It’s no secret that everyone’s daily routine looks a little different these days, but did you know that every little change can affect your skin?
According to celebrity facialist Ada Ooi of 001 London Skincare, whose A-list clientele includes Lady Gaga, Rooney Mara and Ellie Goulding, lifestyle changes like increased stress, tweaking your diet and prolonged screen time can all irritate your skin and lead to concerns like dullness, breakouts and dryness.
“Unfortunately we are not built for naturally liking changes,” Ooi tells E! News exclusively. “During this quarantine period, our brain is being put on a prolonged change and constantly adapting mode, making us psychologically or physically stressed.”
“These reactions from the brain directly affect what happens on our skin. Adrenaline increase causes us to palpate and sweat more and we are losing more water very quickly, which can lead to dry skin,” she continued. “And when the body is producing too much cortisol, the skin will be secreting excessive sebum. Cortisol also increases sugar level in the bloodstream, triggering skin inflammation.”
In need of a little skincare reboot? Here are Ooi’s tips for restoring your skin’s natural glow at home:
Follow a nourishing skincare routine:
When it comes to maintaining a glowing complexion, Ooi says that following a skin-healthy routine is the way to go. This should consist of a cleanser, toner, serum treatment and moisturizer, as well as a weekly exfoliating treatment to slough away dead skin cells. To find a routine that works for your skin, she suggests, “Check in the mirror of the main concern that you want to focus on and build your product up responding to that.”
Always finish with a massage:
After cleansing, treating and moisturizing, Ooi recommends massaging the products into your skin with your hands or a facial tool as it will help revitalize your skin’s appearance by stimulating blood circulation and flushing out toxins. Giving your face a massage is also a great way to eliminate tension in certain areas, which Ooi says is a welcomed self-care remedy for those feeling anxious in the wake of the pandemic.
“A good sculpting exercise should involve precise and repetitive massage movements on tensed muscles where we might be clenching more and tighter these days when we’re feeling more unsettled, or even, grinding when you sleep,” she notes. “Another area that can be always tensed can be across and in between our brows where we unconsciously frown a lot. Massage helps the tensed muscle release the acids accumulated, un-tie muscle knots and release sluggish fluids around the affected areas, which can create puffiness or extra weight to the skin leading to folds like nasolabial fold (smile lines).” If you’re interested in learning Ooi’s facial massage techniques, you can follow her tutorials on YouTube.
Toss any old skincare products:
Parting ways with expired skincare products can also help decrease skin irritation. “Clear out your skincare cabinet. Throw out expired items, or items that you have not used for a long time,” Ooi says, noting that any changes in a product’s texture and scent can also serve as indicators that it has passed its prime.
Eliminate sugar from your diet:
“Other factors that can be triggering skin irritation can be change of diet,” Ooi explains. “Excessive sugar in the blood stream can cause glycation, which is when the sugar level in the blood stream spikes beyond what our insulin can handle. Glycation affects our protein chains like collagen and elastin within our skin. They can become weaker and impaired resulting in dull skin complexion, loss of elasticity and longer term effect in causing wrinkles.”
Change up your posture:
“I have several clients telling me their creases and lines in their neck have gotten deeper,” Ooi recalls. “One even mentioned the skin surface texture getting rough with little white heads and spots along the lines. These can be a result of lowering the neck for a prolonged period of time. As for the breakouts that her patient was experiencing, Ooi says that sebum and sweat were “suffocated” inside of the “habitual lines,” resulting in blemishes.
Treat yourself to an at-home facial:
There are plenty of ways that you can give your skin the spa day it’s been missing at home. For Ooi, one of the most effective ways to obtain that “post-gym workout glow from within” effect on the skin is through Cyrotherapy, which involves calming the skin using cold temperature.
“Cryotherapy is something I find interesting; it works by almost shocking the skin with subzero temperature, leading blood rushing to the skin to compensate the cold, and in return, oxygenating the cells,” she says, adding that it targets inflammation and strengthens the skin barrier. Check out 001 London Skincare’s Cyro-Flash Facial Set to recreate Ooi’s favorite method at home.