From face masks to vaccines to virtual work environments, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly been a catalyst for change worldwide. While some conferences and meetings are taking place in-person with strict social distancing protocols in place, the majority of our professional and even personal interactions are still occurring online. Before the pandemic, you may have looked in the mirror after using the bathroom, while trying on a new outfit, or before heading out the door. Now, every time you meet with a colleague or friend in the virtual space, your reflection stares back at you, sometimes for hours on end. 

Believe it or not, Zoom dysmorphia is a real condition. The popular video conferencing platform can make your reflection seem very unflattering, especially meeting after meeting after meeting. Common concerns include a double chin, hyperpigmentation, bags under the eyes, wrinkles, and dull skin. Sometimes, it is the camera quality or angle. Other times, it may be the lighting. And let’s not discount the toll the entire pandemic has taken on our physical, emotional, and mental health. 

While Zoom does have fun backgrounds to choose from and a few beauty filters, none compare to the elite tools and applications FaceTune or Instagram offer. Couple that with the fact you are usually talking, not posing and smiling, when on a Zoom call, and you may be tempted to switch the camera off. But the reality is that you should love the skin you are in, not hide behind filters or feel self-conscious in front of the screen. 

How to Improve Your “Zoom Face”

There are tactics you can use to improve your “Zoom face,” and banish those negative feelings when your beautiful face pops up on the screen. Let’s take a look: 

  1. Invest in good lighting. If you purchase a simple ring light or choose to conduct video calls while basking in bright, natural light, you will notice a considerable difference in your video conferencing complexion. Be sure to avoid lighting from behind or you will appear like a shadowy figure. Great lighting works in two ways. First, it makes you appear more professional in your video call. Second, it helps spotlight your best features, thus boosting your confidence. Find your best angle and illuminate your beautiful Zoom face for all to see.
  2. Consider Botox®. Once you have mastered the art of lighting, you still may feel a bit insecure. For now, you are luminous, but so are your self-perceived areas for improvement. If you have fine lines and wrinkles, specifically around the mouth area, crow’s feet around the eyes, or deep pandemic-fueled brow lines, you may want to try Botox® injections. Botox® is the shortened marketable name for onabotulinumtoxinA or a type of Clostridium Botulinum bacteria that is remarkable in its muscle paralyzing properties. In Canada, the same kind of a-type botulism injections are also sold under different brands, such as Xeomin®, Nuceiva®, or Dysport®, but have different dosages and strengths. Botulism, a neuro-toxin that is naturally occurring, is responsible for blocking acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter. When blocked, the muscle targeted does not contract, allowing for wrinkles and lines to appear erased, promoting younger, firmer skin. Typically, Botox® injection results last 3-4 months, although it can vary from patient to patient.
  3. Explore dermal fillers. Saggy skin got you down? Dermal fillers to the rescue! Dermal fillers, such as the popular hyaluronic acid, are a synthetic gel-like form of the same substance produced by the human body. This can range from dermal fillers in the cheeks, on the chin, on lips, and used for acne scars. Dermal fillers can bring thin-lipped patients to full-lipped in only 30 minutes! Dermal fillers come under a variety of marketable names, such as Juvéderm®, Restylane®, and Teoxane®, to name a few. Results following dermal fillers are immediate; however, some swelling is to be expected. Your results will be more visible when the swelling subsides, usually in about 2-5 days following treatment. Results will last anywhere from 8 to 24 months.
  4. Increase collagen production with microneedling. Collagen is the wonder protein that keeps our skin looking firm, young, and supple. If you feel like your Zoom face has aged beyond its years, you might benefit from a microneedling treatment. Microneedling introduces small micro-injuries into the skin by way of tiny needles. This signals the skin to repair itself and start producing more collagen and elastin. The result is a thicker more even skin texture, tone, and overall healthier skin. Most patients see some effects after the first treatment. The skin will appear tighter, more toned, and have a hydrated glow. Individual results vary depending on the patient, but for most conditions, a series of three or more treatments are required to obtain maximum results. Typically, three treatments will produce visible results but six treatments or more will produce dramatic results. 
  5. Renew your skin tone with microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure used to renew the overall skin tone and texture. This treatment is ideal for those patients looking to improve the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, enlarged pores, melasma (dark, discolored patches on the skin), acne scarring, and other skin-related concerns. Microdermabrasion uses a special applicator that has an abrasive surface, such as sodium bicarbonate crystals, and a suction component. It is used to exfoliate and essentially sand away the thick outer layer of the skin while removing dead skin cells. This rejuvenates the skin and brightens your Zoom face. Most patients see instant results right after treatment. Your skin may feel smoother and may look brighter with an even tone. Potential side effects include redness, tenderness around the treatment area, and slight skin irritation. You can resume normal activity directly after treatment with limited recovery time necessary.
  6. Refresh dull skin with a chemical peel. A chemical peel is a technique used to improve and smooth the texture of the skin. It is a skin-resurfacing procedure in which a chemical solution made up of acids (often naturally occurring) is applied to the skin to remove the top layers. These layers gradually peel off revealing brighter more hydrated skin underneath. A facial chemical peel also aids in the improvement of fine lines, texture, age spots as well as pigmented scars. Peeling varies from patient to patient, as well as what type of peel is used. Generally, peeling will begin about 2-3 days after you have had the treatment and can last for a week or more. Peeling can range from a slightly dusty, dehydrated look to the skin, to a more advanced peeling like after a sunburn, so be aware of scheduling your chemical peel between video calls.
  7. Ditch the dreaded double chin for good. The dreaded double chin may be the most common complaint of video conferencing users. Some individuals go as far as to prop their laptop or phone onto a higher surface, so the camera angle points down instead of directly in front of the face. You can reduce the size of your chin with BELKYRA™, the first and only FDA and Health Canada-approved, non-surgical treatment used in adults to improve your appearance by helping to reduce a double chin. BELKYRA ™ is given in a 15–20-minute office visit. We will give you a series of injections into the fat under your chin at each treatment session. The active ingredient is Deoxycholic acid, a naturally occurring molecule in the body that aids in the breakdown and absorption of dietary fat. When injected into the fat beneath your chin, BELKYRA™ causes the destruction of fat cells. Once destroyed, those cells cannot store or accumulate fat. You could also try CoolSculpting®, a leading non-surgical fat-reduction treatment, for a more non-invasive way to reduce a double-chin. It uses controlled cooling to permanently destroy fat cells.
  8. Self-Care your way to a younger complexion with clinical facials. Let’s face it. Facials feel good! Treatment is relaxing and the results are rejuvenating. Combat Zoom fatigue, pandemic fatigue, and too much time indoors with a clinical facial or skin treatment. A medical spa is a great place to start. You can discuss your overall skincare goals with a knowledgeable practitioner and learn what products you should be incorporating into your overall skincare routine. 

Explore Your Options

First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic offers all of the treatments and procedures we’ve covered above. If your Zoom reflection is making you feel self-conscious, uneasy, or upset, it may be time to consider one of these eight ways to improve your Zoom face. Nearly all treatment options are non-evasive and pose a low risk for side effects. In fact, treatments, such as dermal fillers or microneedling, require next to no recovery time as well. Therefore, in most cases, you can book your treatment between meetings. If you are curious as to what treatment options can amplify your face, book a consultation with First Impressions today. Our knowledgeable and compassionate practitioners welcome any questions or concerns. They will walk you through each step of the treatment process. 

Hopefully, meetings and conferences will revert back to in-person experiences soon, when it is safe to do so. Until then, put your best face forward behind the camera and on the screen.