Isolation skin: what it is, why it’s happening and what you can do...

While lockdown has done wonders for our hair (we’ve finally managed to unplug our dryers and tongs like our hairstylist has been telling us for years), but when it comes to our skin, well, things have been less than rosy.  

Some of the team have complained that their once clear complexions have broken out with smatterings of blemishes, others have complained of a dullness that seems to have permanently set in, while for others chronic dehydration has led to stubborn flakiness and dry spots. But most of us have not so much as looked at our makeup bag in weeks preferring to let our skin ‘breathe’ – bar the odd bit of concealer carefully applied before conference calls – so what’s going on?

Skincare expert and TONIC15 founder Jin Kwon says it’s all down to the major shift we’ve experienced in our lifestyles. ‘Stress combined with a lack of exercise, increased alcohol consumption, poor sleep and being slack with skincare is a perfect storm for a skin freak out,’ she explains. ‘These conditions all combine together to compromise the skin’s barrier, dehydrate skin, sensitise skin and even cause acne.’

So, what are we do to if we don’t want to emerge from lock-down with skin that’s completely out of control – because, let’s be honest, we’re not prepared to give up our at-home happy hour for good? ‘You don’t have to completely reform and suddenly give up wine and start exercising for hours each day but looking at these parts of your lifestyle and trying to operate in moderation can really help rebalance your skin,’ Jin says.

‘It’s also imperative to build a simple, stripped-back skincare regime and stick to it,’ she advises. ‘Avoid products that contain fragrance or essential oil, don’t exfoliate too much and resist the temptation to over-cleanse because your skin is breaking out. It’s also crucial not to add too many products at once in an attempt to perk up your skin. Introduce them one at a time so you can see how your skin reacts and make sure to do a patch test first. Finally, focus on soothing and calming your complexion, and strengthening the skin’s barrier with gentle products that contain few ingredients.’ Here’s how…


Choose a gentle cleanser

While it can be tempting to reach for a cleanser packed with AHAs or BHAs in an attempt to clear up skin, whatever your current concern – be it blemishes, dullness, sallowness or dehydration – a kind-to-skin cleanser is the first step solution. Oily skin? Try the Sioris Day by Day Cleansing Gel. Enriched with 2% Black Willow Bark, it gently exfoliates without stripping skin and also helps to regulate the sebum levels of oily, spot-prone skin. While if dryness is your main bugbear, try the low pH, free-from Make P:rem Relief Moisture Cleansing foam which eradicates dirt and impurities while coconut extract hydrates skin.



Your exfoliator needs to be exceptional 

When skin is looking less than its best, it’s tempting to pull out a gritty manual exfoliator in order to smooth and soften skin, but this will often exacerbate the problem and irritate skin further. Instead, try the Make P:rem Radiance Me Mild Essential Peeling Gel. It has an essence-like texture that nibbles away at dead skin cells before transforming into a washable, pilled texture. Use it 2-3 times a week for an extra boost.   



Make use of masks

Now you’ve got a little extra time on your hands, it’s time to call upon a mask. Try the I’m From Mugwort Mask which is teeming with vitamins and minerals to detoxify the skin. Or select a sheet mask that targets your main cause for concern. The By Wishtrend Natural 21.5% Enchancing Sheet Mask will help fade dark mask left by breakouts while the Make P:rem Comfort Me Air Mask will calm, soothe and oxygenate dehydrated skin.



Don’t forget your toner and essence

If you’ve been slapdash with your skincare, it’s time to reinstate this step. We love the Klairs Ampoule Mist spritzed straight onto skin – it’s teeming with antioxidants to correct the effects of stress on the skin. The Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner focuses on seven plant-based ingredients making it supremely gentle on skin. You might also want to try the By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence which addresses a myriad of skincare concerns with its quadrant of ingredients, from an acne-fighting complex to nourishing Propolis Extract, calming Willow Bark Extract and hydrating Black Tea Ferment.



Support the skin’s barrier

Now’s not the time for fancy, fragranced moisturisers, what you need is barrier support and formulas that will comfort and cosset skin. With its softly softly approach, the Make P:rem Cicapro Revitalizing Cream was made for lockdown. Glycerine locks in moisture while Bamboo Water deeply hydrates skin. If you have oily, blemish-prone skin, plump for Cicapro Light. Both feature the same skin-barrier strengthening ingredient Centella Asiatica to heal and calm skin.



Treat specific concerns and conditions

If blemishes just refuse to budge, it’s time for a treatment. Apply the By Wishtrend Clear Skin Shield Patch straight onto spots, try the By Wishtrend Sulfur 3% Clean Gel or the Dr. Ceuracle Tea Tree Purifine 70 Spot. All are specially formulated to shrink blemishes quickly.



As always, if you have any questions or concerns about misbehaving skin during lockdown, we would love to help. Please email Jin and the team at

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