Updated: Feb 28
We're all wearing masks to protect us and others from Covid virus airborne particles, and as face masks have played a role in protecting us, they have a downside for acne-prone or sensitive skin. Without our skin being able to breathe, we are more prone to clogged pores and irritated skin - this new affliction is Maskne (mask acne).
It's a problem for us and medical staff who need to wear PPE for hours at a time. Face masks create a perfect environment for skin breakouts and irritations. It can quickly get hot and humid from a combination of body heat and moisture from breathing, sweating or talking.
As an asthma sufferer, I've struggled with some types of face masks and experienced skin irritations with others. To help protect the skin from Maskne, here are a few tips:
Wash your face before wearing your mask. Clean skin will prevent dirt and natural sebum from being trapped.
Use moisturiser after washing your face. Your moisturiser will help protect against mask friction.
Skip the makeup. Makeup will clog pores and lead to more breakouts.
Try going barefaced and allow your skin to breathe.
Avoid new skincare products and those that are harsh, such as chemical peels and exfoliants.
Wear the right mask. To reduce skin problems, look for face masks that offer the following:
A skin-friendly fabric that's soft & breathable, such as organic cotton or silk.
At least two layers of fabric
A comfortable fit that is snug but not constricting.
Wash your cloth face mask regularly and opt for fragrance-free or hypoallergenic laundry detergents.
We are all becoming more eco-conscious and wearing re-usable face masks, but the one-use disposable medical-grade variety might be kinder for ultra-sensitive skin.
A mask bracket, also known as a mask brace, might be helpful for people with asthma. These prevent the mask from touching your face, making it easier to breathe and feel more comfortable.
Face masks will be the norm for quite a long time yet, but adopting the right skincare routine for you, will help reduce mask-related irritations.
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