A man walks his dog through a field with trees while birds fly overhead. Among the trees, giant bottles of lotion, sunscreen and hand sanitizer are reminders of the importance of sun protection in a daily skincare routine.

Cabin Fever and Skincare

It’s that time of the year in Western New York. People start thinking about going outside again or do they? This has been a relatively mild winter and with no snow in the forecast, people begin to think about mulching their flower beds, going to the park and generally getting out of their caves. Just like the groundhog that pops its head up for a quick look, people in Buffalo start peaking outside for signs of life. But, things have changed right now, haven’t they?

Skincare in the midst of COVID-19

Normally, I would be writing about the increased need for good skincare practices as people begin to wander outside again. For those of you who live in warmer climates, you may never begin to wander. You are always wandering and good skincare practices always involve understanding how to prepare your day for hours in the sun. But, with the COVID-19 virus worming its way through our country, people are generally being instructed to lock down and reduce their contact with others.

Grab the sunscreen for your outside breaks

Yesterday, our governor encouraged people to get outside and enjoy the nicer weather. He said that state and local parks were not charging admittance. He basically said to feel free to wander a bit outside. Of course, today’s recommendations may change, but for my purposes, I do want to encourage everyone not to forget the importance of protecting oneself from burning in the sun.

Adding hand sanitizer to the routine

I have found myself a little more scatterbrained than usual lately. So much is on my mind. I think about the children and the elderly and what will happen to us, our community, our country and even the world. It’s heady stuff! It’s easy for me to be complacent about protecting my skin. While navigating this new reality, I have found myself focusing on hand sanitizer and ignoring sunscreen. Seems both are really important these days.

Sunscreen, hand sanitizer, repeat

How do I fix this? Well, along with the hand sanitizer stations around the house and in my vehicle, I also have sunscreen. Clean hands and lather up with lotion before I go out. Reapply both, if needed. The good thing is that I am used to being disciplined about skincare and those same habits should help me with handwashing and whatever the latest recommendations are regarding the pandemic.

I suggest putting on sunscreen first and then using hand sanitizer. I have not seen any studies regarding the effectiveness of hand sanitizer after it has been rubbed off from applying sunscreen. I also remember to sanitize my sunscreen bottle after sharing it with others. We live in crazy times now, don’t we?

Self-care includes skin protection

I am trying not to live in fear and panic because I don’t believe that helps me or anyone. I am trying to continue good habits like mindfulness, walking, and good nutrition. I can never forget that when I get out of the cabin I must go out protecting my skin from harmful, ultraviolet rays. I plan on going outside today. I need fresh air. I need a break from cable news.

Note: This article was written on March 20, 2020. Further developments in what we know about the Coronavirus are continuously emerging.

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