Due to the CDC’s advisory that, while out in public, a facial mask or covering should be worn in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, a new uncomfortable side effect is taking place. From rashes to chafing and breakouts, many are experiencing the effects of wearing a mask for prolonged periods of time. The issue lies within the occlusive nature of protective masks. According to dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, “Protecting your face with a mask creates a moist, hot environment for your skin, as your breathing is being trapped, which can lead to a buildup of sweat and oil on the skin under the mask, which can lead to inflammation, rashes and even breakouts.” So how do we combat these side effects and what products are best to use in this new normal? Here are my top 5 recommendations to keep your skin clear! Please keep in mind you should follow the recommendations! We are NOT saying to not wear your mask only helping you look your best while keeping you yourself and loved ones safe!
- Wash your face before and after wearing your mask. Use gentle foaming cleansers that will remove oil efficiently. If you have acne-prone or extremely oily skin, use a face wash that has salicylic acid so that the excess oil and dead skin can be removed, which can help prevent clogged pores or breakouts. Pro Tip: purchasing a High-Frequency device is a great way to kill bacteria, reduce inflammation of the skin and calm down skin sensitivities. This can be used after cleansing your face at night and also used to spot treat your skin.
- Keep your skin moisturized! Even if you have oily skin, it is extremely important to keep your skin barrier intact. This will help prevent chafing and/or rashes. Work with your medical Esthetician to determine which moisturizer is best for your skin type.
- Skip wearing makeup under your mask. Wear makeup above the mask line, but increased humidity under the mask can lead to clogged pores and breakouts so you don’t want to add to the congestion with foundations or concealers.
- Avoid touching the mask as much as you possibly can. Make sure to wash your hands prior to placing your mask and removing it.
- Be gentle to your skin if you are experiencing rashes, breakouts or chafing. If you notice any of these side effects, here is how to handle it: Cleanse the skin as soon as you remove the mask; if you have chafing, use Aquafor or a laser balm to help heal the skin. If you are breaking out, use products to spot treat the area that has Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid in them. Your High-Frequency device can also be used to kill bacteria and calm down inflammation.
We are living in a new time and it’s important we stay diligent in following all CDC recommendations regarding our safety, but it’s good to know there are ways to avoid any skin care side effects that may come with wearing a mask!