When COVID-19 hit earlier this year, the world came to a halt for a wide variety of industries. One effect of the resulting quarantine was the cancellation of virtually all elective medical procedures throughout the country.
For those who regularly undergo aesthetic medical procedures like dermal fillers or Botox(R), these cancellations were troublesome. While treatments like these can have transformative results for patients, they do require periodic repeat treatments to maintain those results, and suddenly those repeat treatments were no longer possible.
For those of you who may have been affected by this unfortunate phenomenon, here are five ways to maximize the effectiveness of your facial rejuvenation treatments until it becomes easier to receive another.
Lower your stress levels
First and foremost, don’t stress.
According to Karen Mallin, PsyD, an instructor in the departments of psychiatry & behavioral sciences and dermatology & cutaneous surgery of the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, “The mind and skin are connected on many different levels,” Mallin tells WebMD. “A lot of nerve endings are connected to the skin, which wraps around the organs, so as emotions are played out neurologically, they can be expressed through the skin.”
Yes, these are uncertain times, and there are many reasons for an increase in general stress levels for all of us. But there are also many simple ways to avoid a lot of the stress you may be feeling.
Among these techniques are planning ahead, rearranging your surroundings, and lightening your load by focusing only on the essentials.
Protect yourself from the sun
One of the leading causes of skin wrinkles is sun damage. Sun exposure can result in long-term changes in the skin’s collagen deep in the skin layer called the dermis, which can cause wrinkles and fine lines.
That’s not to say you should avoid the sun altogether—healthy sun exposure works wonders for your mood and mental health. Just remember to wear sunscreen.
Whether it’s sunny or cloudy, the sun’s harmful rays can still reach you, and a high SPF sunscreen applied to your hands, neck, and face is one of the easiest measures you can take to reduce skin damage and prevent those additional wrinkles.
You name it, there’s a supplement for it.
Vitamin supplements can be a beneficial cog in the machinery of your skincare regimen. In particular, Botox® is known to directly react with the levels of zinc in our bodies. It’s also a fact that many people have a slight zinc deficiency. For those receiving Botox®, therefore, zinc supplements can serve to increase the effects of these treatments by up to 30 percent.
Other supplements that have shown effectiveness in reducing the appearance of aging include selenium, vitamin E, and vitamin C.
As always, a good skin care regimen continues to be a vital tool in reducing the appearance of premature aging of the skin.
Toners and cleansers, the regular application of moisturizers, and proper hydration are all important and easy ways to help maintain your skin’s youthful appearance when you’re not able to seek additional treatments.
Talk to your provider
Even if actual in-person visits are not an option, many providers may be offering virtual telehealth consultations as a safer, socially distanced way to keep in touch with patients and to provide personalized guidance on the best ways for you to maintain your particular treatments.
In addition to this advice, many providers may also be offering home delivery of customized skin-care kits, including some of the in-home treatments and supplements listed above.
But the above tips need not apply only to those who were already receiving facial rejuvenation treatments. As mentioned earlier, stress can be a major contributor to wrinkles and other signs of premature aging, and stress, in these uncertain times, is not in short supply.
Add to this the fact that many of us have been spending a great deal of time staring at poorly-lit visions of ourselves as we conduct our business at home over Zoom, it’s understandable that some of us may be considering more drastic measures to improve our appearance once the virus has passed.
If this is the case for you, this time at home offers a great opportunity to thoroughly research the options that are out there, to virtually consult with a provider, and to schedule those treatments post-quarantine. In the meantime, it’s good to keep the information above in your COVID skincare arsenal.