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NOW READING How In-Office Treatments And Cosmetic Shopping Are Changing In The Wake of COVID-19
June 17, 2020

How In-Office Treatments And Cosmetic Shopping Are Changing In The Wake of COVID-19

After months of quarantine, finally engaging in some “fine-tuning” is on the minds of many. Yes … facials, injections, lasers, cosmetic treatments, and anti-aging procedures have certainly been missed, along with shopping for our beauty essentials.


As coronavirus restrictions ease up, requests for cosmetic-related appointments are back in high demand, and the professionals we rely on to care for our skin and beauty needs are returning to their offices, stores, and clinics with a host of new safety and sanitation protocols in place.



Beautician stands in pink medical mask and smiles. Preparation for the procedure of permanent eyebrow makeup.
Per CDC guidelines, all high touch surfaces require constant cleaning and disinfecting to kill the novel coronavirus (istock/andreonegin)


From banks to beauty counters, hand sanitizer is a common staple. Sephora’s clean-up stations now contain hand sanitizer instead of makeup remover and cotton pads. Still, most disinfection practices go largely unseen by the general public. Per CDC guidelines, all high touch surfaces, such as countertops, door handles, and payment terminals require constant cleaning and disinfecting to kill the novel coronavirus. But, maintaining a safe and sanitary environment goes much further than that. As Bob Dylan wrote, “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” and here’s what we know so far.





PPEs For One And All


Practice protocols vary by industry, but most include Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for providers and clients, including masks, gloves, and face shields. At Dr. Tess Mauricio’s M Beauty Clinic locations, patients no longer check in at the reception desk or spend time in the waiting room. Instead, they’re sent comprehensive pre-screening questionnaires in advance via email to ensure it’s safe to perform any procedures. Once on-site, patients call the office from the car to announce their arrival and are then escorted into the facility while wearing a mask. Once inside, they have their temperature taken and their belongings bagged; their hands are sanitized and gloved, and the staff wraps their phones in cellophane.



Close-up Of A Customer Hand Filling Online Survey Form On Digital Laptop In Office
Patients no longer check in at the reception desk. Instead, they’re sent comprehensive pre-screening questionnaires in advance via email to ensure it’s safe to perform any procedures. (istock/AndreyPopov)


Dr. Tess, a board-certified dermatologist, has even created a  comprehensive video  for her clients to explain the newly expanded safety measures her clinic has implemented. Many of her clients say they’re “blown away” by everything she and her team have done to assure their safety. “We understand immunology,” Dr. Tess said, “and our patients love interacting with us, especially after being locked down, and 99 percent of them are grateful that we take their safety seriously.”


Dr. Kay Durairaj, a board-certified cosmetic surgeon based in Pasadena and Beverly Hills, wears a medical face mask underneath a face shield, which is said to provide even further protection to the mucus membranes where infection often occurs. When patients arrive at her office via strict protocols as mentioned above, she and her team ensure that there is absolutely no contact with other patients; this includes in the waiting room, while escorted into treatments rooms and upon exiting her practice.



Diving Deep Into Disinfection


As you’ve likely witnessed at grocery stores and other public places, cleanliness is a multi-stage process. All businesses that utilize shopping carts or any high touch equipment and countertops have adopted a disinfection process. Employees are seen spraying down carts with disinfectant and spacing them apart, so customers will know which carts are ready for use. Business owners and medical staff alike wear disposable gloves while cleaning countertops, tables and work stations with soap and water. Disinfection comes next and this is said to kill the germs that remain after an initial cleaning. Why do both? Because reducing germs initially enables the disinfectant to perform more effectively, and the CDC recommends that all businesses use an EPA-registered household disinfectant to ensure a safe and thorough process.



Close up hands in gloves cleaning tweezers with spray solution
Beyond cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, treatment rooms themselves must be sterilized (istock/okskukuruza)


For medical practices that offer aesthetic services, injectables and cosmetic surgery, sterilizing patient rooms requires additional resources. Beyond cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, treatment rooms themselves must be sterilized. Dr. Kay Durairaj adds, “We sterilize our treatment rooms for 15 minutes with a UV-C lamp after every procedure.” The lamp is activated remotely in the empty room and emits short-wavelength ultraviolet light, which is said to disrupt the microorganisms’ DNA and sterilizes the room up to 99.9%. Additionally, she cleans and preps her patients’ skin with betadine before procedures to kill COVID-19.



Protective medical mask with Covid-19 and small coronavirus molecules under an ultraviolet lamp
Protective medical mask with the inscription Covid-19 and with small coronavirus molecules under an ultraviolet lamp (istock/alvintus)


Service and Appointment Reductions


While some providers have resumed services with gusto, many treatments are still high-risk and won’t be offered until more facts become available. Dr. Kay and many other providers have cut their patient load substantially, some even by 50 percent, to ensure the safety of their staff and their patients. Both Dr. Tess and Dr. Kay reschedule patients if their pre-screening responses indicate that any type of infection is a concern.


