The ripples caused by living in a pandemic have got a lot to answer for, not least how much more we're noticing fine lines and wrinkles on our faces. Boots report that more than half of women say their skin has aged by up to five years in the 11 months since the first lockdown in March 2020. Of the 2,018 women surveyed by Boots, 31 per cent of us said we're noticing crow's feet lines more since lockdown began, while nearly a third of us are noticing forehead lines and a third of us are more aware of under-eye lines.
Boots' research revealed that people mostly attribute the lines to sleep disturbance (over a third of us cited this as the reason for our lockdown lines) while 38 per cent believe it's down to seeing our faces on screens more. This is a notion that aesthetician Dija Ayodele supports. “Lots of women are talking about noticing lines during lockdown," she says. "We’re now more aware of them because we see our own faces more than ever before. While lockdown itself won’t have caused these lines, video conferencing platforms are like mirrors that reflect our faces for hours on end."
No7's head of science research Mike Bell agrees that lockdown isn't the reason we have more lines. “Lines and wrinkles actually form in the skin over a long period of time due to the reduction of key components in the skin, such as the depletion of collagen and elastic fibrillin."
Whatever is causing our increased awareness of these lockdown lines, as a nation we’ve been investing in skincare. Boots reports than No7 skincare sales increased by 174 per cent in 2020, with one product, in particular, finding its way into our baskets.
That product is No7 Line Correcting Booster Serum , currently half price at £19, which is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles by up to five years. Since launching in 2018 Boots has sold over four million of the serum worldwide and last year it was the brand’s second best-selling skincare product on Boots.com, second only to No7 Advanced Retinol 1.5% Complex Night Concentrate , £34, which launched in May last year as Boots' first-ever retinol.
What’s so special about the serum? It’s formulated with seven times more Matrixyl 3000+ than Boots’ other serums including No7 Protect and Perfect Advanced Serum , £34 and No7 Restore and Renew Face and Neck Multi Action Serum , £49. Matrixyl 3000+ is a powerful peptide that tackles wrinkles, elasticity and dwindling collagen stores, stimulating collagen production.
No7’s Line Correcting Booster Serum is in a clinical-looking pen-shaped dropper for precision application which you use to apply directly to the lines themselves: to the forehead, crow's feet, lip lines , between brows, under eyes and nasolabial folds. The reviews speak for themselves, with one fan writing on the Boots website: “I've been using this for just two weeks and I can see an amazing difference in a deep frown line on my forehead,” while another said: “my crow's feet and under-eye wrinkles are diminished and my skin so soft.”
Dija points out that as well as investing in skincare there are ways to prevent lockdown lines from forming in the first place, including applying sunscreen with five star UVA protection over your moisturiser, even when inside . "80 per cent of skin ageing is due to UV from sunlight and up to 50 per cent of UVA rays can pass through windows," Dija says. She also advises prioritising sleep to keep lockdown lines at bay. "Acute sleep deprivation contributes to dark circles as well as the appearance of dull skin over time," she explains. Stress , something we're all the more familiar with during lockdown life is a culprit for ageing too as Dija says: "Stress, for example from working from home or homeschooling can make skin more likely to fluctuate, so you may be noticing more bad skin days (or fluctuating skin). Make sure you keep up a daily skincare routine to help boost skin’s resilience and protect the delicate skin barrier."
Stocking up on vitamin D is essential for skin too. "Our main source of vitamin D is sunlight, but we may not be getting enough being inside most of the time, especially as it is winter too. This is especially important for darker skin tones as melanin reduces our ability to make vitamin D from sunlight," Dija says. Lastly, make sure you're getting enough antioxidants through your diet. Fruit and veg help your skin fight oxidative stress Dija says. "Citrus fruits and leafy greens like spinach and kale are excellent sources."
No7’s Line Correcting Booster Serum is normally £38, but you can buy for £19 for a limited time.