Home and Kitchen Diaries

What to do: You don’t have to live with maskne, bad Zoom face

If your skin suffers from prolonged mask wear and not great for close-ups, You+ suggests what you should do

Mark Bautista, one of the country's most versatile and intelligent singer-actors, is ready for the beautiful normal both with or without his mask. (Contributed photo)

If the pandemic introduced us to COVID-19, a virus that continues to confound experts with its constant mutations, it also resulted in new and unexpected health issues, many of them borne from preventive measures to keep COVID-19 at bay.

For a while, pandemic weight gain was a thing, spurred by stress eating and sedentary lifestyle during lengthy lockdowns. Social distancing, online meetups, and fist bumps instead of hugs and handshakes triggered feelings of isolation, loneliness and depression.

Even the state of our skin showed proof of the pandemic’s toll on us, notes Dr. Emy Onishi-Limchoa, FPDS, FPADSFI, the consultant-dermatologist of YOU+, the modern aesthetic center in BGC, Taguig. Besides making appointments for pampering treatment, clients sought Dr. Emy for their pandemic-related skin concerns.

These are all temporary and easily addressed with a combination of healthy habits and services offered by YOU+.

MASKNE, or mask acne, is acne caused by the prolonged wearing of facemasks. Unlike the common form of acne (acne vulgaris), which appears all around the face and in papules (solid, inflamed bumps) and pustules (pimples with pus), maskne forms mostly on the cheeks as blackheads, whiteheads, and red pimples.

Trapped moisture and bacteria in the mask from our sweating, breathing and talking contribute to a breakout

“Actually, the correct term for it is acne mechanica, because the breakout was stimulated by the material of the facemask,” says Dr. Emy. Trapped moisture and bacteria in the mask from our sweating, breathing and talking contribute to the condition.

Maskne is treated the same way as acne. “With an anti-acne facial wash or gel with benzoyl peroxide or retinoic acid,” says Dr. Emy. “For a patient with oily skin, a toner with alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) is recommended.”

Applying moisturizer hydrates the skin from the drying effect of acne products. It also forms a protective layer against the facemask, as does wearing a cloth mask under a surgical mask or N95 facemask.

YOU+ offers three options to address acne. Acne Treatment by MeDioStar NXT PRO improves skin blemishes using a diode laser that is fast, safe, and painless. Clarify+ employs photodynamic therapy to kill acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation. Purify+ promotes skin regeneration through the application of AHA, which removes impurities, decreases inflammation, and controls the excessive production of sebum.

CONTACT DERMATITIS is the bane of healthcare workers who wear snug facemasks and mandatory PPE (personal protective equipment) day in and day out. The condition is caused by a substance’s direct contact with the skin, resulting in an itchy or painful rash.

Dr. Emy Onishi-Limchoa, FPDS, FPADSFI: Looking good is about the state of your skin and the state of your mind. (Photos on this page by Shoun Nicholas David)

Anti-inflammatory creams and hydrating moisturizers help ease inflammation. “I also advise the patient to change the material of the contactant irritating their skin,” says Dr. Emy. “If that’s not possible, we suggest wearing protective pads or plaster on the part of the skin that comes in contact with the irritant to serve as buffer.”

ZOOM FACE became an issue when the video-communication service (and others like it) made us conscious of what we looked like during virtual meetings with family, friends, and coworkers. “Not only you, but everybody could see everything,” says Dr. Emy of the unsightly pores and aging wrinkles picked up by the camera.

Sleek minimalist interior design ensures privacy and comfort.

To get your face Zoom-ready, YOU+ has minimally invasive treatments. The center’s roster of facials ranges from a mild deep-cleansing session to those that use RF or radio frequency technology to tighten and tone the skin. Strategic injections of botulinum toxin (Botox) reduce the appearance of fine lines—and keep them away for months, depending on the dosage, says Dr. Emy. Soft tissue injectable fillers restore lost volume and smoothen creases, and a biodegradable “thread lift” pulls up sagging skin, reviving youthful looks sans surgery.

‘Good skin starts with things you can control: healthy diet, hydration, good moisturizer, and the recommended hours of sleep’

For Dr. Emy, a consultant of the Department of Dermatology of the University of the Philippines–Philippine General Hospital, looking good isn’t just about getting treatments to improve the state of your skin. It depends largely on the state of your mind, too.

“These are things that are to be expected,” she says of skin affected by aging and the environment. “When we focus too much on our perceived flaws, we tend to become unhappy.

You feel the cozy vibe right at the entrance.

“Good skin starts with a baseline of things you can control: a healthy diet, hydration, good moisturizer, and the recommended hours of sleep,” she adds. “Mental health is also important. When you’re happy, you’re more confident and everything just looks better. You’re content with the way you look, and appreciate the results of your treatment even more.”

Visit YOU+ at 2/F High Street South Corporate Plaza Tower 2, 26th St., corner 11th Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City or call  (0917)146-8056, 8355-7023, or 7752-3520.

YOU+’s treatment room isn’t confining, but a blend of high-technology equipment and homey ambiance.

YOU+ is very accessible at BGC.

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