In the past several months, nearly every aspect of daily life has been completely disrupted. The term “new normal” is frequently used and things are certainly not business as usual. While it’s understandable that habits and schedules have been set aside — if not tossed right out the window — there is one routine you should still be following: a skincare routine.
It’s easy to think, “I have nowhere to go and I’m not wearing any makeup, so why bother?” As it turns out, there are several great reasons to bother with skincare.
Skin vs. the World: A Daily Battle
Just the simple act of engaging in a familiar routine can provide a number of health and wellness benefits, including soothing and reducing stress levels. And speaking of stress, skin, — the body’s largest organ — reacts directly to it.
When you’re stressed out, your body releases more cortisol, often called the “stress hormone.” Elevated levels of cortisol wreak havoc on the entire body. In terms of what it does to the skin, more cortisol typically means more dryness, irritation, and sensitivity. Cortisol-caused blood pressure increases and poor sleep quality can result in the skin’s protective barrier layer being broken down, causing you to look (and likely feel!) older. Spending the majority of our time indoors where heaters, air conditioners, and air purifiers are constantly running also zaps the skin of much of its moisture.
Thankfully, a skincare routine is highly effective at combating and correcting these issues, rehydrating the skin, slowing the aging process, and improving its condition long-term.
Developing an Ideal Skincare Routine
The best thing about a skincare routine is that it doesn’t have to be complicated or high-maintenance. On the contrary, a simple routine with few steps is the most likely to be consistently followed and therefore, the most effective.
No matter what your skin type or condition is, and whether you’re a skincare newbie or veteran, there are a few products and steps that work well universally. Cleanser targeted to your skin type, toner, moisturizer, and high-quality sunscreen should be used every day. Even if you won’t step foot outside all day, don’t skip the SPF. You can get sun exposure just sitting near a window indoors. Yes, really. An anti-aging serum and a gentle exfoliator are also great products to have in your skincare arsenal, but they can be used every 2-3 days.
Finally, the importance of drinking plenty of water and consistently getting a good night’s sleep cannot be overstated. Both of these actions increase blood flow to the skin, which in turn boosts hydration, elasticity, and overall complexion, so drink up and prioritize your shut-eye!
If you’re still not convinced that you should follow a skincare routine, consider this: A few extra minutes each day spent on skincare now is far easier, not to mention less costly, than trying to undo skin damage later on.