Expert Self Care Skin Regimen For the Pandemic
The past year has seen a tremendous shift in patterns of using skin care and other cosmetic products. Given that we are spending a lot of our time at home, sales of makeup have gone down tremendously.
However, women are buying skin care products like never before, and taking this as an opportunity to enrich their skin care routine. Purchases of skin care natural products like moisturizer, cleanser, wrinkle creams, toner, eye creams, masks, night creams, and exfoliants have gone through the roof.
Following this trend, we have talked to some of the best dermatologists and skin care experts out there to collect the most useful tips available. Here is your quarantine skin care regimen.
- Many people have jobs where they have to wear a mask all day long, and this can lead to skin care issues like chafing, irritation, and even acne. If you do get acne, cleanse your skin twice a day and use a good moisturizer. Do not touch or pick at the skin, as this can worsen the condition.
- Use a thin layer of zinc oxide on your skin as a protective barrier to prevent irritation. It can also soothe and treat existing chaffing and redness. When you get home and take off your mask, wash your skin with a good cleanser and add a potent moisturizer. Use high-quality skin care brands.
Consultant Dermatologist, PhD in UVR and Environmental Dermatology
Consultant Dermatologist at King’s College Hospital specialising in Paediatric Dermatology, Contact Dermatitis and dealing with concerns affecting the hair, skin and nails.
In terms of skin, the recent pandemic makes me think of being indoors, particularly this winter with the heating on and an accumulation of dry, low humidity air. This makes our skin prone to dry lips and dry skin. So here are a few tips to help with this now that the light at the end of the tunnel is emerging!
- For dry lips, the American Society of Dermatology suggests avoiding a certain number of products however I advocate this as once your lips are irritated by the cold, dry weather you need to take away that sensation that promotes the contact lip licking and then saliva irritation. So I like a lip sealant like Vaseline or nivea stick balm (primarily petroleum based) but also Carmex that contains camphor and menthol. If your lips get itchier with these, do stop but I think this is a great start.
- For dry skin, do consider thicker emollients that contain urea - consider Eucerin, QV and CeraVe have a few new winter warmers out there.
- If you are eczema prone consider a humidifier in the house but do also see a dermatologist to get prescription based suggestions for your skin.
Dr. Steven Krueger is a resident dermatologist in Massachusetts with a passion for educating the public and medical trainees about healthy skin practices!
Tips - 1. Fight “maskne” with a benzoyl peroxide wash every morning. Be aware that BP products can bleach fabric (use white towels!), and higher strengths (up to 10%) may cause dryness and irritation. I use a 2.5% product by AcneFree ($7/bottle).
2. Use a daily moisturizer to keep skin hydrated, especially during cold winter months. I recommend CeraVe moisturizing lotion ($17/bottle) as a great choice for oily skin types. If your product does not contain sunscreen (SPF 30 or above), you’ll need to add a physical or chemical UV blocker to your routine. Remember that daily sunscreen fights skin aging and prevents skin cancer!
3. Apply a thin layer of retinoid to the entire face and neck at night to reduce fine lines, improve skin discoloration, and build collagen. I recommend a prescription-strength tretinoin cream or the slightly weaker adapalene over expensive over-the-counter retinol-containing products. Discuss these topicals with your doctor if you are planning to become pregnant.
Bio - Jennifer Trent, MD completed a 6 year combined BS-MD at the University of Miami with an undergraduate major in biology and a minor in chemistry. While in medical school, she interrupted her formal course to participate in a 2-year research fellowship in dermatology at the University of Miami. The focus of her work was hospital care of dermatology patients, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and wound care. Dr. Trent graduated from Medical School with research distinction as well as the University of Miami Department of Dermatology’s medical student of the year award.
She completed her internship in internal medicine and her residency in dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital. Dr. Trent has presented her research on toxic epidermal necrolysis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus several times at the Society of Investigative Dermatology and the annual American Academy of Dermatology meetings. She was the recipient of the Celia and Samuel Resnik Award for dermatology research from the University of Miami Department of Dermatology and the prestigious Young Investigators award for research from the American Academy of Dermatology for her work on toxic epidermal necrolysis. Dr. Trent has also received several awards for teaching from the University of Miami Department of Dermatology.
Dr. Jennifer Trent is a world-recognized dermatologist, who has published over 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 6 chapters in various dermatologic textbooks on surgery and wound care. She also co-authored a textbook on dermatologic diseases and therapy, which was published by McGraw-Hill Co., Inc. She has been interviewed by the American Academy of Dermatology’s Dialogues in Dermatology. Dr. Trent has served on several committees at Doctor’s Hospital of Sarasota and for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and on the Sarasota Board of the American Cancer Society. She is currently Medical Director of American Dermatology Associates Inc and voluntary Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Miami.
Tips - COVID 19 has taken its toll on our personal, social and professional lives. But one unforeseen consequence is how it has negatively impacted our skin. Here are some tips to help you get through this without damaging your skin.
1. Dry hands - With all our hand washing, our skin has become dry and irritated. Make sure you wash with lukewarm water (not hot water), use mild non-antibacterial soaps, wash gently (do not scrub), dry with a clean towel, and apply a thick moisturizing cream that does not contain dyes or fragrances. You can even put Vaseline petroleum jelly on your hands at night and cover with white cotton gloves. Use vinyl or nitrile gloves (not latex) when cleaning in order to protect your skin from the chemicals. Try to avoid hand sanitizer and use only when soap and water are not available. Follow with moisturizer.
