Researchers have defined cosmetic care as activities that include the use of makeup, as well as all cosmetic procedures such as facials, hair styling, and manicures.
These activities, highlighted by the team, have historically had positive effects on women, including, but not limited to, improving feelings of confidence, assertiveness and youthfulness.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has had adverse effects on the health of the skin. For example, the increased use of protective masks and other personal protective equipment has triggered acne in some people.
The deterioration in skin health is also said to be made worse by lockdowns and quarantines, which deny access to professionals such as dermatologists and facial therapists.
As such, researchers at the Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Nepal hypothesized that the inability to maintain cosmetic care on their own could be an important but unexplored reason for the negative impacts on health. mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study was conducted as an online questionnaire and sent to 218 undergraduate medical students in rural and urban areas of the country.
The online survey included questions about changes in basic cosmetic skin, hair and nail care during the COVID-19 pandemic and the psychosocial impact because of them.
Among them, only about a third (34%) of participants said they continued to take care of their skin, hair and nails like they did before the COVID-19 pandemic.
A majority of the group that stopped their cosmetic care habits said they no longer use eye cosmetics (93.8%) and facial cosmetics (91.7%).
On a similar trend, exactly three-quarters said they no longer perform cosmetic hair-related routines.
However, nail care persisted and was a priority among the two groups despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than half (57.6%) of those who do not respect their cosmetic habits continued to take care of the nails. Of those who continued their cosmetic habits, 77% said they paid attention to nail care.
Focusing on hygiene during the pandemic, the researchers said it was not surprising that participants were overly conscious of maintaining hand and nail care, noting that “Nail care is more involved in hygiene than any fashion symbol.”
The mental impact
All of the respondents who said they had dropped their usual cosmetic skincare habits felt that this change had some form of negative impact on their mental well-being.
Exactly half of the respondents felt that they had lost their personal satisfaction. In addition, 43.8% noticed that they were increasingly irritable and 34.7% said that stress levels also increased.
The study authors noted that it was possible that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as prolonged isolation, also triggered these psychological effects.
They suggested that in the future, a study with a larger sample size, a case-control study design and specific tools that measure psychological impacts would have given a clearer picture of this topic.
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology
DOI: 10.1111 / jocd.14380
Self-cosmetic care during the COVID-19 pandemic and its psychological impacts: Facts behind closed doors
Marahatta et al.