Since the Covid-19 pandemic, skin problems are on the rise and new terms are being coined such as pandemic pores and mask-ne. There are two factors to take into consideration to improve your skin during these times.

  1. What goes on your skin.
  2. What goes into your body.


The External:

Having to wear a mask for prolong periods of time can clog pores and cause sensitivity, even for those who normally don’t have skincare problems.  Running out to the drugstore for acne washes, scrubs and benzoyl peroxide is not ideal for everyone.  A switch in products can be helpful but overdoing it with acne fighting ingredients will only make things worse. Sometimes what’s needed is a calming or hydrating serum, a spot treatment or a weekly mask treatment.

Search for products without pore clogging ingredients, especially when it comes to makeup  Avoid wearing makeup where the mask covers or try a light application of a pure mineral powder. Never sleep with makeup on and be diligent with morning and evening skincare routines. Be sure to wear a clean mask daily. If you’re using washable masks, avoid fragranced detergents, fabric softeners and dryer sheets. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets are waxy which will clog pores while fragrances can be irritating to the skin.

Inflamed acne responds to different ingredients than to skin that’s getting clogged with blackheads and whiteheads. Consider a consultation  with a licensed professional. As skincare professionals we can identify the type of acne, appropriate active ingredients and a routine to maintain the skin’s integrity.  Acne will not clear if the skin is chronically dehydrated and sensitized.

The Internal:

It seems like there’s an obsession in the size of our pores.  Pore size is hereditary. The best defense from them appearing larger than they are is to take care of your skin, stay hydrated and keep inflammation under control.  Pores will appear to look larger when there’s puffiness in the skin (stagnant lymph movement), dehydration (not enough water) and low grade inflammation (poor diet, harsh products, skin irritating ingredients).  When the skin isn’t functioning correctly blackheads and whiteheads tend to form.

Stress levels have escalated due to the uncertainty of everything during this pandemic.  When stress isn’t managed hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and insulin tend to rise and shows up on the skin as:

  • a dull complexion
  • oiliness or excessive dryness
  • sensitivity and breakouts
  • dark under eye circles
  • fine lines and deeper wrinkles.

The immune system also weakens causing flare ups in conditions like eczema, psoriasis and inflamed acne.  A weakened immune system can also activate dormant viruses such as shingles and herpes simplex (cold sores).

Where to start:

The first priority is managing stress.  A medical practitioner or acupuncturist can run tests to measure hormone levels and provide a treatment plan that’s right for you. What goes into the body has a direct effect on how you respond to stress. Eating healthy and reducing the amount of processed food, alcohol and caffeine might be good at this time.  Improved eating habits and good self care may result in better sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep is important for stress management and hormone balancing. As far as skincare, it’s important to do a morning and evening routine with products that help balance your skin.  Other stress reducing suggestions are exercising, journaling, doing activities that bring you joy, meditation, listening to uplifting podcasts or your favorite music.  Take a break from negative news, negative people and social media…….. watch a comedy instead!

Receiving a facial is a great way to address skin concerns and it will help induce relaxation.  Depending where you are in the United States there still may be restrictions prohibiting close contact personal services due to Covid-19.  There are many aestheticians offering virtual services Services and Rates  where you get the benefit to work 1:1 with a licensed professional that can put together an effective skincare routine to get you back on the path to skin health.  In the long run, it’s saves time and money from doing internet searches on products that may or may not be beneficial for your skin.