Is it safe to get a facial during the coronavirus pandemic? Some expert advice

The COVID-19 pandemic has us questioning what facial and beauty services are classified as “essential”. Vaia Pappas, from Vaia Beauty, shares what you need to know amid the latest lockdown rules.

Cancelling all of your beauty appointments may seem like an obvious choice to some, but for others, navigating the coronavirus pandemic and the looming lockdowns is a bit of minefield.

At the time of writing, beauty services like hairdressers, eyebrow stylists and facials are operating as “essential services” under the latest government guidelines, and so are open for business as usual. For a bit of perspective, some of the “non-essentials: services that have been ordered to close include gyms, restaurants, cafes, sporting venues and cinemas.

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But that doesn’t mean self-isolation and social distancing goes out the window. In fact, it’s more important than ever. So before you head in for your monthly facial, here’s what a beauty therapist wants you to know.


Think twice before heading to your appointment

It’s not just your own safety you need to worry about. If you’re feeling unwell or have been exposed to those who may be unwell it’s important for you to self-isolate. If you’re under quarantine you cannot leave the house. Yep, it’s a weird feeling but currently it’s the law.

Working from home may make it feel like you have more time on your hands for all of the ‘me time’ appointments but if it’s not urgent or a high priority then it’s worth thinking twice before making an appointment.

“We are asking clients the important questions like, ‘have you travelled or been in contact with someone who has travelled in the last two weeks?’ ‘Do you feel unwell?’ If the answer is ‘yes’ then it is an automatic ‘we can’t treat you’,” explains Vaia Pappas from Sydney-based clinic Vaia Beauty.

Requirements from your salon

Every salon and spa is different, but it’s important to know that the Australian Government’s Department of Health is offering an online course in Infection Control Training for COVID-19 so they’re equipped with the knowledge and tools to create a safe space for both staff and clients.

“From this week I’ll be taking temperatures at the door. COVID-19 requires community responsibility and it is my duty of care to keep staff, myself and community members safe,” says Pappas. “Door handles are being sterilised, as are the phones and eftpos machine, and every time we use a product it gets a wipe down with medical grade alcohol wipes.”

“Essential oils are being diffused throughout the clinic which possess anti-bacterial and anti-pathogenic properties not only to purify the air quality but also for the added sense of well being for our customers who, like everyone else are on high alert.”

“You should be able to judge the hygiene levels of a clinic from the minute you walk in,” says Pappas. Your therapist should be wearing gloves, letting you know that everything is sterile, not recycling towels and wearing masks and providing a safe and hygienic environment for all customers.”

Other ways to support your local

At this point, heading to an appointment is your own personal preference, but keep in mind the rules around self-isolation, particularly if you think you’ve been exposed to the virus or are around those who may be more prone to being affected.

“Clients should keep their appointments, however, if they feel unwell or too worried to come in they should cancel and maybe purchase themselves some new skincare over the phone or a gift voucher for their future visit,” says Pappas.

“This ensures that small businesses don’t collapse during this time. We are so important for the Australian economy. In 2018, the beauty sector employed over 120,700 workers. For many, we are healers, therapists or just that place to go to feel good. The human touch is so desperately needed by all to survive, only now it will have to be with gloves.”


Try to DIY

If you’re isolating or prefer to DIY, Pappas recommends calling your skin therapist for an at-home routine recommendation as well as turning to ingestibles. “As a Naturopath and beauty therapist, wellness and preventative medicine is my philosophy. We are prescribing lots of zinc, vitamin C, herbal tonics and bone broth,” she says. “Getting as much vitamin D as possible has never been so important, reducing processed food consumption and replacing it with fresh fruit and vegetables can help, too.”

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