From ‘maskne‘ to chapped hands thanks to constant washing and sanitising, it’s safe to say that 2020 has been pretty tough on our skin.
Of course, these pandemic-induced skin gripes didn’t faze beauty experts and dermatologists. They took anxiety breakouts and chafed skin in their stride, conjuring up clever remedies, sharing top tips and recommending hardworking products and ingredients to help return our skin to its best.
Skincare wasn’t all COVID-related, though. We saw TikTok invade the beauty space, bringing us countless skincare trends such as the oil cleansing method and DIY skincare, which you could whip up in your kitchen. We also debunked a number of shady skincare myths along the way.
There’s no denying it has been a truly hectic year. So just in case you missed anything, ahead we round up the very best skincare advice we were given in 2020, and how it can serve you well into next year.
How to get clear skin
Clear skin starts with a great cleanser, according to Refinery29’s resident beauty expert, Daniela Morosini, and aesthetician and founder of the Black Skin Directory, Dija Ayodele. “A cleanser with some exfoliating acids can help shift oil,” which can otherwise eventually clog pores and cause breakouts, said Dija. “My clients absolutely love and always repurchase the Skinbetter Science Oxygen Infusion Cleanser, which is a sort of gel-cream texture. It foams up a little bit but it doesn’t have any soap in it. Instead it has glycolic, salicylic and lactic acids to help counteract the oil production, and help scoop debris from your pores.
“Next up, a serum that minimises hyperpigmentation as a result of spots and inflammation. To fade marks, Dija rates La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C10 Serum, £38, or The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, £7, followed by a broad spectrum sunscreen, such as Glossier Invisible Shield, £20.”A good retinoid will be the final core tenet of your regime,” said Daniela. Used as part of a nightly routine, retinoid products help minimise oil, unclog pores and fade hyperpigmentation over time. Dija rates the Osmosis MD Clarify Retinal Serum, £52, followed by a gentle moisturiser. Try CeraVe Moisturising Lotion, £9.50.
Dija’s top tip? Be consistent with your routine. Real results can take up to 12 weeks to become visible.
How to care for dry, cracked hands
We’re all washing our hands much more than usual during the pandemic; cue cracked, sore, dry skin.Earlier in the year, consultant dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto took to Instagram to share her ultimate guide to caring for parched hands, and it’s easy. “Make sure you carry a non-fragranced hand cream at all times and get into the habit of moisturising after washing,” Dr Mahto captioned her post, starring CeraVe Reparative Hand Cream, £5.50, Norwegian Formula Hand Cream, £4.19, and La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Hand Cream, £7.50, as must-buys. Fragrances only tend to irritate cracked, sore skin further, so opting for something unscented is best. Dr Mahto also suggested investing in cotton gloves to seal the cream into dry hands. Instead of usual soap, which can be harsh and strip the skin of its protective barrier, Dr Mahto recommended an antimicrobial hand wash such as Dermol 500 Lotion, £11.29, which is more like a cream wash than a soap that lathers up. “Use it at home or decant a small amount into a travel container and carry it with you for use during the day,” wrote Dr Mahto. “This is normally what I recommend to my eczema patients.”
Silk face masks might be better than others
Since face masks became mandatory on public transport and in various other settings such as supermarkets, you may have noticed breakouts on your cheeks, chin and upper lip – aka maskne – caused by friction, sweat and trapped dirt and oil. That’s where softer, more delicate silk face masks come in. “Silk masks have been shown to be an effective mask while also preventing facial irritation,” Howard Sobel, MD, founder of Sobel Skin and attending dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, told us recently.
Dr Sobel continued: “”It has been discovered that high thread count cotton and natural silk can effectively filter out particles. Certain mask materials can cause issues because some textures can be irritating and leading to spots.” However, he pinpointed silk as a material that comes with fewer skin issues. “Silk is cooling, naturally hypoallergenic (unlikely to cause an allergic reaction) and tends to absorb less moisture than cotton, so it won’t dry out your skin,” said Dr Sobel. “One hundred percent silk does not clog pores, so finding a mask like this is an added benefit,” especially if you have oily or acne-prone skin.”
Be Ware of Social Media Trends
TikTok has brought us so many brilliant beauty trends, from faux tan freckles to the volumising dry shampoo trick, but when it comes to skin, approach them with caution.One popular trend was the oil cleansing method, which involves using an oil cleanser to attract and dissolve oil and dirt on the skin, massaging it in for 10-15 minutes. But according to Dr Emma Cunningham, skin specialist and founder of Dr Emma, it could do your skin more harm than good, and the over-washing could cause dry, cracked and sensitive skin.There’s bad news if you’re prone to spots, too. “Personally, I do not recommend oils to cleanse the skin as they can be highly comedogenic, or pore-clogging, and blocked pores could lead to blackheads and whiteheads,” added Dr Mahto.
Other skincare trends to watch out for include the potentially dangerous sunscreen hack and homemade scrubs, which you can read more about here.Credit: Original article published here.