How to care for your skin during a pandemic
I know that many of my patients are very disappointed that they are unable to have facial treatments during this time of social distancing. I miss you all very much. We have seen the wonderful benefits from having monthly facial treatments, but you do not have to lose hope! You can still do many things at home during our time apart. I just unfortunately can’t be there to massage your neck and shoulders while your facial mask is applied, but we will get through this. No worries!
Caring for your skin at home
Home care is always important, even when you are coming in for your monthly treatments.
- Wash your face morning and night. I encourage most patients to use a gentle cleanser that won’t dry out your skin. Some folks need something to help balance out their sebum (oil) production, but it is possible to take too much oil away as well. If you find that your cleanser leaves your skin feeling very tight and irritated, it is likely too drying for your skin, and you may need something a little gentler. You can also alternate products, such as using a gentle cleanser in the morning and one specifically targeting acne or aging in the evening.
- Exfoliate. This is a very important step! You want to exfoliate your skin 2-3 times a week but spaced out over the 7 days. If you wear makeup, remove the makeup first and then exfoliate your skin gently. You do not need to apply a lot of pressure when using mechanical exfoliators. Some people make the mistake of exfoliating daily — morning and night. This compromises your skin. It can cause a lot of irritation and, due to drying out the skin, can actually cause breakouts to happen. The goal is to remove the dead skin cells, which cause your skin to feel rough, appear uneven and dull, and clog your pores.
- Use toner. Witch-hazel is my favorite toner to use, although I do not always use a toner every day because it, too, can dry out the skin. If I am especially oily or have more breakouts, I like to use toner on those areas after cleansing my skin. This kills bacteria, balances the pH of your skin and tightens your pores.
- Always moisturize. Keep your skin hydrated. Yes, even oily skin needs a moisturizer! A light moisturizer formulation is the way to go. If your skin is oily, look for a moisturizer that is water-based. Use a non-comedogenic moisturizer, meaning that it does not clog pores or cause pimples.
- Apply a mask. A fun way to bring the spa to your house is to apply a facial mask once a week. We have Avene and Glytone facial masks on our website. I use these masks in facial treatments at our office. Be sure to stay tuned. I will also be writing a blog on how to make your own masks at home!
- Drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet. Water is very important for your skin’s health as it helps to flush away toxins in your body and keeps you hydrated. Having a bad diet accumulates toxins in your body as well. Neglecting your diet and water intake sets up an environment for acne bacteria to grow. Sugar, dairy and gluten are known triggers for acne but processed foods in my opinion are one of the worst things to consume. I know right now it is tempting to sit on the couch eating an entire package of cookies or chips and binging on Netflix shows, but try very hard not to!
- Take this time to do some self-care. Take a nice warm Epsom salt bath if you can. Go outside into nature. Enjoy the fresh air by taking a walk and listening to the sounds we generally are too busy to notice like the birds singing and the wind brushing the leaves. Try to keep a calm mind during these hard times.
I hope to see your bright, smiling faces soon. Until then, enjoy these tips – we will make it through this! In case you are in need of our skin care products during this time, we are offering delivery. Call Marshall Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery’s office at 304-691-8910 for more information.
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