Taking Care of Your Skin While Wearing a Face Mask
Tips and Tricks to avoid 'Mascne' while wearing a Face Mask
Hi Everyone, Tina here (+1 662 830 8246, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Well, here we are, essentially a year later and most of the world is still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. For most of us, this means a major disruption to our everyday lives, from working at home, not seeing friends or family, losing old hobbies, and finding new ones. We are forced to adopt new norms, one of which may be around even after this is all “over”, and that is the dreaded mask. Don’t get me wrong, this is not an respirator article, I support the respirator and wear them all the time, but it has its drawbacks especially regarding my skin. Let’s take a deeper look at why a respirator causes skin problems and what you can do to combat this.
Respirator’s impact on skin
According to many dermatologists, the issues caused by respirator masks lie in the occlusive, or closed-up nature of a face covering. This enclosed environment with a mask increases the amount of moisture and heat as your breathing traps air. Prolonged exposure of this environment to your skin can lead to a build-up of sweat and oil, which can lead to rashes, inflammation, and even acne breakouts, or as I call it “Mascne”. Those who have a history of rosacea, acne, eczema, perioral dermatitis, or allergic contact dermatitis, you may find that your condition is worsened from wearing a face mask.
Tips to Prevent Face Mask Skin Problems
We have compiled the best tips and tricks that dermatologists and skincare enthusiasts to combat the adverse side effects of wearing a face mask
- Skip the makeup when wearing a mask – When we say skip the makeup, we are mostly referring to the areas that would be covered by a mask! Keep up with your mascara and eye shadow but avoid makeup around your mouth and cheeks, besides with a mask on no one can even tall if you’re wearing makeup or not! Wearing makeup beneath a respirator mask is more likely to clog your pores and lead to breakouts.
- Wear the right respirator mask – Certain masks are better off for your skin and your protection.
- Look for a snug, but comfortable fit, if the respirator mask feels too tight or slides around on your face, it can irritate your skin. You are also more likely to adjust a poorly fitting mask. When you touch your mask, you can transfer germs to your mask and your face
- At least two layers of fabric
- Recommend using fabric that is soft, natural, and breathable, such as cotton, on the inside layer that rests against your skin
- Avoid synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, nylon, and rayon on the layer that rests against your skin. These are more likely to irritate your skin and cause breakouts
- Change respirator masks daily or better yet, to be more environmentally friendly wash your mask regularly (if your state, city or country allows it).
- Cleanse and moisturize your face daily – Although this is not a ground-breaking idea it is especially important to wash your face after prolonged periods of wearing a respirator mask. The drawback of washing your face and wearing a mask is dry skin. This is where moisturizer application helps by adding a protective layer that can reduce dryness. Dermatologists agree that the best time to moisturize is moisturizer immediately after washing your face. It is also recommended to look for moisturisers with the following ingredients, for optimal results.
- Ceramides – Help create a barrier to prevent permeability. This locks moisture into your skin, which helps prevent dryness and irritation. It may also help protect your epidermis from environmental damage
- Hyaluronic acid – A sugar found naturally in our skin that holds water and helps keep it hydrated and plump
- Dimethicone – This is a silicone-based polymer that is frequently used as a skin protectant in skincare products. Dimethicone helps condition the skin, improving its softness and flexibility
- Squalane Oil - It mimics your skin’s natural oils, making it an excellent emollient. It’s also a natural antioxidant and has antitumor properties, protecting your skin from carcinogens
- Take Breaks – This is simple but effective. Obviously, this depends on your situation with work and whatnot, but it is strongly suggested to take a 10–15-minute break once every couple hours. Go outside or distance yourself from others and take that mask off! This will give your skin a chance to breathe all while reducing irritation
Masks are vital to curve the spread of COVID-19, so please continue to wear your respirator masks and follow the guidelines of your area, your local healthcare workers will help thank you! This has not been an easy adjustment for any of us, masks may be here to stay long after this pandemic is over, so use these tips and let’s get through this together with healthy-looking skin!