Sick Day Skincare: How to Care for Your Skin While Nursing a Cold
When our head is pounding and the chills have taken over, you don’t exactly feel up to a 10-step — or any step, for that matter — routine. But if you don’t want to skip your skincare entirely, here are three easy sick day skincare tips so you can still care for your skin while you recover.
OH NO. You feel like CRAP. Your nose is simultaneously runny and totally blocked up. Your throat is sore, and the racking coughs aren’t helping. Your body feels run-down, your joints as achy as the joints of an octogenarian field laborer. You’ve called in sick. You’re staying in bed, box of tissues within reach, chugging cold medicine. You are, of course, resting and drinking enough fluids, because you’re going to take care of yourself.
If your particular response to sickness is to skip your skincare for the day, that’s totally fine and understandable. One or two days off isn’t going to hurt. Go back to sleep. But if you still want to get some sick day skincare in (and maybe protect your poor face from the ravages of endlessly blowing your nose), drag your skincare basket to your bedside the next time you get up, and try these tips.
1. Give your nose some TLC
In my experience, the most common sick day skin complaint is the red, raw, irritated nose that results from having to blow and wipe your nose over and over and over. I’ve suffered from it too, and I’ve never found that the lotion-infused tissues help all that much.
So when you’re sick, pay extra attention to your nose. Moisturize it generously with a fairly heavy cream and reapply the cream often. And if you’re able to go 15 or more minutes without blowing your nose, consider nose masking! If you have any mini sample sheet masks on hand, this is a great use for them.
You can also use hydrogel eye or lip patches on your nose — there’s nothing in particular about those types of products that limits their use to eyes or lips only. A bit of masking will help calm and hydrate this area, alleviating surface irritation.
2. Try a warm sheet mask
You’re mostly lying down or cocooned on the couch anyway at this point, so (again, if you can go 15 or so minutes without blowing your nose) a sheet mask could be just the thing to treat your skin while you rest. But now’s most definitely not the time for a chilled sheet mask, unless you have a fever and you think it might help.
No, during cold months and when sick, I love to do a warm sheet mask. No icy slap to the face upon application, just a warm, soothing blanket of moisture.
You don’t have to warm up a pot of water or anything like that. Just grab the mask you want to use and place it behind your back in bed or on your sofa for a few minutes. The mask will warm up to body temperature, and when you put it on, it will feel lovely.
3. Increase circulation to ward off that consumptive pallor
You might feel like death, but maybe you don’t want to look like death. That’s perfectly natural.
When we’re sick, we tend to develop a distinct sickly hue to our skin that can make us look like the dying heroine of a Victorian novel, and that’s not always a look that we actually want to achieve. In that case, stimulating the circulation in your face can help bring a little life back to your complexion. Also, it’s something to do while you relax and watch your shows on Netflix.
Doing a massage with a gua sha tool or facial roller can quickly increase the circulation to your skin. It doesn’t matter what kind of fancy rock the gua sha tool or roller is made out of; it’s the physical stimulation that does all the work. I like using these over a sheet mask or over a particularly slippery toner or serum. Facial massage with fingertips works, too — find a nice tutorial on YouTube and follow along. As an added benefit, facial massage can sometimes help drain excess fluids and ease congestion.
For extra glow, look in your beauty stash for products containing ginseng, which can help stimulate circulation under the skin.
And rest! Sick days are for recovery, and your body and skin need plenty of rest to recover properly.
Feel better soon!
What does your sick day skincare look like when you’re under the weather? Let us know in the comments!