The pandemic has influenced our facial complexions. Staying the whole time indoors, allowed only one hour of exercise a day, definitely took its toll. And, the stress of being a working woman and a mother paid its price on my mental wellbeing, which, of course, comes out on your complexion. Be it dark circles, frown lines, or facial dryness, staying inside can influence your face in so many ways. After a heavy fortnight of camping I really needed to get back into my cleansing routine. Not the mention the mask-wearing when we came out of lockdown but were still amid a pandemic. Wearing masks in shopping centers and on trains or buses for hours at a time causes the same air to circle your face, meaning it’s a breeding ground for bacteria. So, even when you take it off after traveling or work, the damage may already be done.

Since lockdown, self-care has become much more of a thing. Amidst frozen laptops, finding the right IT company to fix said frozen laptop, and being a mum, there hasn’t been the time for it. But, there are ways to look after yourself that don’t involve three-hour-long face packs and a moisturizer with the essence of gold flake in it. It can be so helpful to sit down and take some time out for yourself, and properly cleansing your face is one of the things which can be done to improve your general wellbeing. 

Image by Seksak Kerdkanno from Pixabay

Either way, our skin has paid the price for wearing a mask and staying indoors for the safety of our families and communities. There is, however, a simple way to do a step-by-step skincare regime on a budget and with not an abundance of time or money. 


The first step is to cleanse your face. Before I heard about this, I splashed my face with some water and expected that to do the job. However, as the water doesn’t penetrate the skin, it does nothing for getting into those pores and removing excess dirt lodged into them over the day. Properly cleansing means you wash your face with skin-friendly products that won’t harm you to ensure all of that bacteria is out of your pores. A cleanser need not be an expensive one; just an ordinary Garnier or Neutrogena cleanser from your closest supermarket will do. You lather a small amount of product into your cheeks, nose, and chin (all the areas your mask would have been trapping) in a small circle. Then you wash all the dirt out and off, splashing your face with warm water. 

Gentle Exfoliator 

The next step is just a simple, kind-to-skin exfoliating scrub for your face. Usually, using chemical exfoliators work the best and ensures no damage is done, as harsh scrubs can rub away some natural oils your skin needs. For example, I used to use a face scrub and rub away at my skin, thinking it was doing good, but it broke my skin as I was using it too regularly. This type of harsh scrub can damage parts of the skin and cause small tears on its surface. This is definitely something I need to remember as part of my cleansing routine.

However, a chemical exfoliant does the opposite. Using Paula’s Choice once weekly will clean your skin from the dead skin cells and help keep it fresh and easily protected from masks. Naturally, our skin sheds these dead skin cells every day. But, over time, this shedding stops. Primarily, this is because of age and sun exposure; that’s why a chemical exfoliant can help continue this process in the most natural way possible. 

Rubbing this on will ensure that you have skin free from dry patches, meaning you face a nice area to work with when it comes to the next step. With exfoliating, though, I have found it is more than enough to do this once or twice weekly. 


Moisturiser is usually the only skincare people use. I have to say, and I only used this for a long length of time. However, since adopting this step-by-step approach, my skin is so much more protected against PPE and is brighter and less acne-filled. Moisturising can make your skin peachy soft, yes, but what it doesn’t do is get into your skin and help wash it. So, that’s why it’s suggested that it is lathered on as the last stage in a cleansing process to help prevent skin from drying out and allowing it to regain its moisture. 

As for general moisturizing tips during the day, you should be wearing a moisturizer to protect against UV rays. Now, I tried out this whole trend where people use SPF daily. And, honestly, it works. It’s so good for your skin. So, when purchasing a moisturizer, try and buy one with SPF in it, so you are protected from the UV rays, even when it isn’t particularly sunny. This is to place on your skin before every day to shield your sensitive skin. However, as part of your nightly routine, after cleanser and exfoliation, place on a non-SPF moisturizer that is deeply cleansing to help restore the skin and moisturize overnight. 

Skincare is amazing. When done right! I didn’t realize the benefits it brings to your skin and your wellbeing before I started. And, you don’t need to go out there and buy the most expensive brands to have a good routine. Simple brands such as Garnier or Neutrogena will more than do and, often, do more than the more expensive brands. But, especially now more than ever, with the rife of PPE acne and drying skin, having a regular, nightly routine will help you so much when it comes to basic skincare. Also, just carving that 15 minutes out from your evening to take care of yourself can go so far. I always forget about myself, so ensuring I stick to a good cleansing routine is essential.

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