I asked 5 FJ readers about the products saving their skin in iso


A selection of skin-savers for testing times.

If there’s one thing skincare requires, it’s time – developing a refined, expertly curated skincare routine takes up our precious time both morning and night.

As we entered this crazy period of self-isolation, I have to admit I thought that having more time to perfect my skincare routine and less time spent wearing makeup might end up being a bit of a silver lining for my epidermis. I became convinced I would step out of isolation looking like a glowing dumpling.

But I neglected to acknowledge the multitude of factors that would wreak havoc on my skin. Stress, air conditioning and heating, a lack of direct sunlight and more frequent snacking have all impacted my skin during isolation.

Suddenly, my dream of a pore-free face was not as attainable, and I quickly discovered that I was not alone in my failure to achieve the skin of my dreams during isolation.

After reading through anguished Instagram comments and flicking through numerous articles, I found that many women were going through a similar situation, a situation that’s been dubbed “iso skin”. Fairly self-explanatory, iso skin refers to the array of skin issues that have arisen during this period of self-isolation.

How iso skin manifests is unique to each of us. Interested to see how other women were looking after their skin during this period, I spoke to five Fashion Journal readers about their favourite iso skin-saving products.


“During isolation, I haven’t noticed any massive changes in my skin. I have, however, found I haven’t needed to wash my face morning and night as I am not regularly exposed to pollution. At night-time, I simply wash my face with cold water. I would describe my skin type as combination; I tend to get both oily and dry. I’m generally concerned with minimising breakouts and treating inflammation around the breakout itself. I also get pigmentation in some areas of my face, so I try to focus on reducing that and evening out my skin tone.

“As isolation coincides with the change in season, I am noticing some more dryness. Because of this, I’m enjoying richer hydrating products. In particular, I’ve loved the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum and B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum. At night time, I use the Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum. It makes my skin so smooth and reduces any breakouts overnight. Combing these three serums, I’ve noticed a considerable improvement in the hydration and texture of my skin.”


“During isolation, I have noticed some increase in the number of breakouts I’m experiencing. I have stuck to my usual skincare routine but have increased the use of hydrating masks like the Mecca Cosmetica Fresh Faced Sheet Mask. As someone with a sensitive/acne-prone skin type, I tend to always go for dermatologically tested products or natural skincare ingredients. I’ve been loving the Kate Somerville Eradikate Acne Treatment.

“I’ve been using it for a while now but have found it particularly useful during isolation as I have been breaking out more frequently. Over the past couple of months, I’ve also been loving the Go-To Properly Clean Cleanser. It feels light but is super effective at removing makeup and excess oil built up throughout the day. My skin feels smooth and soft after using it.”


“Surprisingly, during isolation, I have seen my skin improve generally. I attribute this to going out less and drinking less alcohol. My skin, however, is dehydrated as I am on Roaccutane medication for acne. I have been on Roaccutane since last year and have noticed a drastic improvement in my skin. However, because it remains very dry, my favourite product during isolation has been Weleda Skin Food. I use the rich, intensive Skin Food, which I apply at night after my Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum from The Ordinary (also another favourite).

“During the day, I use the light version of Skin Food which is perfect for me. Discovering this product was a lifesaver as I finally found something that leaves me feeling hydrated for several hours. Some nights during isolation, I won’t wash my face with a cleanser because I’m finding I’m not wearing any makeup. I know this might not be the best, but I’m a little lazy and exhausted during this time.”


“I’ve been using my heater a lot during isolation, so my skin has been getting more dry, flaky patches. My skin is quite dry/sensitive and reactive to certain ingredients, so I need an excellent moisturiser. Needing to boost my hydration, my favourite skincare product at the moment is the Avene Hydrance Optimal Rich Hydrating Cream. It’s a moisturiser for dry/sensitive skin, and a little goes a long way. I love it because it doesn’t feel greasy and it lasts. I put it on before bed, and I wake up in the morning with soft, dewy skin. Additionally, and this might sound odd, but I’m not washing my face with a cleanser. I find they dry out my skin and this irritates my dry, flaky spots.”


“The entire Go-To range has been a game-changer for me. I have combination skin, so it’s difficult to find products that don’t overwhelm or completely dry out my skin. As we head into the cooler months, I’m conscious of my skin’s tendency to dry out during winter. The Very Useful Face Cream, true to its name, is a great moisturiser for morning and night and is super gentle. I combine it with Face Hero Oil and a few pumps of Zincredible SPF 15 in the mornings. Even though I’m not spending as much time outdoors as before quarantine, it’s good to have some sunscreen with at least SPF 15 for those times I head outside for a break.

”I’ve also been loving Kate Somerville’s Exfolikate Cleanser. It washes off dirt and oils but doesn’t strip my skin bare or leave it feeling dry. Quarantine has forced me to pay a little more attention to my habits and make some positive changes. Eating unhealthily always makes me feel a little flat and lethargic, but now that I’m spending more time at home with my thoughts, I’ve been pushing myself to make choices that leave me feeling more energised.

“I’m sitting at a desk for most of the day, so I keep a tall glass of water next to me at all times and make sure to keep refilling. That has helped me keep my skin clear despite the stress of the pandemic and the effects of my indulging in a few too many baked treats. There are plenty of people in really difficult positions right now, so it has been important for me to keep track of the positives and pay attention to how fortunate of a situation I’m in.”

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