Because unfortunately Covid-19 is here to stay, we have no other options than to try to find how to move on with our usual activities. But while outside gradually opens up we still have to wear masks to protect ourselves and our loved ones. It’s been established that it’s one of the least we could do to stop the spread of this deadly disease. And since we have to wear them, it’s even more important to learn how to take care of your skin while using face masks.
But if you’re like me and you hate masks, then this is a safe place for you. I hate them masks. I’ve tried most of them; surgical, silk, cotton, you name it. But it’s mostly not coming from a place of vanity. I find it hard to breathe while wearing a mask and it doesn’t help that I’m claustrophobic too. But because I’m sometimes vain, I hate wearing masks because I hate what it turns my skin into. However, I still have to wear them because more than anything I hate being sick.
How Face Masks Can Cause Irritation
Face masks and other face coverings leads to a build up of stale air and traps in moisture. This then creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and thrive. The humidity in that little ecosystem leads to breakouts, rashes, dermatitis etc. Changes in ambient temperature and humidity can cause perioral dermatitis.Because some people reuse masks without washing them, the residual oil, dirt and sweat could lead to breakouts around the mouth and chin area.
Sometimes it’s not because of your hygiene or lack thereof. The friction that happens as a result of the mask rubbing on your skin is enough to trigger your skin. Masks can also be a trigger if you already have active acne too. Masks can also worsen your other pre-existing condition like eczema and dermatitis. Your DIY masks of poor quality may be too harsh for your skin too.
Skin Care While Using Face Masks
Cut Down on Makeup
You know how some heavy foundations make your skin feel embalmed? Now imagine putting a mask over three layers of foundation and oil-based makeup. Exactly. Makeup can cause your skin to break out and that’s why it’s best to cut down on makeup while wearing face masks. Doing just eye makeup should be sufficient and that’s also the part of your face that is mostly visible during this period.
Make Your Own Masks
Some masks are superior to others. Avoid masks with sharp fabrics that can irritate the skin when rubbed against it. Make your own masks by sourcing the best cotton fabrics only. Cotton masks are better because they are breathable and softer on the skin.
Keep Face Masks Clean
It goes without saying that you should wash your masks at the end of each day. Being so close to the skin, your masks absorb oil and dirt from your skin. Using it again the next day reintroduces those dirt and oil back into your skin.
Change Up Your Skin Routine
This means using products that you need and leaving out the ones you don’t need until as such time as there’s no more need for masks. Hydrate your skin to prevent it from drying out under the masks. If you live in the tropics, now is a good time to cut back on heavy products that could interact with sweat to wreak havoc on your skin.