The start of a new year is typically when we embark on new ventures, take a new direction, and overhaul what isn’t working. Such shake-ups can apply to many things, including our beauty stash and skincare regimen.
“Given all the changes the pandemic has triggered in our lives, we should adapt our beauty habits and skincare routines to keep up with the new normal and all that it entails. Read: prolonged mask-wearing, increased exposure to heat (because we’re no longer in air-conditioned offices all day), longer hours starring at screens, and so on.
In the past two years, we’ve seen an increase in skin sensitivity, eczema and contact allergies because of Covid-related lifestyle changes like working from home, irregular working hours, and frequent cleansing and sanitising.”– Dermatologist Dr Coni Liu from DS Skin & Wellness Clinic
Often, these changes lead to skin barrier dysfunction. “Our skin produces ceramides and lipids to protect itself from the external environment, and harsh cleansers or sanitisers remove these natural oils, allowing allergens and bacteria to enter the skin more easily to cause rashes and allergies,” she explains.
Dr Lynn Chiam, dermatologist at the Children & Adult Skin Hair and Laser Clinic, observes the same changes. “I definitely see a significant increase in cases of eczematous dermatitis, as heat and sweat can trigger an exacerbation of skin rash. There are also more patients seeking help for acne or maskne from prolonged mask- wearing, not only in adolescents but also among adults,” she says.
To help skin cope with these stresses of pandemic living, it may no longer be sufficient to rely solely on a good set of skincare products.
Instead, beauty in 2022 and beyond is about taking a more 360-degree approach that involves everything from gadgets to skin supplements and probiotics for both your gut and skin.
“A holistic skincare regimen differs from person to person. It depends on how sensitive, how dry or oily, and how acne-prone the skin is. There is no one-size-fits-all regimen,” says Dr Chiam.
“However, among my patients, I have noticed that a lack of sleep affects the quality of skin, and leads to worsening of acne and dermatitis. So do take some time to destress and follow regular sleep patterns,” she adds.
Here, we show you how to establish a more well-rounded skincare routine that can better handle sensitive, stressed skin, and what you should add to your beauty arsenal.