It’s been so long since we were able to go on about our days with no masks but thanks for doing your part and preventing the spread of "the vid"!
But let’s talk about what you can do to prevent any irritation and blemishes caused by masks.
Daily wear of masks can wreak havoc on our skin, causing irritation, dryness and breakouts because of the bacteria, sweat and moisture from our breaths.
Here’s a breakdown on how to prevent ‘maskne’:
Wash Your Mask
If you’re using a reusable mask, you should be washing it daily. It’s best to wash it when you’re done being in the outside world and will just be hanging out at home for the rest of the day. Use a gentle laundry detergent to wash your mask and run through hot water.
If you are using disposable masks, throw them away after wearing them. They are not for re-wearing.
It is recommended that you let your skin breathe at least every 4 hours. Now, it’s important that you only take your mask off when safe to do so. So, when you get a chance to take the mask off, do so for about 10-15 minutes so that your skin can breathe and possibly cleanse and moisturize your skin.
Choosing the Right Mask
Avoid masks made of synthetic fabrics like nylon or sayon. These irritate the skin. Choose masks made of a natural and soft fabric such as cotton or silk.
Don’t pick a mask that is too tight, this will add in irritating the skin, unnecessarily suffocating and rubbing it. There are newer styles of masks that seal in on the edges of the mask but allow more room inside that you can use (eg. fish masks).
Friendly reminder: put your mask on properly, no one wants to see that hanging nose outside of the mask! This doesn’t prevent you or others from spreading the virus.
If you don’t have a skincare routine by now, you should. Like I said above, masks can irritate your skin to the point of breakouts, but you can prevent that by helping your skin’s natural barrier with a simple skincare routine.
Make sure you’re cleansing twice a day with your gentle go-to face cleanser. This will ensure that any dirt and sweat that builds up on your mask, is off of your face.
Moisturize your skin. Masks are very drying and promote lack of moisture because as we breathe, moisture builds up and the mask traps that moisture against our skin.
Moisturizing will prevent this dryness, possible flare ups and other forms of irritation.
Protect your skin with SPF. Just because half of your face is covered, doesn’t mean you’re free from applying sunscreen. UVAs and UVBs can still penetrate through your masks, so it is heavily recommended to still apply your sunscreen.