COVID-19 has altered our daily routines- from how we shop and work to how we take care of our skin (since we wear masks outside the home). Our skin can be indicative of many underlying health factors so protecting the skin is essential for overall wellness. The skin is a barrier to infection – therefore, you cannot get infected with COVID-19 via the skin. However, if you touch a surface hosting virus and then touch your mouth, the virus can enter your body. COVID-19 health measures such as wearing a mask and hand sanitizing are not the gentlest on the skin. For this reason, your skincare routine should be altered to protect and nourish your skin during this time. This post highlights Dr. Zenovia’s top skin care tips to follow during the COVID-19 pandemic to maintain overall skin health.
Skin Care During COVID-19
When it comes to caring for the skin during this time, the most important measures include maintaining the skin’s moisture levels, avoiding face makeup, washing your cotton masks after each use, and sticking to a daily skincare regimen.
Maintain Moisture Levels
It’s important to protect and maintain your skin’s moisture barrier through proper moisturization- this can fight against the spread of germs! Your moisture barrier is responsible for locking in hydration and keeping the skin healthy. Dr. Zenovia recommends using skincare products that are packed with ceramides. Dr. Zenovia’s Peptide + Ceramide Repairing Moisturizer is a great option for maintaining the skin’s hydration levels.
Avoid Wearing Face Makeup
Wearing colored cosmetics and foundation can accelerate the pore-clogging process when the skin lacks airflow. To prevent breakouts (‘maskne’) and skin inflammation, avoid wearing face makeup when you will be wearing a mask. If you do choose to wear makeup, use products that are noncomedogenic, which means the ingredients are non-pore clogging.
Wash Your Face Masks
If you wear cotton or fabric face masks, remember to wash the mask after each use. If the mask is left dirty, it will increase bacterial growth on the skin.
Follow a Daily Skincare Regimen
Cleansing the skin with a gentle cleanser morning and night will help clear pore-clogging bacteria and impurities. Dr. Zenovia’s clinical-grade, pH balanced Bakuchiol Hydrating Cleanser is designed to be suitable for even the most sensitive skin. This cleanser thoroughly removes environmental pollutants, excess oil, and makeup while refreshing and moisturizing the skin with Yucca Root and Panthenol. After cleansing, follow up with a hydrating moisturizer.
Even though we are spending more time indoors and wearing masks out, it’s still imperative to apply sunscreen daily! Cloth masks cannot provide full protection from the harsh UV rays. Dr. Zenovia’s Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer SPF 30 provides the benefits of both a moisturizer and sun protectant. Clinical-grade Vitamin C-Ester visibly helps minimize the appearance of dark spots, discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles while transparent nano zinc-oxide broad-spectrum protection guards against harmful UVA/UVB rays.
Skin Concerns During COVID-19
Acne, psoriasis, and eczema are the three most common skin conditions that tend to flare up with elevated stress levels. If flare-ups occur, adjust moisturizer levels accordingly- use a heavier cream moisturizer or a petroleum jelly to retain the skin’s moisture levels. To avoid flare-ups from at-risk skin, try practicing mindfulness and meditation to achieve a sense of inner calm during stressful times. Wellness begins from the inside out- take care of the mind and body.
Acne During COVID-19
Acne falls under two broad categories: inflammatory and non-inflammatory. The type of acne you are experiencing determines the course of treatment and the most effective ingredients.
Acne caused by face masks referred to as acne mechanica or “maskne,” is a result of blocked pores from heat, friction, and pressure on the skin. This is worse in patients with rosacea. Sweat and heat from face masks can cause buildup in the pores which creates an excess production of bacteria and inflammation. Dr. Zenovia’s top tip to avoid maskne is to maintain a gentle, acne-fighting skincare routine.
Dr. Zenovia’s Clear Complexion Collection is a complete acne complexion-correcting line consisting of five breakthrough products specifically curated to treat blemishes, balance sebum production, and help reduce the appearance of acne scarring while keeping the skin calm and soothed. The Clear Complexion Kit is a great, comprehensive routine for clearing breakouts and preventing future acne.
- 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Cleanser: Deeply penetrates the skin to remove buildup from clogged pores and eradicate blemishes. As a wash-off treatment, it is infused with a powerful, yet gentle dose of ultra-micronized 10% Benzoyl Peroxide to eliminate any possible irritation.
- 5% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Spot Treatment: A clinical grade hormonal acne solution that targets flare-ups whenever they strike while helping to reduce any redness or irritation. This spot treatment is formulated with medical-grade Bakuchiol and Aloe Vera to help soothe acne-prone, sensitive skin.
- Aloe Vera Blemish Soothing Moisturizer: An ultra-light, oil-free moisturizer that features skin-soothing Squalene and medical-grade Aloe Vera. Due to Benzoyl Peroxide’s drying properties, it is important to keep acne-prone skin hydrated throughout the day.
Note from Dr. Z: If you do get maskne, avoid popping or picking at your pimples! This can lead to inflammation, infection, and acne scarring.
Hand Care During COVID-19: Hand Sanitizer Tips
Hand sanitizer is a quick way to eliminate germs between washing hands. Although hand washing is the best way to stop the spread of germs, hand sanitizer is a great on-the-go option when handwashing is unavailable.
The CDC recommends that hand sanitizer alcohol content comprise 60% of the product for it to be an effective disinfectant against coronavirus. DIY methods can be effective alternatives for hand sanitizer – however, because many recipes require high levels of alcohol or acids, you must be extra cautious on proper ingredient amounts and methods of use.
Dr. Zenovia’s favorite hand sanitizer recipe is simple and safe:
- 2/3 cup 99 percent rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) or ethanol
- 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
- 8 to 10 drops essential oil (optional)
Overusing hand sanitizer can cause dryness and increased irritation. If you over-dry your skin, it can become inflamed. Using lotion is very important as we use sanitizers more frequently. The hands can also become increasingly dry as we clean surfaces more often. To avoid dryness from disinfectants, wear gloves when cleaning to create a barrier between harsh chemicals and the skin.