To help combat the spread of coronavirus, wearing face masks has become mandatory in public places. Yet this adjustment to help control the virus, while keeping us safe, has caused skin problems for many. The friction of the masks can cause rashes and irritation, in addition to provoking breakouts of acne and eczema.
If you’re struggling with skin problems caused by mask-wearing, try these tips.
1. Ditch surgical masks
Surgical masks such as the N95 masks have proven to exacerbate dermatological issues driven by the humidity trapped under the mask. If you don’t work in healthcare or an industry that requires you to wear surgical masks, opt for a fabric face mask instead. Tightly woven cotton masks are better than synthetic face coverings as they cause less friction on the skin and allow the dermis to breathe.
2. Perfect your skincare routine
We can’t do much about the need to wear a face mask, but we can ensure our skincare routine is at its best. Ideally, we should be cleansing our skin twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. There is a misconception that we should wash our skin after wearing a face mask, but this can strip the skin of its natural oils and cause dryness and flaky skin.
Moisturising has also never been more important. Products containing ceramides are a great option; this ingredient is not only moisturising but also helps form a protective layer over the skin. People with oily skin are best opting for a gel moisturiser, whereas dry skin will often react better to cream-based formulas.
3. Avoid heavy makeup
As masks can trap warm air close to your skin and create a humid environment, pores can easily get clogged. This is especially true for people who wear makeup, as concealer or foundation can clog the skin and lead to breakouts. Makeup doesn’t need to be avoided altogether, but ensure you only put a small amount on or stick to water-based and breathable products when wearing a face covering.
4. Wash your mask regularly
Aside from caring for your skin properly, you also need to care for your mask. Ideally, you should be washing your face mask after each use to remove any oils and skin cells from the surface of the mask. You can easily do this by hand in your sink, or the washing machine.