At Dr. Kay’s offices, rhinoplasty is off the table for now and procedures involving the nose and mouth require COVID-19 screening three to five days prior to service. Clients are asked about their coronavirus history via questionnaires and are then sent for physical screening at a local medical facility before they can undergo a procedure. As one of the industry’s go-to experts for that coveted come-hither pout, Dr. Kay says, “Everyone wants their lips done, so after their tests come back and they are safe to proceed, we can then schedule their appointments.”



Beauty Counters and Brand Name Stores Go Hands Off for Health


Consumers who enjoy the beauty experiences available at Sephora or department store beauty counters may be in for a shock when venturing out to shop. In an official press release, Sephora announced its testers would be off limits and used for display only. So, those free-wheeling days of swiping eye shadow, lipstick, and foundation on your arm are a thing of the past. Sales associates will swatch products on face charts, but only with disposable, single-use applicators. Additional close-contact services, such as mini-makeovers and lash applications have also been suspended until further notice. Given this new normal, online shopping and how-to videos have never been more necessary.



Girl holding testers in cosmetics shop
Sephora announced its testers would be off limits and used for display only (istock/jackf)


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Even though beauty as we knew it may have changed, online shopping is a safe alternative. Which changes have you implemented in your own beauty routine since COVID-19?

Tracy is a "quality over quantity" word girl fascinated by eagles and life in a small SoCal mountain community. She believes in the now, has written professionally for 30+ years, and worships at the alters of serum and Sulwhasoo.




Verified Expert

I appreciate all the sanitation I see everywhere I go!


Verified Expert

The video Dr. Tess made for her patients is so refreshing. Knowing what to expect before you go to your doctor can relieve anxiety. These professionals are working hard to keep everyone safe.


Verified Expert

Seeing this article makes me feel even more strongly that we should not be opening up and sending the working class back into the world despite an astronomically high death toll in the United States. While the dedication for safety could be considered impressive, it seems that it's more to ensure income for corporations and convenience for the upper class, while unnecessarily endangering the working class. I feel so lucky to have found Beautytap's wonderful Online Beauty Advisor position, allowing me to engage in the world of makeup and beauty I love so dearly, while also ensuring the safety of... Read more


Verified Expert

Thank you, Sean!❤


Verified Expert

What a change! It's good to hear companies taking precaution and ensuring their customers and clients are safe through sanitary practices. The disinfection after the initial cleaning is great because that extra layer of sanitation is a necessity and it helps.


Verified Expert

Exactly! I was so impressed that Dr. Tess went the extra mile and created a video for her clients, so they would know what to expect when arriving at her facility. I may have to visit her personally since I need to see my derm every 90 days, and her clinic is located here in So Cal.


Verified Expert

That is really amazing. It truly shows how much she cares! It's so cool that she is nearby. I would love to hear about the experience.


Verified Expert

I'll definitely tag you (and write about it) if I get a chance to visit her clinic. It's about 90 minutes from where I live but absolutely worth the trip. Have a great weekend, pretty lady!


Verified Expert

Okay yayyy, and thank you, you enjoy yours as well!


Verified Expert

This is why I have moved out of the spa environment and into this Beauty Advisor position. The norm of the skincare industry is changing!


Verified Expert

I appreciate all the hard work and effort of these professionals to keep, not only themselves but, their staff and patients safe. We can do our part by utilizing online shopping whenever possible. Personally, I find it exciting to get a box full of beauty goodies sent to my door!


Verified Expert

I have used Youtube as a huge resource for DIY beauty at home since COVID-19. I have learned how to trim my hair, how to cut my fiance's hair, and how to do acrylic nails! I definitely miss swatching beauty products in person but I'm thankful for collaborative websites like Beautytap so that I can still find great skincare and makeup, with advice from fellow beauty enthusiasts!


Verified Expert

The times they are a changing' for sure. Great article. I have also invested in a UV light to sanitize my facial room between clients. It's that extra layer of disinfection that goes a long way during COVID-19.


Verified Expert

MUCH more online shopping. I just don't like and or trust the way retail shops operate anymore. I'm all in favor of waiting a day or two for a delivery. It's like Christmas year round! As far as my Med Spa goes, I already have received some much needed fine tuning and all social distancing protocols were put into place. It's a new world we live in. Better to be safe than sorry.


Verified Expert

It has been great to connect with all these great products on Beautytap. Being able to have product education and build an online presence has been great. There will be changes in the industry, hopefully things will be a lot more sanitary. I never liked the people in stores using testers.


Verified Expert

Although all these extra steps may seem like a pain, but it's with our health and safety in mind. Be patient with your service providers and show understanding. And of course, keep in touch with your beauty advisors!