Fierce

Here’s How To Care For Your Skin While Wearing A Mask In The Time Of A Pandemic

Updated May 14, 2020.

In a recent public-health advisory, the CDC announced its recommendation that every American wears a cloth face covering while in public. The news has sparked a ping in DIY masks, and innovative uses of clothign and scarfs to cover faces to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

Unfortunately, as necessary as the measure is (and it is!) not only is it not the greatest look it also has undesirable effects on the skin. From chafing and breakouts, masks can take some pretty wonky toles on the skin. Fortunately, dermatologists are doling out advice on how to combat the negative sides of masks we should all be wearing.

According to NYC-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, the issue lies in the purpose of the bask: blocking.

“Protecting your face with a mask creates a moist, hot environment for your skin, as your breathing is being trapped,” Dr. Zeichner told Refinery 29 in a recent interview. “This can lead to a build-up of sweat and oil on the skin under the mask, which can lead to inflammation, rashes, and even acne breakouts.” Dr. Zeichner’s words come at a time when doctors and nurses on the frontlines of the pandemic are sharing images of their skin covered in “hives, red marks, and even bruises.”

Thankfully, Dr. Zeichner and a few other dermatologists have broken down a guide on how to keep skin clear during the age of masks.

According to his interview with Refinery, Dr. Zeichner recommends using a foaming cleanser before and after using a mask. “Foaming cleansers remove oil more effectively than hydrating oils or balms will,” Zeichner explains. “For people with very oily skin, look for a face wash that contains salicylic acid. This will help remove excess oil and dead cells from the surface of the skin, which will prevent potential flareups and clogged pores.”

Be sure to keep your skin moisturized.

Use a lightweight moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. Even if your skin is oil-prone!

“Skin hydration and skin oil production are separate issues,” Dr. Zeichner explains. “Even acne-prone people may need a moisturizer. Especially if you’re wearing a mask, you want to make sure you skin barrier is in the best shape possible, which means it’s both balanced and hydrated.”

Use moisturizer on your ears everyday.

Speaking to the Today.com, Dr. Joshua Zeichner explained that “Moisturizer helps repair the skin barrier and keeps the outer skin there as healthy as possible,” Zeichner said. “A great ingredient to look for is colloidal oatmeal because it forms a breathable film over the skin and has anti-inflammatory properties.”

Know that you have to treat your skin with moisture to make sure it heals.

“If you have any open, raw or sore areas, use an occlusive ointment like Vaseline petroleum jelly. Triple purified petrolatum forms a protective seal over the skin to enhance wound healing and increase skin hydration,” Zeichner explained. “Honey has wound-healing and antimicrobial properties and may be used to any open or raw areas,” Zeichner said.

Ditch makeup!

It might be discouraging but now is the perfect time more than ever to give your skin a makeup break. Wearing makeup on your entire face can cause your pores to clog. “Any potentially irritating or pore-clogging ingredients should be avoided under the mask-covered skin,” dermatologist Hadley King, MD told R29. “I would recommend minimizing makeup — particularly foundations and concealer with heavy formulations — because the increased humidity under the mask could affect your skin’s sebum production and potentially lead to an increase in clogged pores and breakouts.”

Be sure to keep your mask breathable and cotton grade.

According to the CDC, it’s important to keep surgical masks and N-95s available to healthcare providers on the frontlines. Americans should instead be using cloth face coverings. “The best idea is to wear a cover that sits close to the skin and that doesn’t wave away,” explains Dr. Markowitz. “It’s important to remember to touch the mask as little as possible, so you certainly want to wear something that is comfortable, especially if you have sensitive skin.”

Want to keep your skin together and support Latina businesses during this time? Try out these skincare brands by Latinas.

There have been studies done to determine whether Latinxs age slower than others. It’s scientifically proven that we’ve got some good genes, but it could also be that our abuelas taught us the importance of una buena crema.

Here, some Latinx-owned skincare lines to keep your skin looking and feeling blessed. Shine on, reinas!

