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Nothing puts a complete stop to your skincare routine than having a cold or flu! Sometimes, it’s all we can do to stay hydrated, sip a hot honey and lemon drink, eat soup, and make sure we have enough tissues. Giving your skin some much needed TLC can easily slide down the list of what you can do with your limited energy levels. It does with Sarah and me!

Now you’re ill – what does this mean for your skin?

OK, your whole body aches and you feel as though a train just ran over your head, the last thing you want to think about is your skincare routine. We hear you! But no matter your skin type, colds and flu have a detrimental effect on our skin, and if you suffer from any kind of skin sensitivity it can be a particularly brutal time.

“Having the flu is an enormous stress on your body, which always shows on your skin,” says Dr Michele Farber of Schweiger Dermatology Group in Murray Hill.

But fear not, there are steps you can take to help your skin while you’re under the weather and bring your skin back to life once you’re feeling better.

How can I help my skin - top tips?

1. Stay Hydrated

It’s number one here because it’s the most important. Moisture-sucking medication, lack of sleep, and a body under attack can all lead to dry skin. You need to keep your body and skin hydrated while it's under the stress of a cold or flu. Replenish your skin with ceremide-rich moisturisers and keep drinking water. Drinking plenty of water will keep your system and body hydrated from within, preventing cracking around the nose and mouth that can increase susceptibility to infection. Not to mention it help you recover quicker by flushing out the virus.

2. Protect Your Skin

Bring your skincare routine back to the basics and protect your skin with ingredients such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerine. These will help to protect your skin barrier when it's dry and irritated.

3. Mind the Nose Area

When your cold or flu has hit your nose and the sneezing and running nose just seems to have a mind of its own with absolutely no care for you, tissues become your best friend! Chances are your nose area is paying a big price for this newfound friendship. First, rehydrate your skin with a thicker moisturiser, then apply a rich, intense balm and re-apply throughout the day.

4. Use a Humidifier

The air inside is trying to suck any moisture it can from anywhere (including you), especially during the winter months. We recommend trying a humidifier at night to add moisture back into the air and prevent skin from drying out, this can be a good idea even when you're not ill!

5. Skip the hot shower

A steaming hot shower may seem ideal when you have a blocked nose, are sleepy on meds, and are suffering from a bad case of cabin fever. But resist the temptation, hot water will only dry out your skin, causing more discomfort. Instead, relax and sink into a warm bath.

6. Ditch the Extra Products

Your skin barrier is under a lot of stress and probably feeling quite irritated. Stop exfoliating your skin until your skin heals – the last thing you need is to strip the skin of precious moisture. We also recommend skipping masks too, a lot contain actives as well as hydrators and your skin will likely be too sensitive for these.

7. Protect from Outside Elements

Now, you should stay indoors when you’re not feeling well but we all know that sometimes isn’t practical. So, if you must venture outside, wear a face mask first and foremost (protect everyone around). Then protect your skin from the winter sun rays, slap on your SPF! It may be freezing outside but that doesn't mean the sun’s rays can’t harm you and dry your skin out.


There is no question, having a cold or flu is brutal at the best of times but to add sore, cracked, irritated skin to the mix – well, that’s just mean!

Our best advice when energy levels are scarce, wrap up, keep drinking water, slap on some ceremide-rich moisturiser, and sleep as often as you can. Then when your skin is comfortable use our Time Repair serum to speed up the healing process.

If you’re suffering this winter, let the VS community know your tips for getting you through?

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