HAVE I GOT IT? The cloth or disposable masks the public are wearing will undoubtedly be more comfortable than those worn in surgical settings, but as Monique Budden, 27, from Welling, South-East London, has discovered, they’re not without problems.
Monique is a receptionist at a private medical clinic and has been back at work, wearing a mask to greet patients, for the past few weeks. ‘I find it rubs around the edges, and I’m also getting breakouts around my mouth, nose and chin,’ she says.
British beauty experts shared their advice for treating lockdown skin conditions, including mask face (pictured)
HOW TO FIX IT: At London’s University College Hospital, Dr Ophelia Veraitch has started a clinic for NHS staff with skin issues from PPE. ‘Acne related to mask wearing is the most common thing I’m seeing,’ she says. ‘The problem is that you’re physically covering the skin and creating a warm, moist environment.’ She suggests you simplify your skincare routine and avoid anything thick.
‘Use a gentle non-foaming cleanser as foam removes the skin’s natural oil, encouraging it to produce more oil,’ she says. ‘Salicylic acid and glycolic acid can help, but be wary of using them frequently as they can cause dry skin, which results in over-production of oil.’
TRY: Skinceuticals Glycolic Renewal Cleanser (£30, skinceuticals.co.uk) a couple of times a week with a fragrance-free cleanser such as Dr Sam’s Flawless Cleanser (£16, drsambunting.com).
GP and aesthetic physician Dr Shirin Lakhani of Elite Aesthetics in Kent, advises treating quarantini face using an exfoliator with glycolic acid
HAVE I GOT IT? There’s no doubt that the odd glass (or three) has got many of us through the groundhog lockdown days. The result? Dry, flaky skin, red patches across the face.
Samantha Maeer, 53, a project manager who recently collaborated on Rethink The Rainbow, an e-book to raise awareness of children’s mental health, admits lockdown has driven her to drink more. ‘At the end of a day, I open a bottle of wine, and before you know it, one glass has become several.
‘I’ve found my skin has become dry and flaky and I’ve been having night sweats.’
HOW TO FIX IT: GP and aesthetic physician Dr Shirin Lakhani, of Elite Aesthetics in Kent, says: ‘Alcohol dehydrates you, causing dry skin that can make fine lines and pores more apparent.’
Dr Lakhani believes the ruddy complexion we associate with heavy drinkers is likely to be rosacea, an inflammatory condition. ‘Rosacea is under-diagnosed,’ she says, ‘and alcohol can make it worse, resulting in breakouts and blackheads.’
Dr Lakhani recommends using an exfoliator with glycolic acid.
TRY: Medik8 Ultimate Recovery Intense Intensive Skin Repair Cream (£36.50, medik8.com).
Dr Ophelia Veraitch of London’s University College Hospital, revealed Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment can be effective for reversing signs of sun damage. Pictured: Gardener’s face
HAVE I GOT IT? About the only thing that’s made lockdown tolerable has been the sunny weather. But look closer at that apparently ‘healthy’ tan, and you’re likely to find a few other additions to your skin. We’re talking age spots across the forehead and nose, and fine lines around the eyes.
Karen Martin, 51, who runs Holiday Cottages Noss Mayo holidaycottagesnossmayo.co.uk in South Devon, admits she’s been enjoying the sunshine. ‘Just before lockdown, we bought a cottage, so I’ve been renovating it, upcycling furniture in the garden. I didn’t think to put sunscreen on and the results are showing on my face. My skin looks dull, with dark spots and lines.’
HOW TO FIX IT: Dr Ophelia Veraitch says it’s important to be sun-safe, even in the UK. ‘That means timing when you’re outside and wearing factor 50.’
As for fixing the damage, ‘be careful of lightening and brightening creams for treating pigmentation,’ says Dr Veraitch. ‘Some skin cancers could be mistaken for pigmentation, so seek help from a professional who can check any pigmentation. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment can be effective for reversing signs of sun damage. And, for fine lines and dullness, over-the-counter retinol products can help.’
TRY: Medik8 Retinol 3TR (from £29, medik8.com) — this is the brand’s entry-level retinol with a concentration of 0.3 per cent. For daily SPF, try Altruist (£8 for two, amazon.co.uk).
Cosmetic doctor Rekha Tailor of Surrey’s Health & Aesthetics clinic, said wearing sun protection inside is important for avoiding Zoom face (pictured)
HAVE I GOT IT? All that Zooming seems to be showing up on our faces. Get the angle of the screen wrong and you can give yourself a double chin; if your screen brightness isn’t properly adjusted you could form frown lines, and you’re likely to see breakouts or blackheads.
Suzanne Baum, 47, from North-West London, has to escape to the bathroom for work calls to avoid the noise of her three sons. ‘As a result, I’ve noticed I look heavier in the lower part of my face and I’ve got spots on my chin.’
HOW TO FIX IT: Cosmetic doctor Rekha Tailor, of Surrey’s Health & Aesthetics clinic, says looking down a lot speeds up sagging.
‘You can treat excess fat with therapies such as CoolSculpting, which use freezing to break down fat, or Ultherapy, a tightening ultrasound.’
Dr Tailor also points out that wearing sun protection inside is also important. ‘Computers and screens emit High Energy Visible (HEV) light which can accelerate the rate of ageing.’
TRY: Avène Tinted Mineral Fluid (£13.88, lookfantastic.com).
PANDEMIC PRESSURE FACE
Dr Sabrina Shah-Desai of Perfect Eyes on Harley Street, recommends an eye cream with caffeine for treating pandemic pressure face (pictured)
HAVE I GOT IT? Feeling stressed? Unsurprising, but the upshot is dark circles or bags under the eyes.
Nina Motylinski-Davies knows all about it. The 38-year-old is a stay-at-home mum and lives in Eastbourne, East Sussex, with her husband and their children, aged ten and six. ‘I’ve found home-schooling stressful. My husband is the business manager for a bank, so he’s been busier than ever. I’ve always had trouble sleeping, but my insomnia is worse.’
HOW TO FIX IT: Dr Sabrina Shah-Desai is an ophthalmic reconstructive surgeon at Perfect Eyes on Harley Street. ‘Lack of sleep can cause the blood vessels under the eye to dilate, which show themselves as dark circles,’ she says. ‘It can also cause fluid to build up.’ She recommends an eye cream with caffeine, which narrows the blood vessels and can reduce the puffiness. ‘Look for one that has a rollerball and leave it in the fridge.’
As for the dark circles, more sleep or concealer are the only options.
TRY: The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream (£8.99, theinkey list.com) with a jade roller (available inexpensively on Amazon).