It’s no secret that COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our everyday lives. We are all trying to do our part to stop the spread of this global disease, and for many, that means wearing a mask in public spaces when 2 meters of physical distancing is not possible. Masks can range from a homemade cloth mask, a medical mask and even in some cases, a full N95, face shield and goggles for our front line workers. Although these masks can help reduce the spread of virus carrying droplets, they are also taking their toll on our skin.
A number of clients have come to YES Medspa in the last few weeks in search of guidance on how to best manage acne and skin irritation from wearing their masks all day.
To provide you all with a little skin insight, Brittani runs through her top tips for managing your COVID-19 skin concerns.
1) Ditch the makeup
Lets face it, no one is going to see the makeup under the mask anyways, so only apply it to the upper portion of the face or forego it all together. Wearing your mask on top of your makeup is going to suffocate your skin; and if you mix that with your daily sweat and oil production, this creates a breeding ground for p. acnes bacteria aka Pimple Central! If you must wear makeup, try switching to a mineral make up, such as jane iredale, to help your skin breathe.
2) Clean or replace your mask often
Think of your mask like a pillow case or towel in the way that they gather sweat, dirt, makeup, oil and bacteria. Using the same dirty mask day in and day out is going to wreak havoc on your skin, so make sure to clean your reusable mask or change your disposable mask often.
3) Increase exfoliation
Exfoliation is key for skin health, especially when we are wearing masks. As your skin cells turn over and old cells are shed, the old cells rarely slough off on their own. Exfoliating helps to loosen ‘the glue’ between the cells and remove the old cells to allow your skin to breathe and be healthy. When we wear masks all day our old cells, makeup, dirt and oil get trapped, causing our skin to become more prone to dryness, irritation or breakouts. We recommend pairing mechanical exfoliant such as the ZO Exfoliating Polish, with chemical exfoliant such as AHAs, BHAs or retinols to really combat cell build up. Some favourites include the ZO Exfoliation Accelerator or the AlumierMD Bright & Clear Solution (DM us for the AlumierMD Online link).
4) Purifying Masks
Treat yourself to an at home Spa day. Use a purifying mask, such as the ZO Sulphur Mask, or an exfoliation mask such as the ZO Enzymatic peel, a couple times a week to help to unclog your pores of all the buildup that can accumulate from wearing a mask all day. Clearing out this debris and bringing oxygen to your pores keeps acne bacteria from being able to survive in your pores.
5) Keep your skin moisturized
If you have naturally dry, flaky skin, you may find that wearing a mask is causing it to be drier or even irritated from the rubbing of the mask. In this scenario we recommend keeping your skin hydrated. This will help to keep your protective lipid barrier intact so that your skin does not become damaged, broken and susceptible to infection or trans-epidermal water loss. The ZO Daily Power Defense will be your best friend through mask season. This all-in-one, light weight moisturizer is like a multivitamin for your skin. With Vitamin A, C & E you skin will be nourished and its active peptides work to repair your skin’s damaged lipid barrier.
6) Stay hydrated
Hydrated skin is healthy skin! I will be the first to admit that I am not the best water drinker throughout the day. Now add in a mask, creating a constant barrier on our face, making water intake a little more difficult. To combat this, make water a priority throughout the day, keep a water bottle on your desk, do what you can to keep it top of mind. Water intake is crucial to your overall cell health, so remember to take breaks from the mask and keep yourself hydrated as much as you can.
For those of you that are interested and ready to come back into the clinic, we are ready to see you! Our team takes your health and safety very seriously. We have upgraded all of our office protocols to ensure a safe visit. All clients will be screened for symptoms and have their temperature taken before entering the clinic. Arrival to the clinic will be staggered with other guests and the staff will all be wearing protective equipment. Masks, plexi-glass barriers, face shield, etc. You name it, we’ve got it covered!
HydraFaicals are an amazing treatment to help your skin breath after hours of wearing a mask. The patented HydraFacial hand piece allows your aesthetician to gently and effectively extract debris and oil from your pores while exfoliating away the top layer of dull, dry skin. Layers of nutrient rich serums will then be infused back into the skin to help support your skin’s natural cell regeneration, hydration levels and overall health. You’ll leave the office feeling clean, glowing and ready to take on another day!
2) Chemical Peels
Chemical peels are another awesome way to treat your congested skin. Whether you have acne, dry damaged skin or general dullness, customized protocols allow us to fine tune a chemical peel perfect for your skin concerns.
During your chemical peel, a combination of medical grade ingredients such as glycolic acid, lactic acid and Resorcinol are applied to the skin to gently break down the top layer of dead, dull skin. Over the course of 3-10 days following your treatment, this top layer will slowly start to slough off, revealing fresh and healthy skin. Plus, since you’re wearing a mask all day anyways, you won’t have to worry about hiding the peeling from your co-workers!
If you’re still not sure what your best options are to address your COVID skin concerns, call us at 604-888-9397 or click here to book online with one of our licensed medical aestheticians.