Is it Safe to Wear Makeup During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

April 27, 2020

With all the focus on the importance of keeping our hands away from our faces to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, questions are beginning to pop up about the safety of wearing contacts, putting glasses on and off, and applying and wearing makeup. In today's article, we'll look at that last one more closely and let you know what our Calgary virtual eye doctor has determined.


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, more and more people are starting to look closely at the things we do on a daily basis and are wondering if it's still safe to do them during this uncertain time. Given all the advice we've received about not touching our faces to prevent the spread of the virus, it begs the question if applying and wearing makeup is still a safe practice. Our Calgary virtual eye doctor has delved into the current research and literature surrounding the topic, and has been kind enough to share her answers with us. Do you need an emergency eye doctor Calgary? My Optometrist Calgary is still here to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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After reviewing the literature provided by specialists and suppliers in the health and beauty market in relation to COVID-19 exposure, here is my summary of their findings.


Here are some hints on how to feel good and how to continue wearing makeup safely during COVID-19:

Wash your hands thoroughly before handling makeup products

It's extremely important that you wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds and then dry them off completely before handling any of your makeup products. This will help reduce the risk of contaminating the products with SARS-CoV-2. You should also wash your hands after handling any makeup products you may have ordered online and had delivered to your home. This added precautionary step will also mitigate your chances of being exposed to the novel coronavirus.


Wash your brushes and applicators

I've interviewed a Rodan+Fields consultant, KJ Murphy @kagemurph, to comment on some great products to remove your makeup, AND, to effectively clean your brushes. I personally have used it as well, and it works great! Rodan+Fields is dermatology-grade which is complementary to eye health. Here a couple of her favourite cleaning products: Gently and completely erase even the most stubborn eye makeup — including waterproof mascara — with R+F powerful, oil-free makeup remover. Non-irritating to sensitive eyes, ESSENTIALS Complete Eye Makeup Remover features a dual-phase formulation that effectively creates a clean slate for other R+F products ESSENTIALS Instant Makeup Remover Wipes gently and effectively dissolve all types of makeup — including long-wearing lipstick and foundation — as well as dirt and oil in just a few swipes. Suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive ones, our ultra-soft cloths are non-irritating and make the perfect efficient and effective single use makeup removing wipes. Are you looking for a telehealth optometrist Calgary? At My Optometrist Calgary we've recently unveiled our new telehealth platform, which will allow you to receive the important eye care you need during COVID-19.

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For those that would like an alternate non-branded recommendation for brush cleansing, KJ recommends Micellar water, which is generic and available at grocery and pharmacy locations. Micellar water is a facial cleanser that helps remove excess sebum and impurities from your skin and leaves it feeling soft and looking beautiful. Micellar water is made from micelles, or the oil-based particles. Micelles work to attract dirt and impurities and lift them from the surface of your skin. Many recognized lines produce this useful cleanser.


Ensure personal areas in your home are sanitized

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) released guidelines for sanitizing almost every surface, but what about our daily makeup and skincare products? A recent study found that women use no less than 16 products per day, leading us to wonder if our routine is making us more susceptible to infection. While it's unclear exactly how long the coronavirus remains active outside the body, studies have reported activity anywhere from two hours to nine days depending on the surface. All of the experts we spoke with recommended proceeding with your regularly scheduled beauty regimen cautiously, as the exact longevity of COVID-19 has not been tested in beauty products. Dr. Rasmussen offered straightforward guidance: If you contract the coronavirus, avoid using any products, and definitely avoid sharing yours with other people. Dr. Shuting Hu, a cosmetic scientist and founder of Acaderma skincare products, recommends creating two distinct areas in your home: a contamination zone and a clean zone. When you return home, leave all contaminated items (outer clothes, shoes, handbags, etc.) in the ‘contaminated zone.' After you've washed your hands, sterilize all items you bring into the clean zone. However, the CDC currently recommends people who have been infected stay home as much as possible to reduce the risk of community spread. As far as disinfecting products you already have at home, the CDC's cleaning recommendations apply to the outer packaging (you can wipe down a lotion bottle or lipstick tube with a Lysol wipe, for example) but if the product inside is potentially contaminated, Dr. Hu reassured us that any product at risk can become safe again if left untouched for several days. The virus won't remain viable in all ingredients, Dr. Rasmussen added. Detergents and products with high alcohol content, like cleansers and toners, render the virus inactive. But since creams are generally formulated with less alcohol, they could, in theory, be more susceptible to contamination. Are you looking for eye emergency help Calgary? Our telehealth lines are now open! Get the urgent eye care you require during COVID-19 by contacting My Optometrist Calgary.

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Continue with your routine to look good and feel good

Stuck inside, people are left with just their existing tools and skills, trying to maintain their sense of self, or at least their eyebrows. With people's faces, so go their identities. If you get your identity with work and you can't work now, or you don't have your friends and that social status and power, I think that's going to affect you tremendously, Amy Flowers, a psychologist who specializes in stress management and body image, told me. Even in normal life, some people think beauty routines are a waste of energy and resources. In a pandemic, you figure out which ones are worth the trouble. Sarah Sessler, a lawyer in Cincinnati, is holding on to a sense of normalcy via tinted moisturizer. Completely abandoning my makeup and hair routine and wearing sweats all day literally makes me feel kind of like I'm already sick, she told me in a Twitter message. A little light makeup is weirdly … grounding?
 



"Try to look in your own eyes in the mirror and recognize, ‘I'm here, I'm relaxed, I'm calm, I'm okay."
Tara Well, Associate Professor of Psychology at Barnard College

I tell my patients to put lipstick on in the morning if they're having trouble separating home and work life," says Samantha Boardman, MD, a clinical instructor in psychiatry and assistant attending psychiatrist at Weill Cornell Medical College. "It can [help] to separate your weekend self from your work self by presenting differently." For me, I relate it back to mental health, Greenberg says. We're so used to doing our makeup in a rush that we don't even pay attention to ourselves. We don't look ourselves in the eye. So this is a great time to slow down and connect with yourself. If you look at doing makeup while in isolation as a daily meditation, it can be a really pretty thing.
 



*** COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the Public Health Agency of Canada website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.


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