A Quarantine Routine: How to Take Care of Your Skin During a Pandemic

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I’m someone who absolutely loves skincare, as you all know. Oftentimes people call me a skincare guru, and because there’s a pandemic amongst us, it means that now more than ever, it is vital to understand just how important taking care of your skin is. 

We hear public health workers and government officials constantly reminding us not to touch our faces because it is an easy way to contract the virus, as well as to frequently wash our hands. We’re also told that wearing face masks when going out is not essential but helps us protect others more than ourselves from potentially contracting the virus. 

And while all of these are helpful and necessary reminders for the general population, health care officials are not talking about, or urging others to talk about what else you can do for your skin during these unprecedented times. So, I’ve taken it upon myself to explain the importance of a skincare routine, pandemic style. 

Due to crazy beauty trends all of these unique products have popped up in what is now a saturated segmented market in the beauty industry over the last few years. Although there is a foundational skincare routine that everyone should be doing and it doesn’t require a million different expensive products. The basics of any skincare routine should always include three simple steps. In the morning, washing your face with a cleanser, adding some moisturizer, and finishing it off with a sunscreen of 30spf or higher. In the evening make sure to wash your face again, use a retinoid treatment and then moisturize. This is the foolproof skincare routine that any dermatologist or aesthetician will tell you to follow daily. 

Certain health concerns and skin issues arise from the government’s instructions and have been causing much discomfort for many. Because we are washing our hands more often, our hands are becoming more easily dry and cracked. Especially if you’re an essential worker. I’ve learned the hard way to always keep a hand lotion around me wherever I go. Just make sure you aren’t using anything that has perfume or scent in the cream as it will likely only irritate your skin more. Using a cream that is dermatologist approved from a brand that’s easily accessible at the pharmacy, like Bioderma or CeraVe, is the best thing you can do for your hands. Even more, it is known that a bacteria’s go-to breeding ground for potential infection is skin that is dry and cracked. This means that the virus is more susceptible to stay on your skin if you’re not washing your hands and following up with a moisturizer. 

As I’m not an essential worker or haven’t been outside of my house in literally days, I’m not entirely panicked about the whole face mask situation, even though I’m definitely taking care of the skin on my hands and my face. Which brings us to our next stop on the list: Wearing face masks when going outside, and what you should be doing to keep your face clean and safe of harmful bacteria and the Coronavirus.

The outside environment can be daunting and cause for anxiety during a pandemic and many are taking the precaution of wearing a facemask when going out to run errands. In terms of sanitary measures that you should be taking is, one: Disposing your masks when getting home. It is important to wash your hands after disposing of it and then washing your face once you have washed your hands. Washing your face after wearing a mask is an added precaution but is nonetheless a great step that has not been widely recommended or spoken about. 

The skincare routine you should be following during the pandemic will be pretty much the same as your normal routine (unless you don’t have one),which is all about making sure that your skin is moisturized at all times. As mentioned before, dry and cracked skin is a no-go. 

With one of my parents being an essential worker, they like to get home and jump in the shower to ensure that their skin is clean and they don’t potentially spread the virus onto any surfaces in the house. That being said, the one thing you should always remember is that you should not be washing your face in the shower. The water in the shower is significantly hotter than the water you would normally use on your face. The hot water in the shower actually strips your skin of its natural oils and will make your skin drier than it usually is. Therefore it is generally recommended to wash your face after washing your hand and before going into the shower. 

Getting into the science of it all, when your skin is drier than usual or you are using products that dry out your skin and strip it of its natural oils, your sebaceous glands start to produce oil in overdrive. This does not mean that you don’t need to moisturize as it rather means the exact opposite. When you counteract the oil being produced by your glands with intense moisture, the glands will stop overproducing oils and your skin will balance out. 

I also spoke with the owner of a local Montreal business, New Age Spa. Madonna Doumit, who is a licensed aesthetician and owns the place spoke to me about how we should be taking care of our skin during a pandemic. She says “by taking the time to perform at-home skincare routines and facial massages such as gua sha and other forms, you are allowing your skin to maintain its health.” She also laid out a short list of what a skincare routine should look like if you don’t exactly know what needs to be done: 

  • Cleanse
  • Toner
  • Serum (Can be a retinoid or something hydrating like Hyaluronic Acid)
  • Cream

Although it isn’t necessary, she also recommends masks and to exfoliate when you can. It will help maintain your skin if you’re someone who is used to going to the aesthetician to have their skin taken care of every month. If you’re the kind of person who appreciates skincare, now is the time to explore all your options. Even if you are staying in, taking the time out of your day to do some of these things recommended by Madonna will help keep your skin glowing, clear and best of all, the chances of contracting the virus, slim. 

The last topic that Madonna and I discussed was to maintain a routine and to eat well despite being home in quarantine. The number one thing to remember is to make sure you’re drinking enough water. If your body isn’t properly hydrated, neither is your skin. 

What you put into your body also directly affects how your skin looks and feels. If you’re not eating well you can guarantee that your skin will get oilier and your skin will become dehydrated and tired. This is a general rule that everyone should be following, pandemic or not. With a contagious virus going around that severely affects one’s immune system once contracted, taking care of your body is the necessary extension of taking care of your skin as well. 

Whether you decide to adopt a crazy complex skincare routine during all of this is completely up to you, just remember to wash and moisturize.

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