We’ve talked about seasonal skin care on here before, but I realized the other day, as I was nursing a cold, that there’s another type of skin care challenge that sort of ties in with that seasonal talk I already did:
How do you help your skin bounce back after you’ve been sick?
For the purposes of this post, when I say ‘sick’ I mean a cold, the flu, allergies, etc. I would think that if I had something more serious than that I’d be much less concerned about my skin. But since most of us are likely to get one of those three illnesses at some point this winter (hopefully not all three!), I think it’s a good idea to go over some tips for helping take care of yourself on the outside while you fight off The Ick on the inside.
- Focus on getting healthy again. This means taking your meds if needed/doctor-approved, eating healthy, drinking tons of water, and resting. Not only will this help you get over your crud sooner, these are already good tips for healthy skin when you’re not sick. Get the basics handled, so that all the rest is easier.
- Up your moisture game. Your body is diverting all its fluids to helping fight off your cold, so not only do you need extra moisture inside, you need it outside too. Between decongestants that dry out your whole body – skin included – and blowing your nose every ten seconds, your face probably gets red, raw, and dried out, even if it’s normally oily. Add a nighttime moisturizer or sleep pack to your routine, or up your sheet mask frequency, to replenish what your skin is losing. Don’t forget your eye cream to reduce sneezing-related puffiness and dark circles. You can gently massage your under-eye area with some eye cream to break up some of the swelling.
- Stick to your skin routine as much as you can. I know, you’re tired and feel awful. But using what’s left of your energy to at least do your nighttime skin routine will keep your face from rebelling against you while you’re sick. You have my permission to skip a serum or mask step; I know you’re not up for it. If you’re taking lots of hot showers to open up your breathing passages, wash your face while you’re in there. Don’t forget your daily sunscreen, even if you are camped out on the couch. If nothing else, you’re maintaining a good habit so that you keep doing it after you’re back in action.
- Utilize essential oils. No, I don’t mean to cure your cold – pretty sure those claims are bogus. But all those oils I talked about for skin care can also be really soothing when you’re sick. Lavender helps you sleep if you put a drop on your pillowcase or a cotton ball, and my personal favorite for cold care is eucalyptus – I put some eucalyptus oil on a washrag and hung it in the shower, then got the water really hot. It basically created a vapor steam in my bathroom, and while the apartment smelled like a koala bear for days, it really helped calm my aches and wheezing to shower that way.
Cold and flu season is a pain, but there are good things already in your home that you can use to combat it and to help your skin bounce back sooner. This way, you’ll be feeling better AND you won’t have to hear people saying things like ‘Are you sick? You look tired.’ Nobody needs that while they’re getting over a cold.