2. Irritated face - Masks are great protection, but they can also irritate the skin. Keep skin clean with mild soaps and use non-comedogenic moisturizers. Zinc oxide is a great protective barrier cream that you can apply after washing your face to protect from mask irritation. Some hydrogel bandages can help protect the skin as well.
3. Maskne - Masks occlude the skin and can lead to acne breakouts. Make sure you wash your face twice a day, and use non-comedogenic moisturizers. You may need an acne wash, such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, to combat acne. Make sure you use a clean mask every day. Do not wear makeup under your mask. If you sweat in your mask, wash your face and put on a clean mask. If you are pregnant or nursing or planning on becoming pregnant, consult with your obstetrician/gynecologist or dermatologist before starting any acne regimen.
If your acne or dry irritated skin does not get better, consult with a board certified dermatologist.
Board Certified Dermatologist
Board certified dermatologist with extensive training in cosmetic dermatology, cutaneous laser surgery and hair restoration.
1. Hydrate your hands – increased hand washing and use of hand sanitizers can dry out the skin resulting in redness, peeling, cracking and itching. It is important to moisturize your hands routinely, especially just after washing. Choose a thick cream or an ointment which are more moisturizing and have more staying power.
2. Start a retinol – Retinol is a tried and true anti-aging product. Initial use often causes dry, flakey and sensitive skin which can be embarrassing and annoying, causing patients to discontinue using it. Take advantage of more time at home and the ability to cover the skin by wearing a mask to get through this initial phase as your skin gets used to the retinol. It is important to focus on at-home anti-aging treatments since our ability to get to the dermatologist for lasers, peels and neurotoxin has been limited by the pandemic.
3. Prevent "Maskne" – Daily use of masks occludes the skin and can cause oil, dirt and make up to build up causing irritation and acne in the area. Be sure to change your mask often. It is important to cleanse the skin once or twice daily with a gentle cleanser. For patients prone to acne, I recommend gentle exfoliation 2-3 times per week. One of my favorite products is SkinBetter Detoxifying Scrub Mask.
Dr. Glenn Kolansky
Board Certified Dermatologist
Board certified dermatologist- discussed acne under the mask on inside edition and for an article on CNN. Dr. Glenn Kolansky is a fellowship trained, board certified Mohs surgeon with a passion for excellence in dermatology and healthy, beautiful skin.
- Wash your face before and after wearing a mask.
- Use an oil free moisturizer.
- Avoid make-up under the mask.
Bio - Founder of Las Vegas Dermatology and Board Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Greenberg also completed a Residency in Internal Medicine and he is 1/2 of The DermBros. Educational videos about all things dermatology can be found at https://www.youtube.com/lvderm
- Practice good hand hygiene. Every time you wash your hands, moisturize them. Whether you are using hand sanitizer or soap, when you wash your hands, you are removing the lipid layer that keeps moisture in.
- Don't touch the portion of your mask that covers your mouth, instead use the ear straps to adjust your mask. If you touch your mask, you should probably hand sanitize before touching anything else.
- You should also wash and moisturize your face twice daily - if your mask is dirty, that's from your face and it's sitting on your face, so keep your face and mask clean. Wash your mask daily if it's made of fabric or use a new mask every day if it is a disposable mask.
Raechele Cochran Gathers
Board Certified Dermatologist
Raechele Cochran Gathers, MD is a board certified dermatologist, skin of color expert, author and founder of the health and beauty website MDhairmixtress.com.
1. Moisturize hands after every wash. As a general rule, ointments or creams are better than lotions at providing protection for extra dry and over-washed hands.
2. Use warm water to wash your hands, not hot. The important thing is washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. You don’t have to scald yourself to kill the germs on your hands!
3. Use fragrance free and dye free hand moisturizers. Fragrances and dyes may increase your risk for skin irritation. Look for products that are hypoallergenic and clearly say that they are fragrance free.
Dr. Cristina Rodriguez-Garcia
Consultant Dermatologist - Founder and Medical Director at Skin Inspection
Dr Cristina Rodriguez-Garcia graduated from medical school in Spain, where she undertook specialist training in dermatology and completed her PhD. She is actively involved in continuous research in collaboration with prestigious international experts.
Dr Rodriguez-Garcia has special interest in Dermoscopy for skin cancer diagnosis.
She has been working in the UK since 2012 and is on the GMC Specialist Register. Dr Rodriguez-Garcia holds a substantive NHS Consultant Dermatologist post at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, where she is also the Clinical Governance lead for medical Dermatology. In addition, she is Tutor in Dermatology Diploma MSc at University of South Wales.
She has authored publications in high impact peer-reviewed dermatology journals, such as the British Journal of Dermatology and the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. She has presented her research in international congresses and is a peer-reviewer for medical journals.
Dr Rodriguez-Garcia is a member of the International Dermoscopy Society, the British Association of Dermatologists, the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology and the Royal Society of Medicine.
1. Use Moisturizer for your hands.
2. Use hand gel more often than soap.
3. Barrier cream to protect the face from the PPE.