How To Care For Your Skin While Wearing A Mask
With COVID19 proving to us that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, we’re all trying to keep ourselves as safe as possible. Everyone’s wearing masks, gloves and if you’re a health-care worker, a PPE kit. We’re all trying to adjust masks and other protective gear as part of our routine when we’re out to buy groceries or have to work outside. While many are us have been finding it difficult to breathe wearing the mask, but have you been noticing that your skin is reacting more than it usually does in this humid weather? If so, you may be experiencing another side-effect of the COVID masks – skin problems.
In the early COVID19 days, a survey was conducted in the Hubei province in China that revealed that nearly all doctors and nurses suffered from damaged skin because of protective gear, especially the masks. Dermatological damage was noticed in the areas of nose, cheeks, chin and hands. But these skin problems aren’t just restricted to health-care workers, is it? Anyone who’s wearing masks regularly and for long intervals is reporting skin problems.
Here are a few common ways your skin is acting up due to COVID masks:
1. Increased Humidity
When wearing a mask, we’re constantly feeling warm breath on our face which causes the humidity around our skin to increase. This humidity which is already blocked around our face starts to clog the pores which can result in acne. Dermatologists are coining this type of acne breakout as “maskne”. Not only that, but the excessive humidity and temperature can also cause rosacea, an inflammatory rash, to act up, which is not good for people with a history of rosacea and acne breakouts.
So, try to keep your skin cool and clean throughout the day and don’t forget to use light moisturizers when wearing masks.
2. Irritants in the masks
Masks, especially the fabric masks sometimes have substance in the cloth which can cause irritate the skin to cause dermatitis. Not only from the cloth, but there are also irritants and allergens in the detergents that can cause your skin to exhibit allergic reactions.
If you think you’re getting an allergic reaction from the detergents, try to use hot water with light, fragrance-free soaps to wash the masks. And try to buy good quality cotton masks.
3. Mask-Skin Friction
If you’re a medical worker or someone who has to wear masks for long hours, you are probably observing that your skin has red marks and the upper layer is starting to chafe. This is due to the friction between your skin and your mask due to the necessary tightness of the mask. If your skin is chafing, you will observe it in areas around your nose, cheeks, ears and jawline.
Try to buy masks that keep you safe but are not too tight or uncomfortable to wear. And when wearing light-weight moisturizers and sunblock, let it first absorb into your skin. It actually helps avoid friction and chafing.
4. Old Skin Routines
Your pre-pandemic skincare routine will probably not work if you have to regularly go outside and wear masks. As much as we want to practice the old skincare and makeup routines to hold on to the old days, it’s actually doing a lot of damage to our skin. Heavy moisturizers and wearing heavy makeup or a using bulk of products can lead to clogging of your pores. You may experience more breakouts than usual, which can lead to acne scars if you factor in the chafing from the masks.
So, it’s best to go easy on the makeup and skincare products and try to use lightweight moisturizers and non-comedogenic products to keep your skin clear and healthy.
5. Repeating the Same Mask
When we’re wearing a mask for a few hours, all the face oils, sweat and makeup can cling to your mask. All the residue will result in bacteria on your skin when you wear the mask again without cleaning it. The bacteria can also be the reason your skin starts to break out, which is something we don’t want.
So, it’s always best to keep a couple of masks in rotation and after wearing a mask, wash it in hot water with mild soap to clean it properly.
COVID masks are here to stay for the next few months. While you’re to keep your insides safe from the virus, try to protect your outsides, your beautiful skin, safe from any dermatological damage.
How are you taking care of your skin while wearing a mask? Share with me.
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