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We’ve all been adapting to a new normal — beauty routines included. Along with our new heavy-duty handwashing and sanitising, we’ve got used to wearing masks on the daily. 2020-birthed beauty terms such as the ‘quath’ (quarantine bath) and the very real ‘maskne’ (acne caused by wearing a mask) have also started entering our vocabulary.

So, as COVID-19-spurred skin problems have become new fixtures, we break down three common issues and give you the arsenal of skincare saviours you need to tackle them.

1. Stressed Skin

Problem: The situation is causing elevated levels of chronic stress and self-deprivation. While this comes with its own set of well-being issues, it also means your complexion can become more sensitised. This will start showing up as redness, dry patches, dullness, flare-ups, tired eyes, fine lines, wrinkles and puffiness.

Solution: Your skin needs to be restored to a state of calmness, which means putting down the harsh, aggressive and potently active treatment (strong retinoids and chemical peels, we’re looking at you). Instead, opt for non-abrasive, nourishing skincare products that soothe, heal and restore, such as rich creams and hyaluronic acid-enriched masks. Along with an eye cream to de-puff, you can also give your skin a better chance of draining fluid faster by sleeping elevated on a pillow.

2. Surgical Mask-Induced Breakouts

Problem: A range of issues can come from wearing face masks, including the worsening of rosacea and new patterns of skin wrinkling. One of the most common, however, is a breakout of acne, caused by the friction of the cloth on skin which in turn clogs oil glands.

Solution: First, if possible, change your mask frequently. The most basic disposable paper masks, which can be frequently replaced, are best to ensure your skin doesn’t come into contact with old oil and dirt. Second, apply a serum with salicylic acid, which will keep pores open before you put the mask on. When it comes to make-up, choose a lighter foundation that’s mineral-based to prevent clogged pores. When you take off your mask, wash your face thoroughly with a gentle cleanser, and apply a serum with anti-inflammatory benefits, such as vitamin E or niacinamide.

3. Dry, Raw Hands

Problem: You've probably noticed your hands feeling drier and rougher after routinely washing them and spritzing and pumping sanitiser. This is because soap and water strip skin of its natural protective oils, and the high alcohol content of sanitiser breaks down the skin, leaving hands cracked, chapped and raw.

Solution: When you finish washing your hands, pat them dry rather than rubbing them, which can irritate the skin. Then moisturise immediately to lock in hydration. If you have sensitive skin, opt for a hand cream that doesn’t have fragrance in it, which can cause a rash or irritation, and avoid hand creams infused with retinol or other anti-ageing serums that can stress your skin further. Simple, gentle hand creams are the name of the game for now.