Everyone’s newest accessory, whether we want to wear them or not, is a face mask. You might have made one yourself, purchased one from an Etsy shop or were provided one for work, but ever since the CDC recommended they be worn at all times in public, you may have noticed your skin hasn’t enjoyed this transition. If you’re frequently donning a face mask and have experienced some face mask irritation, here’s how to protect your skin while we get through this pandemic together.
To protect from redness:
To avoid further irritation, take off your mask as soon as it is safe to do so. Make sure to keep your face clean and apply a soothing moisturizer. Also, maybe give your heavy-duty exfoliators and toners a break. Use gentle products on your face to not aggravate the skin.
To protect from inflammation:
If you have a pre-existing skin condition like eczema or rosacea, constantly wearing a mask could cause a flare up in face mask irritation and inflammation. If you’ve found your skin becoming swollen from the mask, apply a cold compress until swelling goes down.
To protect from infection:
If your profession requires you to be wearing a face mask so frequently that you’re getting cuts from the friction of the mask, it is so important that you take care of your skin to avoid infection. To ease the friction, try to safely remove the pressure of the mask once every few hours. Again, make sure you’re using gentle skincare products on your face, and if needed, try using a bacitracin ointment as an antibiotic.
To protect from acne:
If you’re noticing that you’ve been getting a few breakouts where your mask sits, it could be from the hot air you’re breathing around your mouth. It may cause you to sweat there and clog your pores more than normal. To treat these pimples, make sure that you’re sticking to a consistent skincare routine even in quarantine, and minimizing the amount of makeup you wear, or just ditch it for the time being all together. If your face mask is made of a washable fabric, make sure you’re keeping it clean as to not bring back the same acne-causing bacteria to your face the next time you wear it. The only good part about getting breakouts in lockdown is that we’re not going anywhere or seeing anyone anyway. If you have a pimple under your mask, no one will ever know!