What is the Pandemic Doing to Your Skin

The coronavirus pandemic has certainly made our lives more challenging. It has also brought on a lot of stress and anxiety, which can show up on our skin and overall appearance. Long hours spent in virtual and remote meetings have also made us more aware of our lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, and other imperfections.

There is no denying that the past year was tough on our skin. Increased stress level is the main culprit as to why many of us feel like we’ve aged so much overnight or in a short period of time. There are also skin issues brought on by frequent handwashing, irritation due to face masks, and increased screen time.

Here are the possible reasons why you feel like the pandemic is messing with your skin:

Stress is associated with premature aging and other skin issues.

When you’re constantly stressed, your body releases more cortisol (or stress hormones), which can trigger mood swings and cause you to relapse into bad habits. Excess cortisol can also break down collagen and elastin, contributing to premature aging. This can lead to the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and make existing ones more prominent.

Below are the other ways stress hormones can sabotage your skin:

  • Increased oil/sebum production (clogged pores and breakouts)
  • Dark circles and puffiness 
  • Skin redness and irritation
  • Exacerbated skin conditions (rosacea, eczema, psoriasis)
  • Dullness and dehydration 

You can manage stress by exercising regularly and taking a break from work. Relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation help, as they allow you to focus and promote mindfulness. You can also benefit from online therapy to work through your feelings and help you get through whatever it is you’re dealing with. 

Zoom dysmorphia is a real thing. 

While Zoom and similar platforms helped us stay connected during the pandemic, they have also made us more self-conscious about how we look. We now spend more time looking in front of a screen, fixating on our perceived flaws and imperfections we weren’t noticing before. This has led to a phenomenon called Zoom dysmorphia.

Zoom dysmorphia is the feeling of dissatisfaction about one’s appearance due to increased time looking at a camera or a screen. The sad part is the image you see on-camera is not an actual representation of what you really look like. Why? It’s because front-facing cameras distort your image and make your face look more rounded. Webcams, furthermore, give the face a one-tone appearance.

You have been spending too much time inside. 

Humans are not meant to stay indoors all the time. Lockdowns and quarantines, however, have prompted us to spend more time inside to prevent the further spread of coronavirus. The sad part is this can lead to moodiness and anxiety, as well as sleep problems and a poor immune system.

Spending more time indoors also means more time spent in front of a computer, TV, or phone. Such devices emit blue light, which is known to contribute to premature aging and skin pigmentation, especially with high levels of exposure. Limiting your screen time can help, as well as wearing sunscreen especially if you work in a sunny room. 

Regular diet and exercise have gone by the wayside.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted most of our routines, which can include our diet and exercise. If you, for instance, have tried soothing your moods through unhealthy foods, it is likely for your weight and skin to suffer. Certain food choices like those with lots of sugar and refined carbs can also speed up aging. 

Regular exercise routines may have also been pushed down from our priorities. There are, however, tangible and intangible benefits of trying to fit in an exercise routine in a hectic schedule. It can boost your mood and improve circulation, as well as fight weight gain that can lead to inflammation and premature aging.  

You’ve got breakouts (maskne) due to face masks.

We all need to wear a face mask during the pandemic. Unfortunately for some, long hours of having them on can lead to irritation and trigger breakouts. This is mainly because they trap heat, sweat, oil, and dirt. Acne, trauma lines, and skin discoloration also occur due to the constant pressure and friction from face masks. 

Whether or not you have maskne, it is still important to wear a face mask to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Just make sure to wash your face regularly and follow a skincare regimen to keep your skin healthy. You should also skip the makeup to avoid clogging your pores and prolonging the healing process. 

Check out our previous blog for tips on protecting your skin from face mask breakouts and irritation

How Cutis Medical Laser Clinics can help

Adopting a regular skincare routine helps, especially if you’re dealing with maskne, signs of aging, and other skin concerns. Our clinic has a line of medical-grade skin care products (sunscreens and anti-aging serums) that can be incorporated into your regimen and further protect your skin from stressors and environmental factors.

For anti-aging – We also have nonsurgical aesthetic treatments for different face and body concerns. If you, for example, are concerned about lines and wrinkles, we have Botox that can relax these and dermal fillers that can soften their appearance. We also have non-invasive face lifting procedures like Ultherapy and Titan to lift and tighten sagging skin.

For dull skin and dark spots – If it’s acne, scars, dull skin, and pigmentation you’re concerned about, we have peels, lasers, and light treatments that can fade or improve their appearance. The PicoCare 450 laser is an innovative device that can lighten discoloration with less heat delivered to the skin. It can also stimulate collagen and lift depressed acne scarring. 

For body concerns – Our clinic can also help you get back in shape with our non-invasive body shaping procedures. Whether it’s about stubborn fat, loose skin, or undefined muscles you’re worried about, we can help. You can sign up to our Cutis Medical Gym for full access to a range of devices and achieve your body goals faster.

Schedule for a consultation today

Do you feel like the pandemic has messed up your skin? Contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore to find out how we can help. Schedule a consultation with our Harvard-trained aesthetic doctor, Dr. Sylvia Ramirez, to determine the products and treatments that suit your needs and concerns.