A report by Harvard University has shown that the pandemic has affected everything from our stress levels to our sleep patterns – aka, coronasomnia – which often, unfortunately, presents in our face, in the form of undereye circles and dull and dry skin. The good news is that you can look less tired, and even bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Here’s how…
STEP ONE: DE-PUFF
A puffy face, especially under the eyes, is the first place to show tiredness. Temporary puffiness is just fluid that, had you got a proper night’s sleep, would have been distributed around the body. However, because you had that annoying TikTok song on loop in your brain until 3am, the excess fluid pools under the eyes instead.
To target this area, first give yourself a quick DIY facial massage. Using your ring fingers, start at the inner corners, and slowly sweep your fingers along the skin towards your temples – manually helping to disperse the fluid. Then, put on a hydrating eye mask that you’ve kept in the fridge. The cold works incredibly well on dehydrated skin and, dayum, it feels good.
All out of eye masks? Make-up artist Lisa Eldridge suggests freezing green tea in an ice-cube tray, then using the cubes to press along the under-eye. You’ll help to cool, soothe and de-puff in one go while the caffeine in the tea will help to stimulate the skin and get things draining again.
STEP TWO: GET GLOWING
The truth of the matter is, one mask does not great skin make: it’s the result of good habits and a great skincare routine. Staying hydrated, gently exfoliating every other day, and a skin mask weekly will mean your face looks fresh, even if you don’t. The secret lies in choosing the mask that suits your skin type: go for clay if your skin is oily, moisturising if it’s dry, and every skin type will benefit from a good hydrating mask, like the Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Mask – its hydrating and soothing properties are unmatched.
STEP THREE: TAKE A BREATH
Want to truly relax and soften the skin? Practice breathwork – it’s the key to our bodies functioning properly. Take a minute to notice how you’re breathing right now – we can bet it’s quite shallow. Now, take a round of deep breaths. Can you feel the instant difference? From digestion to detoxification, without oxygen, our cells just can’t do their job properly, and that includes our skin cells. In fact, shallow breathing can result in a quicker ageing process.
However, deep breathing by way of reducing stress can reduce inflammation in the body, as well as improve lymphatic drainage, which all shows as luminous, de-puffed skin. Here are three beginner breathwork techniques.