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How to Use Quarantine to Refresh Your Skin

A young woman looking in the mirror applying a face cream.
Rido/Shutterstock

Social distancing is hard, but finding silver linings can make it easier—and emerging from quarantine with healthy, refreshed skin is definitely a major plus! Here’s how to do it.

Surprisingly, there are ways this difficult time can help your skin. It’s a time of less airborne pollution, fewer social obligations, and (for many people) less makeup. With these tips, you can maximize the healthy-skin benefits of social distancing.

Embrace the Makeup Break

Wearing makeup is a personal choice. Some people never touch it, while others love it. Unfortunately, many women feel pressured to wear makeup to work—in fact, some jobs even require it.

No matter your reasons for wearing makeup, there are probably fewer of them right now. Most social events are being canceled, and you might be working at home without a coworker in sight (except on those Zoom meeting days).

A few makeup-free days might be all it takes to clear up a breakout or dry patch. So, even if you’re a makeup-lover, enjoy the break. If you do put on some makeup for a video chat or selfie, wash it off quickly to minimize its impact on your skin.

If you feel pressured by your employer to wear makeup on video calls, try switching to lighter, more natural formulas that let your skin breathe. Or, skip some of the steps in your normal makeup routine. You can also try these tips for looking your best on video, and then, no one will even notice you’re not wearing much makeup.

However, now might be an excellent time to suggest that your employer waive any makeup requirements. Workplaces are already majorly disrupted and changes are inevitable, so your employer might be more willing to listen right now.

Stick to a Skincare Routine

It takes time to pamper your skin and, right now, you might have a lot of that on your hands.

During quarantine, some beauty experts have been adopting elaborate, multistep skincare routines. Why not do the same? As long as you use quality products that work for you, an extended routine can totally refresh your skin.

In fact, sticking to a skincare routine can provide some structure to this weird, quarantine life. It might even make you feel less stressed. Schedules and routines can foster a sense of normalcy in strange times.

If you schedule your weekly facemask or commit to a multistep skincare ritual at bedtime, the days might not blur together so much. And, of course, reducing stress is also good for your skin.

Also, using more products isn’t necessarily better. A streamlined routine with just a few great products might be what’s right for your skin. Experiment and see what works best for you.

Use Baths to Clear Pores

Feet resting on the edge of a bathtub filled with bubbles.
Chun Photographer/Shutterstock

Steam doesn’t really open your pores, as many people have long believe. Technically, your pores don’t open or close. However, steam from hot water can soften any debris clogging your pores, making it easier to wash it away. When your pores are clean, they also look smaller, and your skin will stay healthier.

Use some quarantine time for long, hot baths. It will help loosen up those pore-clogging contaminants. Afterward, wash your face to remove the sweat and debris. Then, apply your regular skincare products—they’ll penetrate much better thanks to your clear pores.

If you don’t have a bathtub, a long, hot shower or steam facial will also do the trick.

Avoid Touching Your Face

Refraining from touching your face isn’t just good for avoiding the coronavirus—it’s also good for your skin! So, use this time to cultivate the habit.

Touching your face can spread oils and contaminants from your hands to your pores, causing irritation and breakouts. Picking or messing with your skin only makes things worse.

Of course, not spreading disease is the most important reason not to touch your face, but it’s nice to know there’s an additional benefit.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Getting enough sleep really does help your skin. This is because your skin actually repairs itself by making new collagen while you sleep!

While it’s normal to have trouble sleeping right now, try to get plenty of rest when you can. Take advantage of any reductions in your work and social schedules. Try to sleep in more. Put your phone down a little earlier and go to bed at a reasonable time.

Give Yourself a Face Massage

Face massage is a great addition to your quarantine skincare routine! When you massage your face, it stimulates circulation, which can brighten your skin and reduce puffiness. Plus, it feels amazing!

You can give yourself a gentle massage with your fingers, or, for a fancier massage, you can use a jade roller or gua sha. Just make sure you disinfect any tools between uses, so they don’t collect any skin-contaminating bacteria.


It’s not vain or narcissistic to invest in healthy skin. You only have one face, so take the time to treat it right! This quarantine is certainly stressful, but these tips can help you emerge from it with healthy, glowing skin.

Elyse Hauser Elyse Hauser
Elyse Hauser is a freelance and creative writer from the Pacific Northwest, and an MFA student at the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop. She specializes in lifestyle writing and creative nonfiction. Read Full Bio »

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