If there was ever a time to show self-love, it’s now! It’s important to be diligent with your skincare during this time, when you skin is more vulnerable than ever with mask wearing and elevated stress levels. Give yourself permission to pamper yourself. But most importantly stay safe, stay positive and be kind to yourself.
WHAT IS ‘MASKNE’?
With the increased use of face masks many may notice congestion, flakiness and break outs around the nose and chin. Why? The skin is a barrier, so it needs to be able to absorb water and beneficial skin ingredients, and remove excess oil, skin surface impurities and toxins. Wearing a face mask significantly reduces this natural process and acts like a block to the skin’s natural processes.
Here are some unpleasant but notable facts:
- Constant facial movement against the mask causes microscopic abrasions to the skin that break down the skin barrier. This disrupted barrier if more susceptible to dryness, irritation and microbial attack.
- The humid environment created by the mask is a breeding ground for bad bacteria, as sweat is not able to evaporate from the skin naturally.
- The material of the mask is also an issue. Medical mask material can include additives such as bleaching agents, perfumes or other questionable materials added during the manufacturing process. Some people may be sensitive or even allergic to these additives and notice irritation, flaking or redness. During this time, my main skincare tips are to apply skincare that will restore the bacterial balance on the skin, fortify the barrier and improve its hydration levels.
SIMPLE LOCKDOWN SKINCARE ROUTINE:
1. AS ALWAYS, THE FIRST STEP IS TO CLEANSE
Continue to thoroughly clean your face morning and night with an SLS-free cleanser, such as UltraCleanse, to remove excess oil and debris built up on the skin’s surface and to maintain the acid mantle of the skin surface. As you may have more time on your hands, I also recommend using a gentle facial scrub on the congested areas, such as MediScrub, once or twice a week to remove surface blackheads.
2. NEXT, BALANCE THE SKIN (BUT NOT AS YOU MIGHT THINK)
On a freshly cleansed face, apply a few drops of a balancing serum morning and night, such as Dermiotic. The probiotic lysate, together with the prebiotic skin nutrition, restores the skin’s balance of both beneficial and harmful bacteria, helping to prevent the triggers of skin irritation and inflammation. Ditch traditional stripping toners and instead truly balance your skin with pre and probiotics.
3. EVERYONE’S FAVOURITE STEP – ACTIVE SERUMS
Your most important ingredient to use while your skin’s barrier is disrupted is the hero ingredient niacinamide. Containing the elevated level of 13% niacinamide, our Vitamin B serum will help to strengthen the skin, prevent dryness, and control excess sebum. If you are already a Vitamin B serum devotee, you might like to step up to XCell B serum with a whopping 21% niacinamide. As the true multitasker, this serum will also boost the immunity of the skin, restore lost hydration and repair the barrier.
On another hand, if you are noticing an increase in blackheads, whiteheads or general pore congestion from wearing face masks, apply one pump of a chemical exfoliant such as ReVeal during your morning routine until the outbreak subsides. Salicylic acid (BHA) will help ‘unplug’ the congested pores of oil and debris, while its AHAs will gently exfoliate and hydrate.
There are many different type of serums that you can add to your routine depending on your concerns, but those are my two lockdown faves!
4. LAST BUT NOT LEAST, LOCK IN THE GOOD STUFF AND MOISTURISE!
If you are experiencing dry, red or sensitive skin, opt for calming moisturiser in the morning, such as DermaCalm, and a calming facial oil in the evening to reduce irritation, such as De-Stress. All other skin types can use a moisturiser suited to their skin concerns. ÜberZinc is also a good option as its high levels of zinc oxide are a wonderful anti-inflammatory ingredient!
5. THE BONUS PAMPER STEP… INDULGE IN SELF-CARE:
Treat your skin to some me-time and pamper yourself with a weekly mask, depending on your skin concerns.
Looking for something that will further address congestion caused by face masks? A Detox anTiox mask will do just that. This 20-minute mask will provide a deep cleansing and pore-refining treatment for the skin.
Perhaps a restorative, nutrient-rich night-time mask might be your thing? MasquErase is the ultimate anti-ageing mask that will leave you with baby soft skin overnight.
Need something that will give you more instant gratification? TriDration B is our advanced express medi-mask. TriDration B will work on 3 levels to intensely hydrate and nourish your skin, and you will see and feel the results in just 5 minutes!
‘SANIHAND’ SYNDROME? HOW TO AVOID DRYING YOUR HANDS OUT
Sanitising your hands after touching surfaces such as doorknobs, fuel pumps, escalators, shopping trolleys, cash, and ATMs is as important as ever to kill the COVID-19 virus and stop the spread. Using a low-irritant hospital-grade sanitiser will help protect you and reduce the risk of spread.
Once you are back home, there is less of a need to sanitise hands. Instead, simply wash your hands once for one minute with soap to help combat the virus.
But excess washing and sanitising can also disrupt the barrier of our hands and lead to dryness, redness and flaking. To soothe and repair ‘sanihands’, smooth any leftover moisturiser, facial oil or vitamin B serum onto the backs of your hands during your facial routine. Or for some extra hand care, apply a generous amount of a nourishing hand cream such as Hand ResQ.
HAND-HACK: Add Hand ResQ under a pair of cotton gloves right before bedtime and wake up to soft, happy hands!
AND FINALLY… PUT YOURSELF FIRST!
Use this time to give yourself more time.
Get your daily dose of sunshine. Twenty minutes of early morning sun will provide vital vitamin D and will do wonders for your mood! As always, remember to use a physical sunscreen if you are in the sun for longer periods.
Focus on a good sleep cycle and try not to OD on screen time, especially before bed. And remember your blue light filter!
Keep up physical activity. I have discovered some incredible YouTube workouts to suit any level and intensity. All you need it a bit of space and the motivation to get going. I’ve invested in Kmart dumbbells and booty bands, and I am loving my new routine. It’s also saved me so much time in commuting to and from the gym.
I may be a cosmetic chemist, but I believe that your mental health is even more important than your skin health. Indulge in any activity that keeps you ‘in the moment’. If yoga and meditation isn’t for you, then try your hand at drawing or any creative pursuit that you can get lost in. This is a great time to reconnect with friends and loved ones too.
There will be a new and better normal soon, but until then, love yourself from the skin-side in!