We are living the new normal with masks and social distancing AND we know that those tactics are working to keep the virus at bay. As annoying as masks may be, it is far better to wear them and help protect others while we enjoy some social time.
Thank you to all essential and frontline workers who continue to help keep our lives as “normal” as possible and keep our loved ones safe and cared for now and especially during the lockdown.
I feel a bit conflicted about writing on something like beauty and appearance during a pandemic but feeling good about how you look does bring some solace to a less than ideal situation. I will be happy to see the back end of 2020 (I am choosing to believe that 2021 will be less of a horror show, fingers crossed).
Now that the restrictions are easing and wearing a chocolate stained shirt and stretched out track pants is not the best option (but so comfy), I feel it is time to get serious once again about how we are looking. Here are tips that can make a big difference.
Healthy beautiful skin is linked to nutrition and exercise. There are lots of nutrition experts out there (I am not one of those) to help you get back on track. My only advice is to drink more water, cut out sugar as much as possible, limit alcohol intake and be aware of calories (it is sad I know). Considering I am part of the 10+ Covid pounds club I should not be doing any preaching. Look for a nutritionist or holistic practitioner for some expert advice.
Do what you can to get your body moving. Walking, biking etc. Gyms are now open so take advantage of the trainers to help you develop an exercise program or help get you back on track. As we age, lifting weights is important for bone health & weight management so remember to include that in your exercise program. Now is the time to re-establish good selfcare habits.
Wearing a fabric mask or face covering is now a must but this doesn’t have to mean we make our skin suffer from irritation, acne or dryness.
Here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts of wearing a fabric mask:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before putting on the mask.
- Stick to quality skin appropriate cleansers. If your skin is oily/acne prone/tendency to blackheads, use a gentle exfoliating cleanser that doesn’t dry out your skin. My favourite is iS Cleansing Complex. You only need a small amount and your skin will feel clean but not dry after using it.
- If your skin is dry/irritated/senstitive then use a quality cream cleanser like iS Clinical Cleansing Cream. You can use this product with or without water.
- Moisturize your skin after cleansing to keep skin hydrated, prevent water loss and improve barrier function of the skin.
My go to Favourites:
- VIVIER LEXXEL – Prevents damage caused by dry skin, relieves itching, alcohol-free, fragrance-free & hypoallergenic.
- VIVIER Ultimage – The ultimate for giving your skin a drink of water. Softens expression lines, boosts hydration. Ideal for all skin types, especially those concerned with fine lines, wrinkles, loss of firmness, dull and tired skin. Perfect addition to boost a favourite moisturizer that isn’t quite hydrating enough.
- iS Moisturizing Complex offers intensive hydration with potent antioxidants. Lightweight and silky feeling.
- Vivier Scar Gel repairs dry skin, Ideal for all skin types and Fragrance-free, paraben-free. Perfect for treating areas of face that have been irritated from mask wearing. Can be used on lips and skin.
A barrier product like Vaseline can be used to protect skin under mask. This occlusive product can cause breakouts for oily & acne prone individuals.
Avoid aggressive exfoliating scrubs that can further damage the skin surface. Gentle exfoliation is important but scratching, burning products will do more harm than good. This is a good time to get a professional exfoliating facial that is CUSTOMIZED to your skin requirements. Based on your skin assessment and treatment, your skin therapist can recommend how to continue keeping skin fresh yet protected while wearing a mask.
Shout outs to VIVIER Vitamin C scrub with bio- degradable beads. Hypoallergenic & gentle enough for daily use. iS Clinical Active serum great for hormonal breakouts & good for all skin types. VIVIER Exfoliant Forte good for oily skin & is fragrance free.
Avoid wearing heavy makeup or foundation underneath the mask as it has the potential to lead to breakouts. There are lots of options for light weight foundation. If you are using foundation to cover up sunspots and redness, consider IPL and Laser treatments to even out skin colour. If you are trying to cover acne scars, uneven texture and large pores, consider micro-needling or RF resurfacing.
Don’t forget about sunscreen. Find a dry SPF powder that is easy to re-apply and gives you some colour. My favourite Colorescience Sunforgettable loose mineral powder sunscreen SPF 50 in light, medium, tan or dark.
Remember do not over cleanse your skin. Morning and night should be adequate. If you feel you need more, then switch to a cream cleanser or use a refreshing toner (VIVIER Refreshing Toner) for a quick skin pick me up.
Now that the lower half of our face is covered, we definitely are focused on our EYES. Here is what you can do to make the windows to your soul look gorgeous.
TIRED LOOKING EYES
If gravity has got your brows looking perpetually angry or tired then an Anti-Aging Wrinkle treatment like Botox/Nuceiva (Newtox) can soften that look without looking frozen. Talk to a qualified injector for an assessment to see if it is the right treatment for you.
For lax and fragile skin around your eyes, look at a Radio Frequency Treatment (Forma, Venus Freeze) to improve collagen production for a firmer smoother appearance. For crepey looking skin consider a Radio Frequency Factional Skin Resurfacing Treatment. (Fractora, VIVA, micro- needling)
Many of the lash extension clients missed their technician during the lockdown. If you have chosen not to resume, consider LATISSE, a product you apply to the lash line at night. This product prolongs the growing phase of your lashes allowing them to grow longer. Add a quality mascara and voila you have long lashes.
Brows frame and help bring attention to your eyes. Microblading is all the rage and is excellent for those who have thinning eyebrows. My advice is to go to a technician who is excellent at selecting the correct colour and someone who considers the age of the client. Dark lush brows look great on a 20-year-old but not necessarily for those of us of my vintage (over 50)! A brow tint and a good brow pencil and brow mascara is my ‘go to’ for my super light brows and makes a big difference for helping the eyes to “pop”.
Lockdown caused many people to be adventurous in doing their own colour OR comfortable wearing hats. If you have fast growing hair that is white or grey at the roots and you colour your hair darker, consider getting lighter highlights around hair line and sides. When the roots start showing it won’t be as stark a contrast so you may get an extra week or so. I have had to change getting an all-over darker colour to dark highlights throughout my hair and light around my face. Much softer look. Prolong hair colour with salon quality products. It REALLY does make a difference. My favourite line is EUFORA especially their beautifying elixir lineup.
If you are looking for recommendations for keeping your skin healthy and glowing, most Medical Aesthetic Spas offer complimentary consultations. Customizing treatments and using medical grade products can help you reach your Beauty and the Mask goals.
Written by: Sue Wagner, RN, owner of Mosaic Spa, Fergus and Skin by Mosaic, Orangeville