Mask mandate creates skin difficulty
Alexis Russo’s business logo, Skin by Alexis, located in Brooklyn, New York. Picture Credit: Alexis Russo
COVID-19 has presented the world with many issues, and according to several licensed estheticians, skin care is a big problem on that list.
With the current mask mandate, everyone is required to wear a mask at any time that they cannot be distanced six feet away from others in any direction. For people who work all day every day in places like the hospital, or maybe a busy grocery store, this can mean a multitude of hours with a face covering on. This extended period of coverage has posed a problem that many have appropriately named “maskne”, or the new acne.
“Skin care has definitely been more important during this pandemic,” Alexis Russo, skin care professional, said about the importance of skin care during this pandemic. “Constant hand washing and using disinfectants are effective when it comes to killing the virus, but what it does to your skin is a whole different story. Continued use of harsh products can leave your skin barrier unbalanced, which can lead to irritation, flare-ups, and even infections.”
She also notes that she believes “maskne” is a real problem, explaining how the trapped dirt, sweat, and oils causes clogged pores and skin irritations that lead to blemishes. The licensed esthetician has her own business from home, Skin by Alexis. Although there are restrictions on her ability to work due to the CDC guidelines, she is still advising her clients to stay on top of their skin care routines.
“It’s really all on the stylist to stay on top of the protocols set forth by the CDC,” Stephany Luciano, former skin care professional and hair stylist, said regarding how clients could make their salon experience safer. “What I would tell my clients is to just be respectful of others and please do not come in late. Coming in late runs the risk of having appointments run over which then puts people in contact with one another, which is what we are trying to prevent.”
Luciano also discusses the impact that masks have had on skin care. She mentions that the quarantine expanded skin care routines for many people including students and young people alike over some popular apps like TikTok. As families were trapped at home, they turned to DIY spa treatments to pass time, as the products were influenced by many users on the app. She describes herself as being one of these people who has permanently expanded her skin care routing due to the experimenting she did over the quarantine.
“Adhering to the CDC guidelines keeps the salon running smoothly and most importantly, running period,” Luciano added. “If we have to close over contamination, no one gets their hair done and that hurts us all.”