Quarantine and Acne - 5 Ways to Stay Healthy

by Raychel Agramon, RN, MPM, April 13, 2020

5 ways to stay healthy

5 ways to stay healthy

5 ways to stay healthy while Novel Coronavirus pandemic is ravaging the world as we speak. With almost 1.7 million cases worldwide, it has forced the US and many other countries to keep their citizens on lockdown. After all, the World Health Organization believes that social distancing – keeping yourself at least 3 feet away from the next person – can help stem the transmission. 

In a society that has not been stagnant since the second world war, the concept of quarantine is received with mixed views. The introverts are more than happy to be left alone, while the extroverts are already suffering from a bad case of interaction withdrawal.

As the lockdown drags on, you might experience significant changes in your body – especially your skin. Unfortunately, there is such a thing as “iso skin.” 

While you might be safe from the usual skin-damaging factors such as UV rays and pollution, the quarantine brings about unique conditions that can make you break out more. With that being said, here are 5 quick tips that can help you fight pimples and other manifestations of iso skin. 

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5 ways to stay healthy

  • Let the sunshine in.
  • While sun exposure has earned the notoriety of causing skin cancer, the right kind of sunshine can actually help beautify your skin. That’s because it provides your body with the much-needed Vitamin D, a substance that can promote bone and skin health. 

    According to Dr. Vivek Eranki, low levels of Vitamin D can increase the flare-up of certain skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis, to name a few. It can also weaken the immune system, making it less effective in fighting bacteria-causing acne. 

    While an abundance of sunshine is no problem in the southern states, it’s more of a concern for the northern cities. Although this is the case, the best months to get sunshine - March/April to September – are already here. 

    Sure, the temptation to stay in bed all day is hard to resist, but if you want to have acne-free skin, then you need to get some sunshine. Now’s the time to open your blinds or curtains! 

    Remember, the best time for sun exposure as per the National Health Services is from 11 am to 3 pm. Spending a few minutes outside on your garden or balcony every day can help you achieve the Vitamin D that your skin needs.  

    5 ways to stay healthy

    1. Eat well.

    The quarantine might have prodded you to shop for canned and preserved goods. It's a rational choice, as they can be stored for a long time. Then there are unhealthy takeaway foods that you can easily get through Postmates and UberEats. Such dietary practices, while conducive for the quarantine, can take a toll on your skin.

    Processed or deep-fried foods are high in trans fats, substances that can block the blood vessels in the skin (and the heart too). According to acclaimed author and dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe, these fatty foods can trigger inflammation, thereby leading to acne flares. 

    With that being said, the best way to go is to cook a healthy meal of vegetables, lean meats, and other nutritious ingredients.  Remember, you have no excuse – you have all the time to slave in the kitchen!

    As for snacks, it’s time to ditch the usual chips and chocolate for skin-boosting alternatives. Go for yogurt, pickles, and other probiotic-rich munchies instead. Not only can they help reduce breakouts and other inflammatory skin conditions, probiotic eats can help hydrate and rejuvenate your skin as well. 

  • Say no to stress. 
  • If the gloomy stories of the Covid-19 stress you out, know that you are not alone. In this crisis, it’s normal to feel scared, anxious, or confused. However, if you don’t deal with this stress constructively, you might develop depression – even heart problems. 

    To make matters worse, unresolved stress can also lead to acne. According to dermatologist Dr. Adam Friedman, this state of mind can boost the release of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). This hormone can bind to the skin's oil glands, thereby increasing sebum production. The result? Pimples here and there.

    With that being said, the best way to get rid of quarantine-related acne is to know how to get rid of stress acne. Here are some tips that can help you get through the stresses of Covid-19, according to the World Health Organization

    • Talk to friends and family. Let it all out! 
    • Don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs to deal with your anxiety. 
    • Limit or avoid your exposure to news, social media posts, or other media outlets that you find distressing. 

    5 ways to stay healthy

  • Exercise more. 
  • Being stuck at home means you’re not able to walk as much as you did before. Your usual 10,000 steps at work might currently be at 100. Heck, it might even be lesser, depending on your mood. 

    While exercise by itself cannot prevent acne, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that it can help alleviate the stress that exacerbates acne. 

    No gym? No problem! For your cardio, you could try imitating a YouTube exercise tutorial. 

    No weights? That’s no excuse. You can use common household objects for your workout. You can utilize a big bottle of barbeque sauce for a shoulder press, as you can use a water jug for bicep curls.

    As with most exercise regimens, don't forget to warm up and stretch first!

  • Pamper your skin.
  • Do you often fail to remove your makeup before you go to sleep just because you're just so tired? Well, good news. The quarantine has given you time to complete your skincare routine once and for all.

    Your favorite spa might be closed for the moment, but there’s no need to panic! You can recreate your favorite facial service at home by following these steps: 

        1. Double/triple cleanse your skin.
        2. Steam your skin. Use a towel that has been exposed to hot water with essential oils. Herbal tea is a good option as well. 
        3. Exfoliate your skin with an enzyme scrub.
        4. Apply a mask. Use a product that is best for acne-prone skin. 
        5. Massage your face in an upward motion. 
        6. Tone your skin using dabbing motions. 
        7. Apply serum and moisturizer afterward.
        8. Apply hydrating eye cream as needed. 

    The Covid-19 pandemic has thrust us into a quarantine that might not end anytime soon. Unfortunately, it can lead to 'iso skin' that is prone to acne and other conditions. Although that is the case, you can keep your skin clean and clear simply by following the tips mentioned above.