Skincare During Covid
The quarantine time has been tough for everyone. But, one of the few positives that came out of it has been the fact that we’ve found the time to take care of our skin and health. As most of us are home right now, self-care can be of utmost priority.
Washing hands and wearing face masks are key steps to preventing COVID-19. But they can dry out your skin and cause various skin rashes. Here’s how to help.
Most people are washing their hands or using hand sanitizer more frequently these days. Many are also wearing face masks when in public or during work shifts, often for hours at a time.
These measures are key to reducing the spread of the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). But they can irritate and damage your skin. Making a few skincare changes for your hands and face can help counteract these effects.
One of the most important things you can do to protect against COVID-19 is to keep your hands clean and free from germs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
But lots of handwashing can strip your hands of their natural oils. To prevent dry, cracked skin, consider the following:
1. Be gentle on your hands.
Use cool or lukewarm water with soap to wash your hands. Hot water isn’t any more helpful against germs that can make you sick. And hot water can increase skin damage.
Avoid antibacterial cleansers. They aren’t that useful for preventing infectious disease. And they contain chemicals such as fragrance that can irritate the skin. Instead, use a natural bio-active cleanser.
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2. Wear gloves when cleaning to protect your skin.
Disinfectants for cleaning surfaces are effective against germs, but some of the ingredients can be harsh on your hands.
3. Moisturize, moisturize
After washing your hands, gently rinse and pat them dry. Right after, apply plenty of moisturizers. If your hands still feel dry after a minute or so, apply more.
Use a moisturizer that’s hypoallergenic and free of fragrances and dyes that can irritate your skin. Keep the moisturizer handy – next to bathroom and kitchen sinks, in your car or at your workspace. Make it easy to repeat this critical step.
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4. Combine moisturizers
Sometimes, a combination of moisturizers works best. Lightweight creams typically add moisture to the skin’s outer layer. Look for ingredients such as urea, glycerin or hyaluronic acid.
To seal the moisture in, follow with a heavier moisturizer that prevents water loss. Oil-containing creams or petroleum jelly work well. Because heavier moisturizers can feel greasy, some people leave a thick layer on their hands covered with cotton gloves overnight.
5. Don’t ignore early skin protection
Even if your hands don’t feel dry or chapped, be sure to moisturize them regularly. Preventing skin irritation from developing in the first place is more effective than trying to catch up later when the skin is already broken and cracked.
Many workers in places such as salons, restaurants, retail stores, and health care wear masks throughout their shifts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth masks in public to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus by people who have COVID-19 but don’t realize it.
But as helpful as it is, mask use can lead to chafing of the skin on the bridge of your nose, chin, cheeks, and even behind the ears. Some people develop itchiness or a rash. Sweaty or damp conditions under the mask can lead to acne breakouts and other skin concerns. This condition is also known as Maskne or Mask Acne. To ease these complications of mask-wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. Adopt a regular skincare routine.
Cleanse and moisturize your face before and after using a mask. Choose products labeled “noncomedogenic,” which means they won’t clog skin pores.
Don’t use products with petrolatum, though. Petrolatum is a common ingredient in “heavy-duty” creams and ointments, such as petroleum jelly. It can get in the way of the mask’s function, especially N95 masks used by some health care workers. If your skin tends to be on the oily side, go
for a water-soluble moisturizer.
2. Use a barrier ointment or bandage
To prevent or relieve skin injuries caused by pressure or friction from masks, a thin layer of zinc oxide can soothe and protect the skin. Zinc oxide is a skin protectant often used for diaper rash or severely chapped skin. Use it on the bridge of your nose or behind your ears.
You can also try placing a bandage between the skin pressure points and the mask. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about bandages or dressings that provide cooling relief and conform to the skin while still allowing for appropriate mask use.
3. Ease blisters
If a blister forms, keep it clean and apply antibiotic ointment. Use a bandage to creates a protective barrier between the blister and the mask.
4. Treat acne
If you develop acne, cleanse your skin regularly. Use a water-soluble moisturizer. Look for acne treatment products that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Also, avoid popping or squeezing pimples, which can contribute to inflammation and infection of the area. For acne-prone skin, black peel is the best solution.
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Other Important Skincare Tips During Covid
Staying home does not mean binge-eating junk food through the day. Eat a king-sized breakfast, healthy lunch and light dinner. Focus on ingredients in your kitchen that will help boost your immunity such as Jeera, turmeric, ginger, garlic and black pepper. When you’re eating a balanced and nourishing diet at home, your skin will reflect exactly that.
Drink plenty of water:
To keep your skin hydrated and looking fresh, drink at least 8-10 glasses of water that will help to flush out the toxins. This is easier done at home than when you’re on the move.
Protect your skin from blue light:
Screen time affects not only your eyes but also your skin. Protect your skin from the blue rays of your laptops, TVs, and phones by applying sunscreen even when you are indoors. This will protect your skin from open pores, aging, and the accumulation of oil
Do not compromise on your regular sleep cycle while you are home, even though you are tempted to watch your favorite shows or movies late into the night. Sleep early and wake up early and try and get at least eight hours of sleep every night. This will help prevent dark circles, puffy eyes and premature ageing of the skin.
Exfoliate your skin:
Exfoliate your face with a home-made or a store-bought scrub at least once a week to get rid of dead skin and bacteria. Don’t forget to wash your face before bed at night: It is important to cleanse your face at least twice a day to wash away the dirt from your skin and help in rejuvenation especially at night.
Moisturize your skin:
While it is important to regularly wash our hands, all that washing and hand sanitising could dry out your skin. Many people are experiencing cracked and chapped hands. Moisturise your face and hands each time you wash them to retain your skin’s suppleness.
Vitamin C and Oral antioxidants:
Topical Vitamin C prevents free radical damage while brightening the skin. An oral antioxidant with the goodness of vitamins and minerals goes a long way in protecting and revitalizing the skin.