How To: Take Care of Your Skin When You’re Sick

Out Sick

I recently had a reader ask me how to take care of your skin when you are sick.

Good question as flu and cold season is here!

When you are sick, the last thing you probably think of is your skin.  You’re feeling weak or tired and any strength you have is most likely spent towards mustering up enough energy to take your medications.  But, think about it for a second.  You’re coughing, sneezing, sweating, etc and it would good to at least try to remove some that off.  If you can take a shower, it’s easy to just cleanse your face and rinse off.  If you don’t have enough energy for that, you can lightly moisten your skin with lukewarm water, apply your cleanser and remove it by using a few cotton rounds-this way you don’t have to leaning over the sink.

The key here is to keep it basic: a gentle cleanser, toner and moisturizer.  That’s it.  Don’t exfoliate, use retinols or AHAs/BHAs.  Why?  Certain medications can cause your skin to become sensitive temporarily, prompting a reaction or irritation when there would otherwise be none.  Once you’re all better, you can slowly reintroduce these ingredients back into your skincare routine.

I hope you found this helpful and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask. How do make yourself feel better when you are sick?

Stephanie  

What’s Your Type?

Our skin types are genetically determined.  However, to the joy of some and the dismay of others, they can change over time, or you can have a combination of several all at once.  Dry skin and a few breakouts here and there?  Yup.  As weird as it sounds, it can happen.

Do you know your skin type(s) or do you just recall what someone once told you your skin type was and have clung to that notion ever since?

Here are six common skin types and their characteristics to help you determine-or at least give you an idea of- of what would be beneficial to your skin.

normal skin

Normal

Normal skin (oh the lucky ones!) has a good oil-water balance and is soft and plump.  It has a healthy glow and color, with fine texture, small pores and no congestion .  Maintenance and preventative care are your main goals.

combination skin

Combination

I personally fall into this category and let me tell you, it can be gosh darn frustrating.  Combination skin is characterized by an oily T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) while the cheeks tend to be on the dry side, causing a flaky appearance.  The goal is to control areas prone to oiliness while moisturizing areas that are dry, and to keep skin well exfoliated to help combat breakouts and dryness.

oily skin

Oily

Oily skin is characterized by an all over greasy shine, visible pores, coarser skin texture (akin to that of  an orange), little wrinkling (silver lining, no?), blackheads/whiteheads, breakouts.  Controlling sebum production, and clearing out the pores is key.  Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin are good at providing hydration.

acne

Acne

Not just for teenagers anymore as the number of adult acne is rising.  Symptoms range from blackheads/whiteheads, breakouts, painful cysts, inflammation and sensitivity .  Causes of acne can be genetic or a hormonal imbalance.  Deep cleansing facials, proper home regimen and soothing the skin are goals. Avoid excessive or harsh cleansers as it can make acne worse.

dry skin

Dry

If the Sahara desert would be envious, then you probably have dry skin.  Where oily skin produces a mass amount of oil, dry skin doesn’t produce enough. Visible dryness, small pores, tightness,and a propensity to wrinkles are indicators of dry skin.   Cleansing creams or milky cleansers are ideal as they don’t strip the skin while ingredients like shea butter or borage seed oil are great moisturizers.

sensitive

Sensitive

Sensitive skin is identified by fragile, thin, red skin that has an impaired barrier function and more reactive capillaries. It’s easily irritated by products (even sometime water) and exposure to heat and sun.  Avoid excessive rubbing, heat, exfoliation, or extractions.  Use calming, soothing ingredients like aloe vera, panthenol (pro-vitamin B-5), bisabolol, and niacinamide.

Has your skin type been consistent or has it undergone major changes throughout the years?