5 Body Issues You Could Be Facing Post-Lockdown (& How To Fix Them)
COVID threw a spanner in the works in every aspect of our lives earlier this year, and as for our beauty routine, well, five-minute makeup and longer self-care routines have become the new norm. However, we’ve also been greeted by a slew of unexpected body concerns as a result of our new routine… From isolation breakouts and headaches to cold sores, excessive bloating, and cracked feet. Here are five common issues you could be facing RN thanks to lockdown, and here’s how to soothe them.
1. Isolation Breakouts and Maskne
Despite the fact that our skincare routine is more consistent and hydrating than ever, our skin has been suffering from isolation breakouts and maskne. And as infuriating as it may be, the surge of acne flare-ups makes sense: our stress levels are higher than ever, our healthy eating habits have been thrown out the window, and our regular workout routine has taken a major hit. Even since restrictions have begun to ease around the world, wearing a mask in public has resulted in localized acne breakouts, chafing, and even fungal infections.
The solution: The well-known saying “good skin comes from within” has never been more relevant. If your skin is aggravated, your first point of call should be your diet, lowering your stress levels, as well as regulating your workout routine and sleeping habits (find out how here). As for the localized maskne breakouts, check out our guide to combatting maskne, as well as our go-to drugstore solutions.
If there’s one thing we’re realizing now more than ever, it’s heightened stress levels can lead to a myriad of unwanted issues. When we’re stressed our brain releases a hormone named cortisol (the stress hormone), which puts your body into flight or fight mode and takes over our body’s ability to function normally. This can lead to breakouts, headaches, and in this case, constant bloating. Combine increased stress levels with extra snacking, a change in sleeping habits, extra caffeine, or alcohol, and you have the perfect scenario for bloating.
The solution: First and foremost, avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol and instead, up your water intake! It can also help to drink a cup of herbal tea after each meal to ease digestion. Taking a warm bath each night to relax your muscles is another helpful habit to maintain. For more de-bloating solutions, check out five things that’ll help you beat the bloat.
Posts You'll Love:
If you’ve been suffering from constant headaches over the past few months, you’re not alone! In fact, there are reports of a 2000% increase in headache-related searches on google during the lockdown. However, when you factor in our new routine – increased screen time, poor posture thanks to our WFH sofa-set up, not to mention increased stress levels – it’s not surprising that we’re more likely to experience tension headaches and migraines.
The solution: If you’re currently suffering from a headache, stop drinking caffeinated drinks and sip on water instead – dehydration is one of the most common causes of a headache. To ease the pain, take some paracetamol or ibuprofen and if possible, a timeout from your desktop screen. Instead, go for a walk or stretch your body to relieve any muscle tension – a sun saltation is perfect as it gives a deep stretch and clarity of mind in just 15 minutes.
If you have persistent headaches, grab some magnesium supplements: they’re commonly prescribed for migraines as they regulate blood pressure and improve nerve function. They can also help improve your quality of sleep if you take them one hour before bed. If you don’t want to take a supplement, eat foods that are rich in magnesium, like almonds, avocado, and bananas.
4. Cold sores
Another unwelcomed body issue many people are facing RN is cold sores. The most common causes of cold sores are stress, a weakened immune system, and increased heat exposure. All of which, we’re likely to be experiencing. Not only are we stressed, but as we’re spending more time indoors, our vitamin D (the vitamin that strengthens our bones and our immune system) levels have depleted. Plus, wearing a mask for long periods of time exposes our lips to increased heat.
The solution: As soon as you feel a slight tingle, indicating that a cold sore is about to breakout, apply ice to the affected area to weaken the virus, and prevent it from spreading. The most effective method of treatment would be an oral or topical cream like Blistex or Zovirax. Apply the cream every two hours, ideally using a Q-tip to avoid transferring any dirt or bacteria from your finger onto the cold sore. If you don’t have access to a topical cream, apply a little bit of coconut oil – if you can keep the cold sore isolated, insulated, and moist, it has a tendency to heal faster.
5. Cracked Heels
A quick discussion among our girlfriends and we soon realized we were all suffering from cracked feet. It’s little surprise as, for the most part, we’re not wearing shoes or socks – leaving our feet unprotected. Plus, without regular pedis, our feet only occasionally get a little lotion, and we rarely exfoliate our heels, which is crucial if you want soft, smooth feet.
The solution: Start by soaking your feet for approx. 20 minutes in warm soapy water to soften the skin. Take a loofah, foot scrubber, or pumice stone to remove any hard thickened skin. Next up, grab a body exfoliator and gently buff away any excess dead skin. Apply a thick moisturizer like O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet, $10, or pop your feet into a restorative foot mask like the Sephora Collection Clean Foot Mask, $5.
Have you experienced any of these common body issues? Let us know in the comments below.
Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. We never take payment to review products, however, some brands allow affiliate links, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.