Last updated on Sep 11th, 2020 at 10:37 am

Dry hands from sanitiser use, acne outbreaks, and pigmentation concerns. We’ve got the answers for all your skincare questions…

“Lockdown skin” is a thing. Anxiety over the pandemic can influence the balance of hormones in the body, leading to acne outbreaks and other skin concerns. The cold winter weather can also wreak havoc on the skin.

All4Women readers were asked to submit their lockdown skin queries, and we’ve partnered with Dr Maureen Allem, the founder and Medical Director of the Renewal Institute to provide answers.

  • What do you do if your hands are dry from using sanitiser?
  • How can you deal with pigmentation?
  • What’s the solution to preventing acne outbreaks, and scarring?
  • Is there help for severe dandruff?

Dr Allem has been treating skin concerns for over 15 years, and she’s got all the solutions below.

Did you know that you can also do a FREE online skin assessment? Follow this link to receive product recommendations for your skin ailments, or browse the skin store.


Here are some of All4Women readers’ most popular questions about “lockdown skin” and Dr Allem’s responses:

All about acne

A number of readers sent in queries about acne. Concerns ranged from large pimples and blemishes under the skin to painful bumps on the jawline, and cystic acne and scarring around the mouth and chin.

Skin Renewal recommends a thorough evaluation and holistic approach to targeting acne-related issues.

How can painful acne and cystic acne and scarring be dealt with?

When we look at the external skin condition, acne is the result of dead skin cells blocking the oil duct, too much oil, too many bacteria or too much inflammation. This results in the blackheads and pustules you see on the surface of the skin.

But why does this happen?

This is where the internal factor comes into play. Increased levels of the androgen hormone, polycystic ovarian syndrome, low stomach acid, leaky gut syndrome, to name a few, have been proved to play a role in the development and reoccurrence of acne.

There is no standalone treatment or standard package for acne, or reducing scarring. At Skin Renewal, we understand that everybody is different. What works for me, might not work for you.

When you book an appointment, our doctors will do a thorough consultation and tailor a customised treatment programme for your specific needs, condition, circumstances and budget.

Skin treatments that might be recommended include deep cleanse facials, chemical peels, Laser & light treatments (laser genesis, PDT) and carboxytherapy.

Dealing with pigmentation and blemishes: Skin Renewal Clinic
Dealing with pigmentation and blemishes: Skin Renewal Clinic

Dealing with pigmentation & blemishes

I use sunblock (SPF 50) and I reapply throughout the day, however my pigmentation is getting worse. How can I treat hyper pigmentation and uneven skin tone?

There are many factors involved when one deals with deep-seated, dermal, pigmentation. This type of pigmentation is not a typical “skin issue”, it is fuelled by an internal cause.

Certain medical conditions, medications, inflammation in the body and gut dysbiosis are some of the possible triggers of dermal pigmentation. In many cases, the skin barrier is also disrupted, allowing external factors to cause inflammation in the skin.

A treatment package for pigmentation and sun damage issues may include photodynamic therapy, transdermal mesotherapy, laser genesis, chemical peels as well as a treatment called Dermamelan – a pigmentation peel.

Along with the skin treatments, the doctor will recommend an internal supplement to target the underlying causes, as well as topical homecare products to suppress any new pigmentation from forming. The skin treatments are typically done every 2-4 weeks, depending on the type of treatment and your budget.

I’m struggling with blemishes, dry and itchy skin, what products can I use?

Conventional off-the-shelf products try to reduce the oil superficially, stripping your skin of natural oils, hence the dryness and tightness you may feel. Your condition may improve temporarily, but a few weeks later, you are back to square one.

A holistic approach to the issue is recommended. Skin Renewal doctors will conduct a thorough consultation in order to develop a programme specifically designed to target your problem areas.

Skin treatments that might be recommended include: Hydra Touch facial, chemical peels, laser & light treatments (laser genesis, PDT).

General skin dryness
General skin dryness: Skin Renewal Clinic

General skin dryness

How can I prevent my hands from becoming dry due to constant use of hand sanitiser.

We would recommend that you try Lamelle Serra Soothing Body Lotion. This brand new addition to the Serra range will relieve sore, itchy and dry skin immediately.

It has high concentrations Cermide-P to optimally restore the skin barrier and improve the symptoms of itching, dry, uncomfortable skin.  Furthermore, it penetrates quickly and effectively, without leaving your skin greasy afterwards. Lastly, it is long lasting and provides relief in between applications.

My son suffers from terrible dandruff and has acne as well. We have tried different shampoos but need help please.

We recommend the products in the Pelo Baum range. Pelo Baum is a product range that encourages hair growth, stops hair loss and stimulate the skin’s ability to create new hair follicles. Hair is an extension of skin and there exist many similarities between the management of hair and the management of skin.

I am struggling to keep my lips hydrated, and I tend to lick them when they are dry

We recommend asking your pharmacy for a good over-the-counter-lip balm.