Lack of exercise, fresh air and vitamin D

As the weeks of lockdown tick by we’ve been reading a lot about problem skin we’ve been reading a lot about problem skin – breakouts, irritated, dry and oily etc – so it seemed like a good time to do some investigating into the effects ‘lockdown’ might be having on our skin, and what we can do to help.

Dermatologist’s claim that our skin (which is our largest external organ by the way) craves a regular and consistent routine, but unfortunately while in the midst of a global pandemic there hasn’t been an awful lot of stability.

Experts have explained there are a number of factors (brought on by lockdown) which could be affecting our skin and routine.


We know how important getting a good night’s sleep is, and while we’d all love to get a blissful 7hrs a night, it’s not always possible, especially during such difficult and uncertain times where stress can have a huge effect on our sleeping patterns.

The science bit

Cortisol - an androgen hormone - is released when we are facing unsettling situations or challenges and prepares the body to attack. It also raises our blood sugar levels and causes us to produce additional sebum which can lead to breakouts.

How to combat

Relaxation activities such as yoga and meditation can help – but if that seems a bit daunting or unrealistic then just taking some time for a bath with lavender milk, a face mask and a camomile tea can also be a great help to keep calm and set you up for a good sleep.
Regular exercise is just as important for the mind as it is for the body, so keeping in line with the governments advice, why not make the most of the recommended daily exercise for a brisk walk, run or sport in the part.


You’re not alone if you’ve found yourself dipping into the biscuit tin more often than usual during lockdown, or having a glass of wine or two in the week when you wouldn’t normally – who knows what day it is at the moment? People are turning to sugary and salty treats, and the odd naughty takeaway to help them get through this strange period as it becomes a highlight of the day. But poor diet can affect the condition of your skin.

The science bit

Our bodies break food down into protein, fats and carbohydrates then supply the organs that need them. Eating foods that lack in nutrients mean there might not be enough nutrients getting to the right places, which could have a negative effect on certain organs i.e. your skin.

How to combat

Try to avoid inflammatory foods – those high in sugar, processed foods, dairy and red meat and make sure you are eating foods high in protein and vitamins – lots of fruit, veg, fish and nuts!

Keep your skin hydrated by drinking lots of water, aim for 2 litre per day.


Lack of fresh air and vitamin D

Being indoors all day isn’t ideal for our skin, we’re experiencing much less fresh air and natural light during lockdown, and combined with higher use of central heating which can severely dry out skin – it’s bound to take its toll.

The science bit

Sunlight aids the production of vitamin D which regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, promoting a healthy immune system which your skin will reap the benefits from. Fresh air naturally opens your pores and allows your skin to breathe causing fewer blockages

How to combat

Spend some time in your garden or yard if you have one or use the governments recommended one hour per day to get out in the sunshine if possible – always using SPF, and try to limit central heating or air conditioning usage.


Many of us have opted for a natural look during lockdown, choosing to ditch the foundation in favour of a fresh face – which is great! But going bare can have its draw backs, touching and holding your phone to your face can spread bacteria, where make up would normally provide a barrier of protection.
Others are finding that they are skipping their evening cleansing routine as without make up they don’t feel they need it, but that change of routine and reduced cleansing could be having an effect.

The science bit

Consistency is key with skincare. Mainly because our skin’s outer layer is always changing as older cells on the surface are replaced with newer skin cells (meaning we lose millions of dead skin cells every day!) The healthy skin you see today can instantly look dull and tired tomorrow as your skin cells get ready to shed and fall off.

How to combat

A good skincare routine should consist of the following stages:

  • Cleanse – start with a good cleanser, even in the morning! Micellar water can do the trick.
  • Tone – toners tighten the skin and pores and lock moisture in while removing excess oil
  • Serum – choose a serum based on your skin concern, they get deep into your skin and allow your moisturiser to lock in moisture better
  • Eye cream – a hydrating eye cream will protect your under-eye and repair skin overnight
  • Moisturise – fully hydrates and traps in all the products underneath to make the ingredients more effective

Although it’s very time consuming and not always possible, so we think it’s important to find the right kind of cleansing wipe. Our client yesto offer a wide range of plant-based plastic-free wipes to suit different skin types – life savers.


While not something we’ve ever had to think about before, many of us now need to wear face masks in order to do our jobs, others are choosing to wear them for their daily exercise or food shopping but they can be damaging for skin.

The science bit

As the mask blocks any air getting to your face, they can be an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, especially during hot weather.

How to combat

Change your mask as often as you can to get rid of germs and try double cleansing on the area that has been covered.

We hope some of these self-care tips will help to keep you feeling your best during this difficult period.

Stay safe everyone!


About The Foundry

The Foundry is a strategic communications agency, based in Manchester, delivering fully-integrated marketing campaigns for B2B, B2C, public sector and healthcare clients.

Marketing services that support patient education include qualitative and quantitative research, social media campaigns, educational websites, CPD programmes, online learning tools, in-clinic training materials, posters and patient literature.

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