How Is Your Skin Affected by Being Indoors All the Time?

Plus, as the weather gets cold, we naturally crank the heat, which also dries out the skin. Turner recommends investing in an air purifier, which can help reduce indoor air pollutants; we recommend this combination humidifier (to combat the dry, hot air) and purifier that earned a stamp of approval from the National Psoriasis Foundation.

Skin Concern: Breakouts

Quarantine Cause: It’s time to do a wash. One of the first beauty tips I ever got out of a magazine was “make sure to change your pillowcases regularly.” Turner has noticed his patients are spending more time than before working from bed — and leaning on a pillow — which leads to a buildup of oil, dead skin, and bacteria on your linens. 

Excess oil on your sheets, plus extra time spent in them, can add up to acne. “I’ve been recommending more frequent changes of bed linens,” Turner says.

Quarantine Cause: The dreaded maskne. Even if the moments off the couch and in the world outside are few and far between, the new addition of a face covering may be freaking out your skin. “Masks may occlude the skin, helping contribute to pore congestion, which can lead to breakouts,” says Kunin. You may notice all manner of new blemishes, including whiteheads, painful under-the-skin cysts, or small, red bumps. 

To treat, she recommends over-the-counter acne fighters with 2 percent salicylic acid or 5 to 10 percent benzoyl peroxide, along with sulfur masks as emergency spot treatments. She also notes that benzoyl peroxide may stain your mask, so be sure to apply those products when you’re safely back home and mask-free. 

Skin Concern: Acne, Dullness

Quarantine Cause: You’ve minimized your skin-care routine.  My group chat recently congratulated someone, with many joyful emojis, for brushing her teeth. “People are exhausted, mentally and physically,” says Mona Gohara, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. “I’ve been in athleisure since March, and I think the same thing correlates into skin care. People aren’t taking care of their skin, because they’re like ‘I can’t deal.'”

As Gohara points out, if you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, or are just over it all right now, it can feel difficult to do more than brush your teeth, wash your face, and put on sunscreen every day — if that. And if you do have the basics covered, it’s less likely that you’re doing what she terms “the bells and whistles.” That includes the extra steps that can bring out skin’s radiance, like exfoliation, sheet masks, and at-home peels. 

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