1. Brujita Skincare

Inspired by the vibrant mercados and healing minerals of Mexico, this brand brings magia straight to your face. Focusing on the power of what Mama Earth gifts us, the products are packed with natural clays and powders all sourced in Mexico. Featuring a vegan crema and face masks with ingredients like cinnamon, cacao and honey powder, Brujita Skincare is some serious face food.

Follow on Instagram: @brujitaskincare

2. BreadxButta Botanica

BreadxButta is a lifestyle brand based in Brooklyn, New York, but we are focusing on their CBD wellness line called “Botanica.” Most of the recipes for these Puerto Rican-made products have Taino roots that have been passed down through generations. With healing products like CBD bath soaks, CBD Moon Oil and a CBD tattoo balm, this is where skincare and inner self-care meet.

Follow on Instagram: @breadxbutta

3. Sweet Face by Rocio

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVsKcDYlJ8-/

Sweet Face by Rocio offers an impressive line up of natural products. The shop includes face scrubs, milks and oils for all skin types. Sweet Face even has a little something called “Brow Reviver” for all those chicas that suffered through the skinny brow trend of the ‘90s.  With these mujeres-made essentials, your skin is sure to feel sweet.

Follow on Instagram: @sweetfacebyrocio

4. mud

Mud Shop Naturals are handmade to order in Providence, Rhode Island. To ensure high-caliber, they are produced in small batches. You will definitely feel that quality with products like Turmeric, Kelp and Coffee mudMasks. Finish with some Hemp Seed Facial Serum for the full mud experience.

Follow on Instagram: @mudshop_naturals

5. Sun Kiss Organics

With the tagline “Skincare for Sun-kissed Skin,” Sun Kiss Organics delivers the goods to help your skin feel its most radiant. Eco-friendly and Harlem, New York-made, this line carries stand-out products like Aloe Rose Toner and Lemon Body Balm. But what we love most about them is their charity. For every product sold, Sun Kiss donates $1 to EarthJustice, an organization working to “ensure widespread protections from pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals.”

Follow on Instagram: @sunkissorganics

6. Loquita Bath & Body

You may already be familiar with Loquita Bath & Body for their original Concha Bath Bomb. However, these Mexican-Guatemalan-owned products go far beyond their variety of delicious vegan bath bombs. You’ll definitely go loca over products like Bidi Bidi Body Butter, Chingona Sugar Scrub and Agua de Jamaica Face Mask.

Follow on Instagram: @loquitabathandbody

7. Bubbly Moon Naturals

https://www.instagram.com/p/BahfBTmBqGm/

For all the expecting and new mamis out there, Bubbly Moon Naturals has you covered. Literally. Their products are certified vegan and cruelty-free, so you can feel good about what is being absorbed by your skin. There is a natural nursing salve for the breastfeeding mamas and a body soufflé to keep your changing skin as soft as your baby’s.

Follow on Instagram: @bubblymoonnaturals

8. Tiny Shiny Naturals

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bcubr9bgVtS/

Tiny Shiny Naturals is the Indigenous-Latinx shop serving up organic, mano-made products bursting with Madre Tierra magic. Products like Concha Serum and Organic Pomada are crystal and moon charged. The thing we love most about this nature-based brand though is the fact that they offer their products at a sliding scale.

Follow on Instagram: @tinyshinynaturals

9. Eva’s Garden

While we still don’t know the whereabouts of the Garden of Eden, we do know that Eva’s Garden is located in the Dominican Republic. With a $40 anti-acne facial kit and toners for every skin type, Eva’s Garden is a place you’ll want to get lost in.

Follow on Instagram: @evas.garden

10. Yaocihuatl Organic Skincare

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVu9f-pHT1X/

All we have to say is: Horchata, Dulce de Leche, and Guava lip balms. However, delectable lip balms are not all Yaocihuatl Organic has to offer. This Los Angeles-based brand has all the fixings to keep your Latinx-glow going. Peep their Etsy shop for goodies like Calendula Face Cream, Coffee Eye Serum and Cayenne Salve.

