Feeling fatigued, tired of being cooped up, irritable, and anxious? Having one too many “Quarantini’s”? You’re not alone. The World Health Organization estimates that about half of the population is experiencing “pandemic fatigue” right now. This prevalent stress is taking its toll on you mentally and physically, and showing up on your skin as well, causing everything from dull, dry skin to breakouts and even contributing to cellulite.
Two leaders in the health/beauty field, Lydia Sarfati, CEO and Founder of Repêchage Skin Care, pioneers of sustainably-harvested, seaweed based skin care, and Natalya Fazylova, DNP of ReBalance Integrative Medicine and Anti-Aging Center in NYC held an online forum on skin care and overall wellness during COVID-19, and have great tips to help you beat the burn-out beautifully.
About Those “Quarantini’s”…
Sure, it’s fine to kick back and have a virtual happy hour with friends once and a while to combat isolation, but Dr. Fazylova cautions against having a Quarantini one too often, or using alcohol as a sleep aid.
“First of all alcohol affects your liver, so its damaging this important organ and over a long period of time consistent consumption of alcohol can cause very serious and irreversible conditions such as cirrhosis. The second thing is that alcohol is sugar, so it might cause people to gain weight. Third, the liver filters out toxins, and if it’s compromised, can lead to many serious conditions that can affect the skin as well, such as hyperpigmentation or liver spots. In addition, it can cause skin to have breakouts, and worsen skin conditions such as rosacea.”
The alternative: According to Sarfati, is to create balance of the mind and body, through nutrition and exercise and thinking positive. Another important asset? Your hands. “My whole concept for Repêchage for the past four decades is to take a holistic approach, and that begins with two things…the hands. The healing power of our hands cannot be replaced.”
Instead of hitting the liquor cabinet, Sarfati recommends implementing a nightly relaxation routine, to not only stave off stress but help to have a restful sleep. This includes deep breathing, taking a warm bath, placing eye-pads infused with Seaweed and Green Tea over the eyes and a soothing sheet mask with soothing and hydrating ingredients such as seaweed extracts, Hyaluronic Acid, Mirabalis Jalapa, Aloe and Chamomile.
If you really have difficulty sleeping, warm a rich body oil that contains hydrating Seaweed extracts and soothing and hydrating Vanilla and Mafura Oils and massage all over the body (its even better if you have a partner to do this, but is just as effective alone!)
“Massage causes the body to release oxytocins, hormones that send signals to brain that you care for yourself. It has been proven that massage is the most important things you can do for yourself on a nightly basis to increase feelings of relaxation and get a better night’s sleep. Furthermore, you will wake up relaxed and refreshed, and nothing is better for great skin than getting your beauty sleep.”
How to Combat Couch Potato Cellulite
It’s been named everything from Chesterfield sofa to cottage cheese to orange peel, but the biology of cellulite remains the same. Stress releases cortisol, which can either cause individuals gain or lose weight, depending on their physical disposition, says Dr. Fazylova.
This can also cause havoc on skin structure, points out Sarfati, “When your epidermis and dermis lacks strength, when the fibers like collagen and elastin become weaker, and your skin loses elasticity and density. The fat layer is now prominent and more noticeable than before, so we see the jiggle.”
The alternative: Focus on firming on the skin. To firm the skin, Sarfati recommends you need to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants such as glutathione, vitamins and amino acids. Seaweed is a perfect food for this, as it has 18 amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, and 12 vitamins, fucoidans, and polysaccharides, everything you really need to have a perfect skin condition.
From a topical perspective, start your morning pre-shower or bath ritual with a vigorous dry brushing (you can find vegan dry brushes that use non-animal hair) being especially attentive on areas of concern such as the buttocks and thighs. After showering, apply a rich contouring cream that contains Seaweed extracts, Chinese herbs, Caffeine, and Coenzyme A to help skin appear smoother. Repêchage Vita Cura® Body Contour Cream helps improve the appearance of tone and texture and is also infused with fragrant essential oils of Grapefruit, Basil and Mint to really inspire your mood and day. This ritual will help skin appear more even and reduce the appearance of the dimpling on the skin.
Don’t Skimp on Skin Care
Skin complaints have risen as much as pandemic fatigue, but these go hand in hand, the experts here say. “When you are not going out, not being seen, you are not as inclined to clean your face, tone or hydrate, because you say, ‘I’m home. Who cares? Nobody is going to see me.’”
The alternative: Make this your time to really focus on your skin care instead, because skin care is self care and that helps balance the mind and body as well. Find a skin care program that works for your skin care concern that includes cleanser, toner, moisturizer and specialized serums. Starter sets are a great way to begin a program, providing the four or five essential products you need to truly immerse in a new daily practice. Seaweed-infused sheet masks are also easy, fast ways to stop and regroup, and are available for every skin concern, from sensitivity to brightening.
All of these habits are not just for time of global stress, however; these practices are going to enrich your life and skin going forward. Stress will always be present in one way or another, these experts affirm, but there are always ways to deal with it. “It’s not how much stress you receive, it’s how much you perceive,” says Dr. Fazylova.
And, as Sarfati points out, it’s always about creating balance. “I’ve looked at life in many different ways. It is how you deal with everything, really, that will have an effect on you, not the stressor itself.”
What are some of your favorite ways to deal with pandemic fatigue? Let us know in the comments!