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6 Tips & Tricks for Video-Ready Skin

Posted on: November 30th, 2020 by Kristen Chang

All of us, due to COVID-19 precautions, seem to be spending much more time in web meetings for work, family or social life. Perhaps more than ever before, we’re looking at our own faces. And we’re seeing them up close, through the unkind lens of a webcam. When not done right, video not only shows skin flaws. It can also exaggerate them.*

Whether via Zoom, Facetime, Skype, Google or Cisco WebEx, experts say there’s a lot you can do to make the webcam work for you, not against you. As the inevitable video holiday celebrations approach, it’s an opportune time for pro advice about how to show your best face on screen.*

1 — First, Take Care of #1

When you take care of yourself, it shows — even on video! Don’t make the common mistake of overestimating what you can “get away with” in video meetings. Make the same effort you would to prepare to meet in person. That might mean showering to look fresh, applying makeup and putting effort into selecting clothes.* 

One thing to bear in mind is that the camera typically makes people look shiny and drab. Even if you don’t normally wear makeup, consider a mattifying foundation with powder and possibly concealer. However, it can be a challenge to keep from disappearing into the background. Add a bold lip color along with clothes in solid colors that are of strong, midtone hues compatible with your skin (think jewel tones). If you need to hydrate your face, go with a moisturizer that’s lightweight and oil free.*

2 — Enhance Skin with the Right Setup 

If you’ve been in any video meetings, you’ve no doubt seen what bad lighting can do. And who hasn’t spent a session looking up another attendee’s nose? Ask any professional about the most flattering setup, and they’ll tell you to make sure you have the right:* 

  • Lighting — Show your skin in the best light, literally. Ensure that your lighting source is not behind you, nor creating shadows from directly above. The light should come from the front or slightly from your best side. It should also be soft, which you can accomplish with a ring light or a light reflector. Natural light is best, if you can manage it.* 
  • Camera and lens angle — As tempting as it may be to take that meeting via your laptop camera, invest in a good webcam. Choose one with minimum 1080p (vs the standard 720p laptop cam). Position it at eye level or slightly higher.*
  • Video settings — Explore the settings for your webcam and meeting platform. You may be able to make corrections to color, focus and light level. If you’re using Zoom, try the “Touch up my appearance” setting.*
  • Background — Go for whites and neutrals around you, and avoid colors that clash with your skin tone. Remove any clutter from view.*

All video meeting platforms allow you to see how you look without being in an actual meeting. Take some time to customize a setup that does your gorgeous face justice.*

3 — Enliven Dull Skin

Sometimes a shower and good lighting aren’t enough to help skin look alive. During these colder months of shorter days and more time indoors, your skin can start looking as grey as the sky. It doesn’t help that webcams often make skin look more drab!*

Perk up your complexion with products that stimulate circulation, brighten and hydrate. Religious use of a rich, protective night cream is fundamental to avoiding a withered look on camera. Adding a high-quality vitamin C serum and retinol treatment to your regimen can help defend skin while triggering fresh skin turnover and lightening discoloration. Scrubs and polishes are wonderful for blood flow and removing dead skin cells, and you can noticeably brighten and invigorate skin with professional-grade facials or peels. Then go show that glow.*

4 — Get the Red Out

What should you do when your skin is looking too “lively”? While winter washes some of us out, others have to combat irritation and redness induced by harsh weather. If you’re part of the latter group, think protection first. Anytime you’re about to step outside, slather on some broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF. Look for products featuring zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for the gentlest yet most effective treatment against burns and other effects of the sun. You can keep reactive or temperamental skin calm by regularly applying a barrier layer of rich, sensitive-formula moisturizer to coddle and reinforce it. When your skin decides to throw a tantrum just in time for that important Zoom, try taming it by using cooling, soothing products like a face mist with, for instance, chamomile or aloe.*

5 — Clarify Skin

It’s a great time to be a pimple. COVID-19 masks, holiday indulgences and high stress are major contributors to breakouts. Hiding blemishes with foundation or concealer can be great in a pinch, but using that trick too often can trigger new eruptions.*

A good way to prevent and treat mild cases is a DIY skincare regimen that helps keep pores unblocked without causing irritation. Products may include a gentle exfoliating retinol serum, glycolic/salicylic acid pads, an oil-free, non-comedogenic cream and a decongesting face wash. When breakouts are chronic or more challenging, see a licensed professional to customize a treatment plan just for your skin. It may call for in-office treatments like professional-grade peels, photodynamic therapy, microdermabrasion and acne extractions, or prescription products like antibiotics or tretinoin (Retin A). Existing acne scars? Treatments such as the Clear+Brilliant laser or microneedling can diminish their appearance.*

Whatever you do, don’t worry too much about achieving clear skin — you may break out!*

6 — Iron Out the Wrinkles

Determined to look smoother on Zoom? No need to apply Vaseline to your webcam lens! Rejuvenating treatments — like glycolic acid peels, DermaSweep microdermabrasion or the Clear+Brilliant laser — are great at softening the appearance of fine lines. 

For some types of deeper wrinkles, all it takes is a quick appointment with a nurse or doctor trained in aesthetic injections and you can see dramatic improvement. Botox and similar injections are excellent for making wrinkles disappear from the forehead, between the eyes and elsewhere. Where you have lines due to the loss of facial volume, hyaluronic acid dermal fillers like Restylane can replump and dewrinkle your skin.* 

It’s Showtime

Prepare to look your best on the meeting screen. Make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist to create a video-friendly plan for addressing your specific concerns. If you’re interested in more intensive procedures — like laser resurfacing, a deep chemical peel or cosmetic surgeries, like lifting the face, neck or eyes — see an experienced physician. Then it’s “lights, camera, amazing skin, action!”*


* Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.