Follow on Instagram: @yaocihuatlorganic

11. Amomati Medicinals

Amomati Medicinals is where skincare gets sacred. Bridging ancient Mexican and Chinese medicine, these products are sure to elevate not only your skin, but also your spirit. Snag some Medicinal Copal Oil to remove energy blocks or to reduce inflammation in the skin. There’s even a Healing Warrior Face Cream infused with calendula and yarrow to help strengthen and tighten your warrior womxn skin.

Follow on Instagram: @amomatimedicinals

12. Firme Arte

If you want your skincare products a little more witchy and revolutionary, look no further than the Indigenous-Xicanx alchemy of Firme Arte’s online bodega. Good luck not spending all your money in this sanctuary of self-care. There are spell soaps and spell scrubs with intentions we love, like: Hella Sensitive, Gimmie Dat Money and F*ck Outta Here. While this is definitely not your abuelita’s bodega, we love how every item is so full of magia.

Follow on Instagram: @firmearte

12 Make Up Tips For Darker Skin Tones To Make Sure You Get The Most Out Of Your Makeup Money

Fierce

12 Make Up Tips For Darker Skin Tones To Make Sure You Get The Most Out Of Your Makeup Money

fiorenzomakeup / Twitter

Whether you are just starting to experiment with makeup or have already picked up plenty of looks from your favorite tía, telenovela star or singer, here are a few tips for working with makeup with darker skin tones.

1. Don’t Skip UV Protection:

constantia_village_courtyard / Instagram

Your skin is beautiful with or without a tan. However, it is important to use UV protection even if you are dark. When planning for a day in the sun, add a bit of sunscreen, or at least a foundation and lip balm that offer UV protection to your look. Not only will a little sunscreen protect you from dangerous skin cancer, but it will also keep your skin looking younger as you age.

2. Develop A Solid Routine:

suzis.salon / Instagram

Dark skin has plenty of variety and reacts differently to various climates. Whether you need to moisturize on a regular basis or deal with excess oil, a good routine can help you avoid breakouts. And, of course, always remember to take your makeup off before going to bed no matter how tired you feel. Your skin will thank you.

3. Mind the Undertones:

monicastylemuse / Instagram

Your skin may have yellow, olive, or even reddish undertones. Understanding your undertones can help you select colors to either bring these out or keep them hidden.

4. Moisturizer Is Key:

richskxn / Instagram

Dark skin can get ashy when it’s dry. This can be embarrassing especially if you live in a climate that you’re your skin doesn’t like because everyone will know when you need to moisturize.

5. Match Your Makeup To Your Personal Style:

africanbadgyals / Instagram

Makeup can definitely be used to express your style and your individuality. If you love bright colors, you can certainly translate that into your night time, and even daytime, look.

6. Find the Right Shades:

africanbadgyals / Instagram

Finding the shades of foundation and even eyeshadow that compliment your skin tone can be a bit of a journey. Fortunately, once you find what works, you can use that as your framework for future looks.

7. Play With Foundation:

makeup_verse /Instagram

If you are blessed with clear skin, you may skimp on, or even skip foundation all together for certain daytime looks. On the other hand, you can also use foundation and powder to play up different parts of your face. Most experts recommend using a foundation that is two shades lighter than your natural skin tone.

8. Do Some Research:

sephora / Instagram

If you’re trying out something new, or if you’ve generally had trouble with matching makeup to your skin tone- you’re in luck; there are several YouTube and Instagram influencers who specifically work with darker skin tones and offer tutorials. You can also ask a friend for help.

9. Make The Most Out Of Your Concealer:

trendsandfashionlovers / Instagram

While concealer is traditionally used to hide skin blemishes, it can also help make your eyes pop. Simply apply your favorite concealer under your eyes and to your eyebrows in a triangle

10. Makeup After Contact Lenses:

naturalcoloredeyez / Instagram

This tip is universal but worth noting regardless of whether you are using contact lenses to help correct your vision or are opting for color contacts to make your eyes pop for a special occasion. Putting on your contacts last minute will inevitably lead to running makeup- and possibly even mascara smudged contact lenses.

