You're Not Imagining It: Your Skin Is Drier In Quarantine

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We're wearing less makeup, we have more time to dedicate to our skincare routines, and masking is happening at an all-time high throughout quarantine — so why wouldn't our skin improve? What we didn't anticipate was that increased indoor air would severely dry out our complexions. To make matters worse, the tricks for mastering how to fight dry skin during quarantine involve a bit more than just a new face oil.

But there's hope. And no, it doesn't require adding any extra steps to your routine. In fact, you should probably subtract some. So if sitting indoors has your skin crying out for moisture, check out the derm-approved tips to getting your skin back on track, even when everything else feels derailed.

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How To Fight Dry Skin During Quarantine: Invest In A Humidifier

"Dry indoor air dehydrates our skin and the mucous membranes," Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, FAAD says. "Both heat and air conditioning remove moisture from the air, which can lead to dry skin, eyes, and even nose bleeds." Adding to the influx of indoor air, we're increasing our sanitary practices, washing our hands, and face, more than usual to prevent germs. However, as our time under the sink and shower head increase, our moisturization routines have not necessarily followed suit. "Because of this, the chances of dry skin increase which can be more than just annoying and uncomfortable," Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton, New York City dermatologist says. "Dry skin can lead to serious skin problems such as worsening of eczema and psoriasis."

To fight this, try placing a cool-mist humidifier by your bedside and in the rooms where you spend a lot of time to add moisture to the air.

How To Fight Dry Skin During Quarantine: Don't Overdo It

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While the experts do, in fact, suggest increased levels of self-care by way of luxurious baths, at-home manicures and pedicures, and the occasional face mask, be leery of doing a little too much. "Don’t feel like you have to do a face mask every day or exfoliate more often because you are at home," Dr. Ingleton says. "While you don’t have to perform your full skincare routine every day, always remember washing your face is very important — never go to bed without washing your face, even if you’ve spent the entire day inside and at home."

Dr. Robinson agrees, urging that both morning and evening routines should remain solid, and that includes not forgetting the SPF but weening off the retinol if necessary. "UVA rays — the main culprit of the sun's aging effects — can penetrate through windows," Dr. Mraz says. "If you are excessively dry, skip your retinol or tailor it back to every other night."

How To Fight Dry Skin During Quarantine: Avoid Products With Fragrance

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"A good rule of thumb is to avoid products that have the word 'fragrance' on their ingredient label and look for fragrance-free alternatives," Dr. Ingleton says, because they can further dry out your skin. Instead, she suggests looking for products with ingredients such as glycerin, ceramides, and oatmeals for their hydrating properties, while avoiding avoid long, hot showers every day as they strip away your skin’s natural moisture barriers.

How To Fight Dry Skin During Quarantine: Increase Water Intake

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"Start from the inside out, and aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day," Dr. Mraz says. "Your skin still needs it."

How To Fight Dry Skin During Quarantine: Support Your Skin's Barrier

"Hyaluronic acid, which is a humectant that draws water into the skin, should be added to your skincare routine," Dr. Robinson says. "This will instantly quench your skin and leave it looking more hydrated and supple. After application of HA, layer on an oil free moisturizer, and in the evening, support the skin's barrier with a super-emollient formula." Dr. Robinson also urges to not forget the lips, layering on the balm during both routines.

And Dr. Ingleton asserts that a skincare routine truly begins in the shower. "That’s the moment where using a mild and hydrating cleanser like the Dove Beauty Bar is key," she says. "Using a moisturizer every day and night would be my second step of course! Don’t forget to moisturize! While your hands and body are still moist, layer on a good moisturizer."

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.