There have been many changes to come out of our recent lockdown, but the one presenting at beauty salons currently, is the newly coined “iso skin”.

More specifically, it’s acne, brought on by lack of fresh air, the lack of in-salon skin treatments, combined with the stress that the pandemic has brought with it.

According to Zoe Devine of Skinstitut, clients are presenting with sudden outbreaks. “Acne is essentially any type of congestion in the skin, it occurs when excess sebum blocks your pores and forms a blackhead or whitehead. It can develop into a swollen, inflamed pimple or deep lump on the skin. Acne does not only appear on the face but also parts of the body such as your back, shoulders, neck and chest,” she says.

Debbie Thomas, a skin and laser expert from the UK, agrees. “Any big change in routine – whether it is diet, exercise or stress levels – can have a direct impact on the skin. Even if the changes you are making are positive, it can still take the body time to adjust and for hormones to settle.”

That said, Debbie says the culprit could also be the extra time clients have had on their hands at home, testing out the entire contents of their skincare arsenal

“If you are experimenting with new skincare products or regimes, then this can be a contributing factor and could cause the skin to play up while your skin adjusts to the new products,” she says.

While there’s no quick fix for acne, the experts agree that understanding your clients’ current situation – both physical and emotional – is a good start, as well as determining what they’ve been doing to their skin since you last saw them.

“Treating acne effectively can be a case of trial and error, however, investing in a trusted skincare regime and seeking advice from a qualified skin specialist is a good start,” says Zoe, who recommends Skinstitut’s Glycolic Cleanser 12%. “It’s a lightly foaming, non-dehydrating treatment cleanser that removes dead skin whilst also purifying. Using active ingredients such Vitamin B5 and tea tree oil delivers anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits especially for breakout prone skin,” she says.

She also recommends peels for exfoliating, and Vitamin A to help calm the skin. “Vitamin A is a valuable tool when treating acne. Skinstitut Retinol Serum assists with the reduction of excess sebum production, decreasing acne lesions while also strengthening and repairing the skin.”

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