Professional dermatologist Elizabeth Hale tells us everything we didn’t-but-need-to know about protecting our skin in isolation…
I know the last thing I think after my daily cleanse, tone, and quick pat of tanning facial oil (to save me from looking like the corpse my natural skin-tone seems to want me to look like) is…
‘Well, it’s time to slap on the factor 50 for my half-hour run under the typically British overcast sky today’.
Unless you have the advantage of an SPF moisturiser, with the short periods of time we are currently spending out and about, it makes sense that for most of us, in our current list of priorities, making sure our skin is protected from the sun has even dropped below shaving our legs.
Well, ladies, after speaking to clinical associate professor of dermatology and board-certified dermatologist; Dr Elizabeth Hale, we can confirm that it’s time we re-thought our priorities- or at least re-gigged them- here’s what she had to say!
1). Do we still have to use SPF when we are stuck indoors?
Believe it or not, we do! Firstly, if we are anywhere near windows, Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays pass through windows and can contribute to development of wrinkles and age spots by breaking down collagen and stimulating melanin. UVA rays also can contribute to the development of skin cancers. Furthermore, there are some data that visible light (which we are exposed to by indoor light) can also stimulate pigmentation and make conditions like melasma worse.
2). Will the lack of sunlight affect our skin? How do we avoid this?
For me, this is more of a mental and emotional issue than a truly physical or medical one. Sunlight can stimulate Vitamin D synthesis, which is important, but it is completely possible to get our Vitamin D through our diet and/or vitamin supplements. I am more concerned about the effect the lack of fresh air can have on our psyche. Exercise and fresh air are both known to have a positive effect on the way we feel and also on our skin by stimulating circulation and deep breathing. So even when indoors, try to get some exercise and get the blood (and the dopamine!) flowing.
3). Does our skin tone matter when you choose an SPF?
Regardless of our skin type, we all need SPF. People with darker skin tones are not as likely to sunburn, per se, but UV exposure can trigger hyperpigmentation and even ageing of the skin in all skin types. Fortunately, some of the newer SPF formulations do not make the skin look pasty and white, even those with Zinc Oxide which in my opinion is the best ingredient in SPF. So we can all wear them! There are also some bronzing powders which contain SPF which are very popular.
4). Is there any specific order to applying our skincare?
Yes. After cleaning the face in the AM, apply an antioxidant serum and then a broad-spectrum sunscreen. That is all I am doing now while indoors. Makeup, if you are wearing it, goes on after our sunscreen. At night-time, after cleaning the face, a small dot or retinol if your skin can tolerate it, followed by a night-time moisturiser.
5). What are the essential vitamins we need to include in our daily skincare routine?
There are many excellent antioxidants, but the most classic and well-studied are Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Some of the newer ingredients to look for are bakuchiol (which is derived from bachi seeds) and topical melatonin.
6). Do you have any skincare beauty hacks you would recommend while we are stuck indoors?
While we are stuck indoors could be a good time to do hydrating masks for our face (or even our hands and feet). An ingredient to look for is hyaluronic acid which is often present in bio-cellulose masks. There are some new masks containing CBD which might be interesting to try while we are quarantined, to see if it has a calming effect on your skin.
7). What are your recommended beauty must-haves to survive Quarantine?
Example/ Eye Cream/ Night Cream etc: I cannot survive without Colorescience Total Eye to help minimise the tired eye look. I love Skin Better Alpha Ret as my nightly retinol. And Sente Dermal Repair Cream to help my skin repair overnight. Oh, and NARS creamy concealer, don’t leave home — and don’t stay home — without it!
Words by Ella Winfield
Graphics by Katie Janes
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