How to soothe your skin when you’ve had a bad cold

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Avoid hyaluronic acid (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

The worst part of having a cold isn’t even a cold itself – it’s how red, raw, dehydrated and even scaly the skin around your nose and mouth can become.

Thanks to blowing your nose several time a day on rough tissues, along with the dry feeling this leaves, skin can be left worse for wear once the offending illness has passed.

Your usual skincare routine probably isn’t cutting it.

And that’s increasingly important to us it seems – a recent report by L’Oréal found that online conversations around self-care and ‘healthy skin’ have risen by 60% since pre-pandemic times.

Caroline Hirons, renowned skincare expert, has long seen the importance of the beauty business too, which lockdown only seemed to highlight to the rest of the consumer industry.

This weekend in London, she’ll be talking all about skincare and debuting her latest kit, which pays homage to her most tried and trusted products.

So how does she advise getting your skin back to full health after a bad bout of sickness?

Dehydrated skin

‘Weirdly, it’s a good time to invest in an acid – which you’d think would be crazy,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.

Obviously not to be used on broken skin, she explains: ‘If you’re just dry and look shriveled, an acid will help exfoliate at the surface level and then when you do apply moisturiser after, it will feel like it’s doing something.

‘If your skin’s really dry and you’re just trying to put moisturiser on, it feels greasy and it doesn’t absorb as well.’

When she was recently ill herself, Caroline went for Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel pads, which are glycolic-free (a harsher acid), using them once a week.



Skin after coronavirus

Research is still ongoing, seeing as this is a new experience in our skin history.

Some studies have shown people come out in rashes and experience raised bumpy skin following Covid-19.

Anecdotally, Caroline has heard of the virus triggering acne in some people, for which a very different skincare routine would be advised.

Her other big recommendation is to invest in a mist packed with glycerin, rather than hyaluronic acid.

This is because of the pH level of hyaluronic acid, which might slightly sting or irritate already raw skin.

‘Invest in a hydrating mist just to give some hydration that is minimal effort,’ Caroline says, spritzing throughout the day to prevent things worsening.

The top recommendation from the skin guru is La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra 8 Face Mist, owing to its skin-friendly ingredients.

‘It’s hard to go wrong with this one, as it’s great for hydration given it’s liquid glycerin,’ she adds.

Caroline Hirons is a skincare expert with a bestselling book (Picture: Getty)

Raw and vulnerable skin

If you’ve got a broken skin barrier, you’ll want soothing and barrier building ingredients first and foremost, Caroline advises – hyaluronic acid has its place in skincare, but not in this situation.

‘It’s not my first port of call,’ she tells us. ‘If you’ve got a damaged skin barrier, you want building blocks, not water. Building blocks are ceramides, peptides, glycerin.

‘You want comfort basically, and hyaluronic acid has to be followed with something else – it’s pointless on its own, it will just dehydrate.’

Her favourite moisturisers for this are Sunday Riley ICE Ceramide Cream and Dr Jart+ Ceramidin Cream.

One of Caroline Hirons’ star buys (Picture: Lookfantastic)

Another texture to look for is a balm, which will help skin that feels sore and has a tight feeling.

You could layer a product underneath and use the balm over top to lock in extra moisture, but if skin is particularly compromised and sensitive, the best option is just to use one alone.

For times like this, Caroline reaches for La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Soothing Repairing Balm – French pharmacy brands are often good for damaged skin.

All of this should provide some ‘relief’, Caroline says, meaning skin feels better quicker.



What about when you’re getting better?

Remember to switch your skincare back to how it was before you got ill, once your skin has recovered.

‘When your skin changes, change your skincare back because you don’t want to be using something to thick permanently because then you’re going to get spots,’ Caroline says.

Caroline Hirons will be in London this weekend at The House of Hirons Hall of Fame Pop Up, where fans will have a chance to shop her favourite products in her latest kit before anyone else, and meet the woman herself.

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on purchases made through one of these links but this never influences our experts’ opinions. Products are tested and reviewed independently of commercial initiatives.

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