11. Balance Your Eyes And Lips:

lissmorr / Instagram

Having both eye and lips pop can be overwhelming, which is why makeup artists focusing on one or the other. That doesn’t mean that your eyes can’t look stunning if you’re wearing a red or purple lipstick, but having your eyes pink at the same time, can be a bit too much at best, and may leave you looking like a clown at worst. To make sure you aren’t overdoing it, stick to accentuating either your eyes or your lips- especially if you are a beginner.

Working From Home Can Impact Your Mental Health, Here’s How To Stay Sane And Healthy

Things That Matter

Working From Home Can Impact Your Mental Health, Here’s How To Stay Sane And Healthy

Kathleen Demayo / Getty Stock

A recent survey shows that thirty-five percent of workers who telecommute said their mental health had deteriorated as a result of doing so amid the coronavirus lockdown. As someone who has gone from working in a social, fun-filled, compassionate office space, I can consider myself part of that 35%.

Although working from home (for those privileged enough to do so) is a necessity for our safety and that of the community – it definitely presents some unique challenges.

Yes, the benefits are many: avoiding transit problems and the stress of commuting; sidestepping office politics; adopting a flexible schedule that allows for chores and errands to be incorporated into the work day; more time with family and pets; and a break on keeping up a business wardrobe and other appearance-related expenses.

But there’s a dark side. It’s an arrangement that fosters isolation and disconnection, two conditions that feed the greedy depression monster.

Here are some excellent tips for taking care of your mental health during these unprecedented times.

Break up your workday

Credit: youmatter / Instagram

Some common challenges when working from home during the pandemic is the lack of stimulation and connection to people you used to see regularly. This can become a bit confusing, so it’s great to try to break up the schedule.

One of the best tips for working from home that I’ve discovered is breaking up the work day with movement. This can be a quick burst of movement (like jumping jacks, or lifting kettle bells) or some lower impact movement like a walk. I’m also a huge fan of taking a mid-afternoon break (longer than your typical 30-minute lunch break) to go on a long walk or run errands.

Get a routine and stick to it

Routine is essential, and it’s even more important when structure is missing.

Sticking to a routine does not mean that you have to abide by the old standard 9-5 office hours, and only take downtime in the evening. It simply means that you have a system for waking up on time, getting ready, feeling confident and getting your work done in a timely manner. 

When you do this regularly enough, it will feel more natural over time, and you won’t have to think about it so much. For me, this has meant taking my dogs out on a walk to get a coffee in the morning and then coming home and getting to work – it’s like creating my own little commute.

Stay connected

Credit: Unsplash

Remember to keep up with friends and family, even if that can only be done through a Zoom or FaceTime call. Text someone you care about, and when restrictions are lifted in your area, try to make plans as regularly as you feel comfortable.

Connection is key, and it can be challenging when you don’t leave your home for long stretches of time.

It’s also helpful to join platforms of people doing similar work as you and interacting with them throughout the day. Or you can join an online book club or participate in volunteer work – having this sort of obligation will go a long way in helping you show up when you don’t feel great.

Incorporate wellness activities into your day

Credit: BeLatina / Instagram

One of the biggest perks of working from home is that you get to do things you might not be able to if you’re in an office all day.

I’ve been doing 20 minute walks around my neighborhood while listening to music. This moves the energy in the body and allow us to to have a shift in consciousness, which is so important when you’ve been isolated in front of a computer screen.

Another way to experience new energy in the body is to pause from work, find a comfortable place to sit, and then do deep belly breaths. This involves taking one deep breath in, and then focus on the exhale. You’ll notice your shoulders will relax, and your body will feel lighter.

Learn how to detach

Credit: Unsplash

It’s so important when working from home that you keep your work and personal lives and actual physical areas totally separate. For many, it may not be possible to create an actual separate office space but you can create workspaces outside of your most “lived in” spaces. That’s what matters most.

There is a risk that working hours will get longer if the boundaries between work and personal life become blurred. It is necessary to establish a rigid system in which work can be carried out in a planned manner, such as by setting working hours and the timing of contact with supervisors.

No matter what you do, remember that working from home is yet another “new normal” to get used to — and the sooner you adapt to what makes you most productive, healthy, and mentally well, the better.