How To Treat Quarantine Breakouts

How To Treat Quarantine Breakouts

If you’re having sudden breakouts, you’re not alone. Surveys and social media show many of us are suffering from ‘lockdown skin’, despite the reduction in pollution and make-up usage. To discover the root cause and what you can do about it, follow this expert advice…

Don’t Overdo It 

“A big reason so many people are suffering from sudden breakouts is because they’re overdoing their skincare,” says Dr Sam Bunting, cosmetic dermatologist. “People are spending a lot of time ordering new items online and using this time to indulge in some self-care – quite rightly, as it’s a great coping mechanism. However, that can lead to too much of a good thing, and chopping and changing your routine can unbalance your skin and cause inflammation. I’ve continued to see patients via remote consultation and swapping their products has definitely been a key factor in triggering unpredictable breakouts. Keep it as simple and consistent as you can.”

Keep Stress In Check

“Any big change in routine – whether it’s diet, hormones, skincare or stress levels – can have a huge impact on your complexion,” adds Debbie Thomas, advanced skin & laser expert and founder of D. Thomas Clinic. “Stress is a big trigger, so it’s hardly surprising so many of us are seeing more spots occur than usual. This is because our skin produces stress hormones, including cortisol, which can stimulate oil glands, causing them to overproduce, resulting in clogged pores and unwanted breakouts. While it’s difficult to maintain our anxiety right now, it’s worth considering this as a cause and understanding the key things that can help – including sleep, a regular routine and exercising as much as possible. Taking care of yourself will benefit both your internal and external health.”

Use A Retinol

“If you’re determined to make one switch in lockdown, add vitamin A to your regime. Now is a great time to start using it at night,” explains Sam. “Retinoids normalise exfoliation of skin cells inside the pore so they don’t clog up and cause further breakouts. They also have some anti-inflammatory benefits, plus they help to eliminate any dark marks that blemishes can leave behind.” Daniel Isaacs, director of research at Medik8 agrees: “As an ingredient, it actively helps to reduce blemish-causing bacteria and will help to keep your complexion clear and balanced – its anti-ageing benefits are always welcome, too.”

Stick To A Strict Cleanse

“A good, thorough cleanse is one of the best ways to help any breakout,” says Daniel. “Skin loves monotony, so stick with a daily routine both morning and evening – start with a good cleanser, use a serum straight after, and then lock everything in with your moisturiser.” Debbie agrees: “Continue to cleanse, but avoid oils or balm cleansers as they can make breakouts worse. You could also try using a clay mask two to three times a week to draw out any further impurities.”

Check The Ingredients List

“It’s worth checking the ingredients in your products, as many can contribute to a sudden flare-up, especially if they’re new to your routine,” claims Sam. “You want skincare that’s non-comedogenic (not pore-clogging) and products that include additional anti-inflammatory ingredients. This includes azelaic acid, niacinamide and bakuchiol. All of these will help to reduce the ‘fire’ and irritation of new blemishes.” Debbie adds: “Salicylic acid is key, too. It has proven acne fighting benefits and can be found in many gels to help clear up a breakout – it’s a great preventative as it penetrates deep into pores, breaking down skin cells and sebum to clear blockages. Try applying one straight after you cleanse skin, but before moisturiser.”

Use Tea Tree Oil On A Budget

“While blemish-fighting ingredients like salicylic are best for decongesting, there are other, more affordable ingredients that work just as well,” says Daniel. “Tea tree oil has amazing antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits. A little dabbed onto the skin will help to keep your skin clear, and most of us have a bottle handy in our houses. If not, there are plenty of options online. Just avoid any products that contain alcohol. These can be uncomfortable to use, not to mention too astringent and could cause dryness.”

Shop Our Edit Of The Best Gentle Blemish Busters Below…

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