Face masks can be hard on your skin, but that’s a small price to pay for reducing the spread of COVID-19. Still, you want to keep your skin healthy for the sake of your overall wellbeing and self-esteem.
Having been a mask wearer since the beginning of the covid19 breakout I have seen firsthand the negative affect it has had on my skin. Having suffered with regular breakouts, I needed to research the necessary ways to boost my skins health but still wear my mask to block out the possible effects of covid19.
Of course, many people have argued that the masks do little to protect us from the actual virus. However, in my personal opinion (and one that is shared by many of my peers) wearing a mask has a number of benefits including keeping the face warm, keeping other people’s bad breath at bay – yes I said it! And blocking other forms of air pollution, so for me, there are many pros that I subscribe to. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to compromise my skin and its overall quality.
So why do masks irritate your skin? It’s mostly a matter of friction and moisture. A mask that fits poorly will slide around when you walk or talk. Any mask may trap in oil, perspiration, and dirt.
With prolonged use, that can lead to rashes, itchiness, and the new acne known as maskne. You can fight back by learning how to take care of your skin and masks. Try these tips for gentle and effective skin care.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Skin:
Wash correctly. While many experts recommend washing your hands at least 6 to 10 times a day, you usually need to wash your face just once in the morning and at bedtime. Use warm water and move your fingers gently in circles. Make sure to invest in a face wash, cleanser and toner which is good for your skin type.
Skip the makeup. If possible, forget about makeup temporarily. If that makes you uncomfortable, look for noncomedogenic formulas that won’t block your pores.
See your doctor. Talk with your doctor about your individual questions. That’s especially important if you’re dealing with chronic conditions, such as eczema or rosacea.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Mask:
Size it up. A mask that fits well is less likely to irritate your skin. You want it to be comfortably snug, rather than too tight or too loose. Choose natural fibers. Cotton and other natural fibers allow your skin to breathe. Avoid synthetics like nylon and polyester. Check your ears. Are your ears sore? Try rotating between a variety of masks with different kinds of loops and ties. You may also want to wear a headband with buttons, so you can attach your mask to something other than your ears.
Stock up. Keep at least 2 masks handy each day. That way you can switch them if they become wet or need to be washed. Remove carefully. Wash or sanitise your hands before taking off your mask. Touch only the ear loops or ties. Launder your dirty mask right away or store it in a disposable or washable bag if necessary. Take breaks. Schedule some time out in a safe place if you must wear your mask for much of the day. You might take a 15-minute break every 3 hours.
Wash and dry. Clean your masks by hand or in your washing machine with hot water and hypoallergenic detergent. Tumble dry or hang them in the sun.
A clean mask also protects you from bacteria and skin oils. Simple washing and moisturising will prevent many skin issues caused by masks. If you need more than DIY treatments, talk with your doctor or see a dermatologist.