One of the best parts of working from home is that the only person who is going to judge your appearance is you. You want to spend a week straight in the same matching sweatsuit? You do you. Want to work from home without makeup for an entire month? That's cool, too. But making sure your skin is as healthy as possible while working from home is a whole other story — and it has everything to do with how your skin feels rather than how it looks. And as it turns out, skipping makeup altogether might actually be a great way to do that.
"Your skincare regimen is still valuable even though you're working from home," Dr. Maggie Kober, MD, FAAD, a dermatologist with Apostrophe (a skin care service that connects people to board-certified dermatologists online) says. "Consider skipping makeup if possible, but be sure to continue your cleansing, moisturizing, anti-aging, and sun protection."
If you don't quite have a skin care routine that includes all of those steps, no worries — here are the products that you should be focusing on, plus a few that might be useful to try out with any newfound downtime you may have.
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If you ask any expert, they'll be quick to tell you that SPF is one of the most important products to wear at home — and that includes Dr. Kober.
"Continue to wear SPF daily, especially if you are near windows," Dr. Kober says over email, suggesting a sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater. "While window glass blocks most UVB rays, UVA rays continue to penetrate through the glass. UVA rays are the primary ray responsible for photoaging."
Dustin Holt, co-founder of SPF brand Sonrei (known for its translucent gel sunscreen), agrees, saying over email that there are definitely "stealthy ways" that UV radiation can reach you through both your windows or even just during a 15-30 minute walk.
"According to the CDC, the sun’s UV rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes," Holt says. "Just remember, even on cloudy days UVA rays can penetrate through the clouds and expose your skin to sun damage."
If you're not used to wearing SPF daily, now's as good a time as any to start. For maximum benefits, Holt suggests a product like Sonrei's Sea Clearly Gel Sunscreen, which is "fortified with a combination of Vitamin C, E, and Ferulic Acid, which are essential for proper sun protection and skincare."
Non-Comedogenic Moisturizers And/Or Hyaluronic Acid Serum
While most experts agree that SPF is as important as it gets when it comes to skin protection, Dr. Kober also says that hydrating your skin should be high on your list of priorities when working from home or staying inside.
"Sun protection is universally important. However, tailoring to being inside all day [means] moisturize!" Dr. Kober says. "Non-comedogenic moisturizers and hyaluronic acid serums work to replenish our skin's natural hydration and combat the drying effects of heating and air conditioning."
Retinol Or Retinoids
In addition to making sure your skin is as healthy and protected as possible (even when you're working in your pajamas all day), being at home also means it's the perfect time to try out that skincare product that may have intimidated you in the past. Take retinol or retinoids for example. These are two products that, as Dr. Kober points out, are scientifically proven to stimulate collagen production and even skin tone. However, they can also take some time for the skin to adjust to.
Kaya Patel, the other co-founder of Sonrei, says that if you find yourself suddenly at home a lot, it's the perfect time to introduce an anti-aging product that you might not have otherwise.
"If you aren’t already using a retinol, this would be a great time to introduce it to your night time routine as your skin can experience some drying or other adverse effects in the beginning stages," Patel says.
Have sensitive skin or unsure which anti-aging product will work for you? Not able to go to a dermatologist right now? Kober suggests an online service like Apostrophe that will connect you to a board-certified dermatologist and afterwards suggest products based on that consultation.
A Soothing Face Mask (DIY Works, Too)
Finally, as Patel points out, now is a great time to show your skin a little "TLC." Working from home is not as stress-free as it is often made out to be, and stress in life often equals stress for our skin. To combat any fatigue or inflammation, Dr. Kober suggests opting for a DIY face mask in your at-home downtime.
"A yogurt-coffee mask will decrease puffiness and gently exfoliate," Dr. Kober says. "Combine three tablespoons of Greek yogurt with two tablespoons of finely ground coffee and blend together with a fork until you have a paste. Gently apply to your face using circular motions. Relax and enjoy for 20 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. Pat dry with a clean towel."
And, hey, if you can't find the energy to make your own face mask (been there), then a pre-made option works fine, too.