Cold & Flu Season Skincare - post sickness tips
Even those living under a rock will have heard about Covid-19; the novel coronavirus that's taking the world by storm much like Justin Bieber circa 2010. It's a stark reminder that even though the days are getting longer it's still flu season and will be for another good couple of weeks.
Unlike the careers of child stars ours must go on even if we're struck down with a cold, flu or infection. Once we've recovered what else can we do to get us back on our feet and feeling fresh again, ready to face the day?
Skin in general:
Will be dehydrated after a bout of sickness, which will make it looks grey, dull and sallow. You may be too sick to work out or eat healthy so all these can exacerbate the dullness o your skin.
To help combat this you can turn on your humidifier when you sleep, drink plenty of water as well as start eating fresh produce and start working out gradually again. All these will help flush any residual toxins out of and pump fresh blood around the body.
Constant blowing of the nose will leave the skin around your nose area red, sore and cracked. If you have sensitive skin in general you might find that your regular moisturizer can cause stinging or irritation of the skin. This is mostly due to the chemical fragrances added in some products, added alcohol or astringent. I
n cases like this I like to use pure shea butter with a drop of my Supernatural Oil. The oil will penetrate the skin whilst the shea butter will form a barrier over the skin (due to its thicker and waxier consistency) to keep moisture in the skin. You can also use pure beeswax with a few drops of Supernatural Oil (great for lips too). I like to use a thick layer a few times a day and overnight.
If you get cold sores unfortunately there isn't much to be done apart from anti viral creams and resting up until your immune system is back to normal. However, what you can do is stay out of the sun whilst you have an active sore. Yes, it might be tempting to go outside and turn your face to the sun but UV rays can cause more sores to develop and lengthen the breakout time, especially if like me, you have an autoimmune disease. If you do go out for a walk with an active sore the best thing you can do is wear sunscreen and cover your mouth with a scarf.
Available to purchase are invisible light cold sore machines, where you place the contraption over the cold sore spot for a few minutes a day. These are available widely and although I have yet to try one a friend of mine swears by hers.
Red, puffy eyes and dark circles:
As the saying goes, 'the eyes have it'. We can in most cases tell if someone is tired, sick or upset just by looking at the eyes. The eyes are definitely a window to our health. One of the reasons why the area under our eyes shows puffiness more is because the skin there is so thin, with the tissue underneath it loosely attached which means more space for fluids to accumulate there. Lack of sleep can cause the thin skin around your eyes to dull and sink which means the vessels under the eye can appear darker, hence 'dark circles'. As we age we lose a lot of collagen around the eye area so dark circles will be more visible as our age increases.
However, getting good quality sleep can help prevent dark circles, so have an early night for a few days after you've recovered. Decreasing puffy eyes can be done with a cold compress such as slices of cucumber or cold teabags. The cold will constrict blood vessels and the tannins in tea can help shrink swollen tissues and tighten the skin under the eyes.
You can also move fluid around and drain it away by gentle massage. Put your thumbs on your temples, using the sides of your index finger to sweep across the brown bone, following the arch and gently sweeping downwards from the inner corner of your eyes to meet your thumbs at the temple. After a few minutes of massage I like to wrap an ice cube in a paper towel and run it across my entire face.
The fastest way to get some colour back into your skin is with blush. Liquid blush is best as it's easier to control the amount you want and it takes seconds to rub in, leaving a very natural look (depending on how much you use). Even if you're feeling awful a little blush can give you a healthy glow.
RMS Beauty's Lip2Cheek, a clean, cruelty free beauty brand, all their products are free of Sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, triclocarban
Glossier also has a line of natural looking, easy to apply tints called Cloud Paint, which are free of synthetic fragrance, parabens, are terminologically tested and cruelty free.
I also love NARS' blush and have used the shade Orgasm for since I was at university and recently introduced a friend to the liquid version which she says has totally transformed her idea of makeup. However, the brand does not market itself as clean. You can have a look at the ingredients list and decide for yourself if its for you. Having a look at the ingredients myself it's one of the 'clearner' high end products I've seen.
I hope these tips will help you feel a little more 'you' after a bout of sickness.
P.S Wash your hands!