Here’s why your skin is breaking out during lockdown

A word from the experts.

Woman with skin breakout

by Jade Moscrop |
Updated on

Our lives have changed a whole lot in the last few months, but one thing we didn't expect was a change in our skin. We're wearing less make-up, potentially working out more, aren't affected by as much pollution and we have more time to take care of our skin... so what gives?

Not only are there a different set of pollutants to combat while working from home, but there are a couple of simple reasons your skin could be suffering right now. We spoke to an expert, to find out why.

Why is my skin breaking out?

Margaret Dabrowka, a Clinical Specialist at Candela Medical shares her expertise:

"The best way to keep your skin breakout-free during the isolation is to reduce your stress levels. Stress is one of the most common causes of breakouts. That’s because it causes the body to produce an excess of cortisol and other hormones in response. This will trigger the overproduction of sebum which leads to clogged pores.

"So, in isolation, we should focus on relaxation techniques, get enough sleep and indulge in physical activity to keep pores clear and mind calm."

It's a stressful time for all of us right now, even if you don't always feel it each day. Your skin is actually a really good indicator for many things, including your stress levels. And that's not all; what we're putting into our bodies can be detrimental too.

Woman washing face
©Photo: Getty Images

Margaret explains: "Another factor that contributes to breakouts is an unhealthy diet. Sugar and highly processed carbs increase glucose levels in the blood, which can increase testosterone and other hormone levels in the blood.

"During the time of isolation, we tend to watch more television and movies, and that leads to a higher consumption of snacks. It’s worth making alterations and our skin will thank us for it. We need to stay hydrated and cut back on caffeine and alcohol as much as possible. Skin cells regenerate overnight so it’s very important to follow the right skin care regime."

What techniques do you recommend for healthy skin during quarantine?

"Many of us wear make-up on daily basis, now it’s a great time to go make-up free and invest that time in looking after your skin by applying an exfoliating masque twice a week, followed by a hydrating serum that contains hyaluronic acid. You can also use a gentle cleanser and apply products that contain retinol. It will be very helpful to keep skin firm and youthful.

"It’s also a perfect time to discover self-massage techniques. Not only will you get a natural skin lift with reduced puffiness, but toned facial muscles, better blood flow and healthier vessels, too."

Here are some products you can invest in to kickstart your skin care regime:

Whilst we may receive commission for purchases made through our links, we never allow this to influence product selections.


Skincare to help breakouts

Margaret Recommends: Botanycl Skin Elixir Supplements1 of 13

Margaret Recommends: Botanycl Skin Elixir Supplements

If topical skincare isn't working for you, try soothing your skin from the inside. These supplement pills from Botanycl are plant-based and are formulated to help clear your skin. They contain vitamin A (as beta-carotene) and vitamin C in its natural form, meaning they are easily absorbed by the body.

L'ABU SKIN Pure And Organic Mineral Clay Face Mask2 of 13

L'ABU SKIN Pure And Organic Mineral Clay Face Mask

This organic and cruelty-free mask calms and heals the skin to revitalise and rebalance natural moisture levels for a glowing complexion.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+3 of 13

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+

If you have oily and acne-prone skin, La Roche-Posay's Effaclar range will be your new best friend. The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ works to correct and hydrate for a clearer, healthier complexion. It includes niacinamide, glycerin and salicylic acid, and can be used daily to minimise the appearance of spots and blackheads.

Carbon Theory Cleansing Bar4 of 13

Carbon Theory Cleansing Bar

Carbon Theory is well known for its skin-clearing abilities, gaining cult status in the past few years. This iconic organic charcoal cleansing bar digs deep to draw out bacteria, toxins and excess oil, leaving your skin healthy and nourished.

COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser5 of 13

COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser

COSRX is another brand whose products are perfect for acne-prone skin. This daily cleanser is gentle, yet helps prevent breakouts. Infused with tea tree oil, willow bark water and 0.5% salicylic acid, it removes dirt, excess oil and product build-up while replenishing moisture.

Funderm WAS BAD Invisible Anti-pimples Gel Treatment6 of 13

Funderm WAS BAD Invisible Anti-pimples Gel Treatment

We're always searching for that product that helps to zap zits and we've found it in Funderm's WAS BAD. This gel creates a film where it's applied, so is perfect for putting on your spots overnight, or all over the face. It even works on spots that are just forming under the skin - it's a game-changer.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Hydration Support Formula7 of 13

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Hydration Support Formula

The Ordinary broke down barriers with its affordable skincare range and it rightly deserves a place on any beauty shelf. This hyaluronic acid works to replenish skin's moisture, making it feel soft and supple.

COSRX AC Collection Acne Patch (26 Patches)8 of 13

COSRX AC Collection Acne Patch (26 Patches)

Just have a few spots to worry about? These patches will reduce the appearance of blemishes. Enriched with centella asiatica, they reduce redness and irritation.

Carbon Theory Night Serum9 of 13

Carbon Theory Night Serum

This brand new product from Carbon Theory is the perfect overnight treatment for irritated skin. Charcoal goes to work on cleansing, tea tree reduces inflammation and clears skin, while vitamin E revitalises and repairs. It also contains encapsulated cranberry, which is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants to rejuvenate your skin.

Australian Kakadu Pore Refining & Brightening Face Clay Mask10 of 13

Australian Kakadu Pore Refining & Brightening Face Clay Mask

Pink clay works wonders when it comes to exfoliating, and this one is a favourite of Amazon reviewers. It contains Australian Kakadu Plum, green tea extract, lime extract and probiotic technology to help refine pores, reinvigorate complexion and give your skin an almighty glow.

The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum11 of 13

The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum

If you're on the lookout for a specific hyaluronic acid, The Inkey List is a firm favourite with those who've purchased it. It absorbs instantly, hydrating skin and leaving it feeling comfortable.

PIXI Retinol Tonic12 of 13

PIXI Retinol Tonic

PIXI's Retinol Tonic is enriched with jasmine flower to soothe sensitive skin, delivering antioxidants and peptides which work to plump the skin while reducing the signs of ageing. This one's really great to get that all-over glow.

Pink Clay Mask by Sun Prive13 of 13

Pink Clay Mask by Sun Prive

A great pink clay mask doesn't have to cost the earth, as proven by this one from Amazon that has rave reviews. It works to minimise the appearance of pores, clear blackheads and brighten skin.

What to read next:

What to do to protect your skin while working from home

The best hand creams for dry skin

9 brilliant workout DVDs to do in the comfort of your own living room

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