Recently I was asked to comment on some bizarre and sometimes dangerous skin care practices. Even aesthetic professionals occasionally send me links to some YouTube videos or Instagram posts with rather questionable advice.
- Applying anti-bacterial gel (sanitiser) to the face. Let’s not get carried away! There is no need to destroy your skin’s microbiome like that. Healthy skin can actually protect itself from harmful microorganisms pretty well. As for CoVid-19, there is no evidence that the virus can penetrate into the skin. Please take care, wash your hands and leave your face alone.
- Same goes for using alcohol or antiseptic towels/solutions on your face. There is no need for that. The best way to cleanse your skin is good old washing with water and soap.
- Applying essential oils with antiviral properties for daily skin care. So far there is no evidence that any essential oil can prevent catching CoVid-19. There is, however, strong and abundant evidence of many essential oils being powerful allergens. Please be careful with them!
- Soaking face masks in essential oils. Now this is actually dangerous! Inhaling essential oils can trigger bronchial spasm, asthmatic reaction or even anaphylactic shock. The best thing to breathe in is clean air with as little additives as possible. Same goes for herbal disinfectants and alcohol: applying these to facial masks may have been common practice in plague-ridden Medieval Europe, but we’re living in 2020. There are more effective scientifically sound ways to protect yourself.
Is there anything you should avoid at this time?
It may be wiser to remove your nail polish and especially gel or acrylic nail applications. To prevent the spread of CoVid-19 infection we all should wash hands frequently, basically following the protocol for surgical nurses. You may not be aware of this, but all nail applications are strictly forbidden in surgical and intensive care units, because nail polish, gel and acrylic nails cause micro damage to nails. Varnish forms micro fissures when it dries opening pathways for infection. Under the circumstances it is best to keep the nails clean to decrease the risk of contagion.
Washing face is also essential after being exposed to social contact. Use more old-school cosmetic cleansers, such as cleansing gels, emulsions, mousses or creams as opposed to micellar water or cleansing oils, and rinse well with plenty of water. Preferably, twice.
Now is the time to avoid beauty tools, such as blenders, sponges and brushes. They’re impossible to disinfect properly and can present a risk of contagion as CoVid-19 can survive on a porous surface for hours. Please put away your micro needling devices. This is the worst moment to break the skin barrier and open the door to infection.
Makeup is safe to use. I’d say that silicone-based foundation might actually provide some protection for the skin, as silicones are perfectly neutral and cover the face with a shield-like film. Plus, women tend to touch their faces less when wearing makeup for fear of smearing it. Please don’t share your makeup with other people though. Makeup should always be personal, just like your toothbrush.
Used disposable towels or small face towels that can be washed daily. Wet towels are a hotbed for bacteria and fungi.
Staying at home
Should your skin care regime change now that you’re spending most of your time indoors?
The good news is, you don’t need any sunscreen. And if you feel comfortable not applying your day cream, you can skip that too. It is important that the air in your room is fresh and humid enough, especially if you’ve got heating or air conditioner on. You can follow your usual beauty routine without any restrictions.
If you are in full quarantine, make sure to exercise at least a little bit. It’ll help keep up your vitamin D levels and slow down skin ageing (let’s save this conversation for another time). Try to stay positive and think of the bright side: at least you are escaping urban air pollution.
Many beauty salons and clinics around the world closed their doors because of the Coronavirus pandemic. When this is over, some of them may not reopen as small businesses often do not have safety nets. If you get a chance, support your beauty therapist by ordering home skincare from them or purchasing online consultations.
Meder Beauty is fulfilling online orders as usual. For #stayhome beauty routine I recommend weekly exfoliation and application of sheet masks. To compensate for the treatments you’re missing we are currently offering special Meder Weekly Intense Care packages to help your skin and you destress during this trying time.