I don’t know about you guys, but for me, quarantine has been wreaking havoc on my skin. From the extra stress in my life, to the fact that I haven’t been able to make it into my favourite treatment clinics, my complexion has suffered. I knew it was time to consult the experts.
I asked three of Brisbane’s best beauty specialists how to take care of your skin in isolation, until you can make it into a beauty clinic. Check out their best tips and tricks of what to look out for and how to get your glow back.
Leona Gallagher | Simply Laser
The advice from Brisbane’s brow queen, Simply Laser's Leona is clear. Leave your brows alone! “Do not touch the brows is the most important iso rule! I know you might be tempted to pluck all those strays but that could undo all our hard work shaping them to perfection. Treat this time as a good time to “reset them”. If you’re still isolating, no one is going to see them anyway (except your loved ones who will love you no matter what your natural brows look like!). Until you’re able to make it back in to us to fix them up, this is a great time to allow the hair growth to come back to its natural state and then we will have a fresh canvas to work with.
“Another hot tip: apply Castor Oil to the brows morning and at night to increase hair growth. Use a cotton bud to apply and rub it over the brows once then backwards ensuring your get into the root of the follicle. This can make the skin look oily, hence why it’s a good time to try this when you know you’re not going out. You should see results within five weeks if you do this twice per day.
"We’re open again from May 16 if you’re able to come in for an appointment (book here), but we also offer virtual brow consultations for those who can’t make it in, where we guide you with exactly what hairs to pluck and cut and how to shape them."
Dr Michele Squire | Qr8
Dr Michelle’s business Qr8 is all about helping you decode what ingredients work best for your skin, with her personalised skincare consultancy business. She shares why your skin might be stressed right now and what to look for to fix it.
“There are a number of issues that lead to iso skin, and the symptoms can be varied. Stress can be a culprit, but so can experimenting with new skincare products, ramping up your routine to a multi-step regime (with added self-care masking) or dropping the ball completely and not maintaining your normal at-home routine. Or it could be a combination of all these things!
“Stress can play havoc with your skin by producing hormones that signal your body to upregulate its inflammatory response (known as the "brain-skin connection"). For those with a pre-existing inflammatory skin condition, like acne, psoriasis, eczema and rosacea, acute stress is a well-known trigger for flare ups. If that’s happening to you, it’s time to schedule a consult with your treating doctor.
“If you are prone to breakouts, stress hormones trigger oil glands to increase sebum production as well as inflammation, so you might be seeing more pimples than normal. The same hormones also impact the functioning of your skin barrier and skin cell turnover, accelerating dryness and aging.
“In general, if you are experiencing iso skin and have changed your routine somehow (added in new products or decreased the frequency of performing your normal routine), go back to that and see if that helps. But be realistic and patient – it’s not going to fix things overnight. You should start to see a difference within 1-2 weeks if this is the cause of your issues.
“If that doesn’t work, then it’s time to focus on some ingredient-led solutions. My top ingredients for getting on top of iso skin really depend on what symptoms you are experiencing:
“Breakouts: Products containing azelaic acid (at least 15%) and niacinamide (5-10%) are helpful to regulate sebum, unblock pores and reduce inflammation.
“Dryness: a hyaluronic acid product layered onto damp skin underneath your moisturiser can help hydrate the dry epidermal skin layers, without adding oil or heavy moisturisers.”
Ee Ting | hop & cotton
Hop & cotton is all about creating bespoke at-home skincare regimens, tailored to you and you alone. Here, founder Ee Ting shares her best tips to combat bad skin during isolation and for her, it’s all about barrier function.
“While our circumstances might be different, the single most important aspect of skincare remains the same – respecting its barrier function.
“Our skin is our body's first line of defense against external agents. Now presents a great chance for us to recognise just how hard our skin works for us, and how important this barrier function is. When we have this barrier healthy, skin beauty naturally follows.
“Very much like diet, our daily routine is the biggest determinant of barrier/skin health. The best routine is not about using lot of products, but the right products for you. Consistency is key – find products that work and stick with them, don’t chop and change!
"(We’ve developed a limited release mask specifically to help reinforce barrier function The Retreat. You can read about it here.)
No facials? No worries.
"Most of us don’t pay attention when we wash our face daily, but count on the occasional deep-cleaning/decongesting. If you choose the right cleanser (that cleans thoroughly without overstripping) and start to wash your face properly everyday (for a whole minute, going through every crevice and washing off with plenty of water) you might just be spotting that post-facial glow every day."
For those who are after that extra deep clean, here’s what you can do:
How to do a deep clean
- Start with dry skin that is free of waterproof makeup.
- Wet 2 cotton pads with warm water. Squeeze as much water out as possible.
- Apply a regular amount of your daily cleanser to the cotton pads, rubbing them together to distribute the cleanser evenly across both pads.
- Rub cotton pads on skin in gentle, circular motion for 1 minute. Go over the whole of your face, focusing on oily/congested areas.
- Flip the cotton pads to the other side, repeat for another minute.
- Rinse cleanser off completely with plenty of warm water.
- Finish cleansing with a few splashes of cold water.
- Once or twice a week, follow up with an appropriate exfoliant.
About the author
Elizabeth Best is a journalist, beauty expert, foodie and travel lover with a mild obsession for all things shimmery. She likes long walks down the makeup aisle and you can follow her adventures on Instagram @thebeautypalate.