skin became super dehydrated all of a sudden? Or when spots started to pop up around your mouth from the masks? Yup, that.
Likewise, desquamation is a process by which dead skin cells shed daily. It can slow down due to age or certain lifestyle factors. At best, your skin might look dull and lacklustre. At worst, you might experience congestion or breakouts. Chemical exfoliation is a way to speed up the process. However, it is easy to overdo it. So if in doubt, go slow, once or twice per week is more than enough.
The mental health aspect
Now more than ever, our mental health is important. How does a consistent skincare routine play into that?
For starters, having healthy skin boosts our self-esteem. A study conducted on 82 patients showed people with acne are more prone to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and lack of confidence. So don’t let anyone minimise the way you are feeling about the state of your skin.
Humans crave stability and routines as a way to have some control over their lives. Over the last year, our world upended. Gone was the daily commute, meet-ups with friends and family, and trips to the gym. It is easy to understand why many of us relied on a skincare routine to have some semblance of comfort and stability.
The ritual of taking care of your skin is a chance to practice mindfulness and to treat yourself kindly. Doing your skincare routine can serve as a pocket of calm and a way to either prepare for the day ahead or to take time to destress in the evenings.
If you haven’t done your skincare routine, do it today. If you can’t be arsed to faff about, do the bare minimum, wash your face, and put on some moisturiser. You’ll feel better for it, we promise.