What is COVID-19?
Everyone has been thinking it and everyone is worried about it. So lets get into the nitty-gritty about what exactly we are facing and what we need to do to keep ourselves and our clients safe moving forward with the Covid-19 Virus.
What we really need to understand is that COVID 19 is an infectious disease. This virus is mainly spread through droplets of saliva and discharge from the nose. This is why initially the 2 metre rule was implemented, because if ‘Marvin’ accidentally spits on you whilst speaking its less likely to land on you if you are standing 2 meters away. This is one of the main reasons the Beauty Industry has not been allowed to restart work again as it is next to impossible to maintain social distancing from your client when you are for example threading or waxing and even applying make-up on them.
What are the current guidelines?
As yet the government has not outlined any for the Beauty Industry. This is why we haven’t been able to return to work. That is also why fines are being given for anyone that is caught practicing, they are essentially breaking the law.
The current guidelines in general are:
- To stay at home as much as possible
- Work from home if you can
- Limit contact with other people
- Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible, recently dropped to 1m)
- Wash your hands regularly
- Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
So how can the beauty industry move forward and work safely?
As we don’t know when we can restart work, I would say take this time to start reorganising your kits and buying whatever extra equipment you need so that you are ready for work. Ensure that you have enough PPE to carry out enough bookings safely and efficiently. Recording and tracing the people you have had contact with will be crucial once you return to work, so ensure that you have a good system in place to collate this information. You will have to be more diligent with your risk assessments so make sure that you have carried these out prior to attending a booking.
Washing you hands
I recommend that you actually carry your own towels and soap from now on when going to bookings. This way you don’t need to worry about if someone in your client’s house wiped their nose on that towel hanging in the kitchen (listen it happens, we all know it does). Once you arrive to your client’s house, go wash your hands. Then sanitize your hands.
I hear you ask the question ‘Why can’t I just sanitize my hands’? Sanitizing works better on clean surfaces and clean hands. For the sanitiser to work properly it needs clean hands that need to be relatively clean prior to use, otherwise, you will be defeating the purpose of its productivity. Also, sanitiser doesn’t remove the germs from your skin like soap and water does so sticking to traditional methods first is always a good idea. Sanitiser is definitely handy when you are on the go and just cannot get access to soap and water.
Why should we be using 70% Isopropyl Alcohol and not 99%?
Yes, it’s that long word that most of us struggle to say. (Well, I do anyway). This is the must-have disinfectant that you should have in your kit. It is better to use a disinfectant that is 70% alcohol-based rather than the 99% for the following reasons; The thing with 99% based product is that it tends to evaporate a lot faster than the 70% based product. Sounds ideal but this doesn’t allow enough time for all the active agents to kill the bacteria that is present on your products. 70% takes longer to evaporate so this will give the disinfectant time to work and kill the bacteria which frankly is exactly what
What other precautions should we put in place?
Masks? Gloves? Aprons? Shields? Yes I would recommend you use whatever PPE makes you and your clients feel safe. I personally will be using shields and masks I believe that this will help to reduce the transmission of any bacteria when coming face to face with clients.
I would also recommend purchasing a few more sets of brushes. They don’t have to be really expensive. You can purchase cheaper ones for your more simple tasks, this can be especially handy when you don’t have enough time between clients to clean and sanitise all your products.
Also if you accidentally drop a make-up tool you can just put it away in your used pile of equipment and not worry about having to clean and prep it to continue using it. Investing in some disposables for the application of makeup on lips and eyelashes is highly recommended. You should never use the same applicator on different clients. This will contaminate your makeup and increase the risk of transmitting unknown bacteria between clients. You can buy disposables that are environmentally friendly like bamboo applicators if you want to reduce your plastic wastage.
Hygiene in your kit.. No Double Dipping
I have been shocked to see how many professionals ‘double-dip’. Double Dipping is when the Artist will use the mascara from the mascara bottle straight on to the client’s eyes, lipstick straight from the tube to the clients lips and then use the same product on another client in the same way! This is called cross-contamination and is against all hygiene standards set. I understand a lot of artists are self-taught so maybe they don’t know about this or maybe you have been taught but don’t care or have forgotten! This is still a HUGE NO NO! You need to invest in some spatulas and palettes and start scooping out product and working from your palette. ESPECIALLY now, if for example your client has contracted Covid-19 and you are not aware but continue to double-dip, you can most definitely deem that all your expensive kit is now… wait for it.. useless!!!… Because it is contaminated.
Every product needs to be sprayed down with 70% Isopropyl Alcohol and left to dry before using it on a new client. Investing in airless pumps for your foundations will make it easier for you to carry more colour ranges and mix colours to create the right combinations easily. If for any unknown reason something was to get contaminated then you reduce the chances of all the foundation having to be thrown away and wasted! Purchasing some bags with zips as useful to pack away your dirty brushes, towels and clothes ready to be cleaned at home. Carrying some disinfectant to clean your work area is also advisable. I will also be carrying with me bin bags so that any rubbish can be disposed of before meeting another client.
Preparing your work area
Cleaning your work area is just as important as cleaning your hands. This is usually the table that you will be working off and place your kit on. Clean the table with disinfectant and then I will be using Barbacide Spray to ensure that all germs and bacteria are successfully killed. Make sure that the table is completely dry before you spray Barbacide onto it, otherwise, the Barbacide becomes diluted and less effective.
I would personally recommend setting up your work table about 2 meters away from the client (accidental spitting range) and only have the products you will need for that client on the table. This way you won’t keep going to your main kit looking for items you need and contaminating the rest of your kit. (As you will be touching your client then touching the products). Wipe down every product once you have finished with your client and also wipe down the table and chair.
Once this is done wash your hands and then apply a new mask etc. You will need a new face mask per client and don’t forget to wipe down your shield after each client.