Your skin is the largest organ in the human body and this organ has many functions including protecting itself. To do so, it allows the secretion of a substance called sebum. This secretion normally acts as a lubricant for the skin and is an important barrier for skin protection. When we wash ourselves, we remove that “safety barrier” which allows for stronger environmental factors such as free radicals to affect our skin. A free-radical is an atom or a group of atoms that have a single unpaired electron in an outer shell. They are highly reactive and can cause skin damage over time affecting your skin’s appearance and causing the signs of aging. Another major effect of washing off your natural secretions is the excessive dryness of your skin. This dryness allows for your skin to suffer from the breakdown of it’s major components including the collagen and elastin
Collagen and elastin are proteins that work together in connective tissue that is elastic and they allow many tissues in the body to resume their shape after stretching or contracting. A reduction in these two proteins can result in tired-looking sagging skin.
Using ingredients such as anti-oxidants (agents that reduce oxidative damage to your skin cells by rescuing them from free-radicals)
Products containing natural plant oils or butters should boost epidermal moisture retention and strengthen the protective skin barrier. When plant oils or butters are applied to the skin, they work to keep the structural integrity of the cell membrane. This helps to reduce any existing and future inflammation in the skin by improving the metabolic processes within the skin and aiding in moisture retention. Plant oils are easily absorbed according to follicular size and penetrate your skin in order to act as a barrier between it and the harsh outside world.
Occlusives like Vaseline keep impurities out but are not nourishing in any way to skin. Petroleum and mineral oils can also clog pores if you’re prone to breakout.
Focus on protecting skin especially using PPE in these highly cautious times.