12/02/2020

COVID-19 Skin Care: Stay Flawless in a World of Sanitizers and Masks

 


Life mid-COVID-19 has changed the way people do their routines, especially in skincare. These days, most people are washing their hands or using hand sanitizer more frequently. They are also wearing face masks constantly - whether they're out for work, doing necessary grocery runs, or seeing friends for a socially-distanced lunch.


These new measures are meant to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but they can take a toll on your skin. So apart from prioritizing skin care routines like skin tightening, more people are adding to their routines to counteract the effects of masks, alcohol and hand sanitizers.


Apart from learning new hobbies during COVID-19, developing a new (if not better) skincare routine is essential. Here are some routines to keep in mind during the pandemic.


Facial Care

Many employees in restaurants, salons, healthcare, and retail stores wear face masks throughout the day during the pandemic. But as helpful as masks are in reducing the spread of COVID-19, they can also lead to skin chafing, particularly on your chin, nose, cheeks, and behind your ears. Some people experience rash or itchiness. Damp or sweaty conditions under the mask can also result in acne and other skin conditions.


To ease the skin complications of wearing a mask during COVID-19:

  • Practice a regular skincare routine. Clean and moisturize your face before you wear your mask. Use non-comedogenic products since these won't clog your skin's pores. Refrain from using products with petrolatum, which is a common ingredient in heavy-duty ointments and creams. This ingredient can get in the way of your face mask's function.
  • Treat acne. If you develop acne, clean your skin regularly. Apart from using a water-soluble moisturizer, use products that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Also, refrain from squeezing or popping pimples since it can worsen infection and inflammation.
  • Use a bandage or barrier ointment. To relieve or prevent skin injuries caused by friction or pressure from masks, apply a thin layer of zinc oxide on the infected spot. Zinc oxide serves as a skin protectant and is often used for chapped skin or diaper rash. You can also place a bandage between your skin and the mask.
  • Ease blisters. If a blister forms on your skin, clean it, and treat it with antibiotics regularly. Also, use a bandage to create a protective barrier between the mask and the blister.

Hand Care

One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from the virus is to keep your hands clean. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should often wash your hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds. If you're nowhere near a sink, use alcohol or an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent of alcohol.


Frequently washing your hands, however, can strip your skin of their natural oils. To prevent dry skin:

  • Be gentle on your hands. Use lukewarm or cool water with soap to clean your hands. Hot water will not kill the germs or viruses. Instead, it increases your risk of skin damage. Also, refrain from using antibacterial cleansers. These do not contain ingredients that prevent infectious diseases. They often contain chemicals that can irritate the skin (e.g. fragrance).
  • After washing your hands, pat them dry and apply plenty of moisturizers immediately. If your hands still feel dry after a minute, apply more moisturizer. Use a hypoallergenic moisturizer that is free from dyes and fragrances, which are both harmful to the skin. Keep your favorite moisturizer handy by keeping them next to the kitchen and bathroom sinks.
  • Wear gloves when cleaning. Before you disinfect surfaces, wear your gloves. Some ingredients of disinfectants can be harsh on your hands.
  • Don't ignore early skin protection. Even if your hands do not feel chapped or dry, moisturize them regularly. Preventing skin irritation from developing in the first place is better than finding solutions for dry and cracked skin.

Seek Professional Care

Giving up on washing your hands or wearing your mask is NOT an option during the pandemic. In the meantime, combine these measures with the skincare steps above to protect your skin and yourself from the virus.


If your skin cracks or starts to bleed due to hand washing or wearing a face mask, speak with your doctor immediately. Damaged skin increases your risk of infection and may require more than home remedies. Treatment may include skin therapies and prescription medicines.


COVID-19 need not keep you from enjoying healthy skin. It should even motivate you to change your skincare for the better. Include the steps above for a better skincare routine during the pandemic.

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