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Protecting Your Skin While Wearing a Mask

Protecting Your Skin While Wearing a Mask

Grace Michaeli

The current ongoing Covid19 outbreak is forcing us all to change our day-to-day habits. Like many other adjustments you may have made, your skincare needs some tweaking too. Though wearing a mask is essential it can be somewhat of a discomfort, and in many ways, can have a negative impact on your skin. From acne flare-ups, rashes, through inflammations and even nicks and scrapes – masks can be the culprits for some pretty uncomfortable skin conditions. 

 

But don’t you worry, we’re here for the rescue! While there’s still no valid alternative to these masks, there are ways that you can protect your skin. We’ve compiled all these little tips right here, but before that, a brief explanation on why masks are harmful for your skin to begin with. 

 

Keep wearing a mask
Remember: wearing a mask is essential

 

Unmasking the Truth 

According to recent studies, the current rate of skin damage caused by infection-prevention measures, AKA masks, stands on 97%. In other words, if you’re wearing a mask on a daily basis, there’s only a 3% chance that your skin will remain unharmed. In fact, acne breakouts have become so popular during Covid19, they have been dubbed “Maskne” (mask+acne). But what causes it? 

 

Even without having to repeatedly wear and remove your mask, constantly touching your face is a terrible idea. Our hands are especially filthy and when we touch our face several times a day, we introduce the skin to new bacteria, resulting in increased levels of sebum production, clogged pores, and even infections. 

 

But perhaps one of the main reasons you’re suffering from Maskne is because the mask rubs against your skin and irritates it. This could cause different skin conditions such as Acne Mechanica, Miliaria (a heat rash), and Rosacea (inflammatory skin disease). Of course, wearing a mask could also inflame existing skin conditions. In short, though the mask protects us from one disease, it flares up another. 

 

Stop touching your face
Our hands are especially filthy and when we touch our face

 

Cover and Recover 

Since for the time being masks are here to stay, we should learn to live with them. But more importantly, we should change our skin care accordingly and do whatever we can to prevent Maskne. So here are a couple of things that you can start doing straight away: 

 

  • Frequently change your mask – just as you would change your towel or pillowcases, masks should be changed quite a lot. Bacteria gathers on the surface of the mask and is then re-introduced to your skin. So make sure that you wear a fresh mask every day. 
  • Start using a moisturizer – if you haven’t used a moisturizing face cream before, this is the right time to start. A replenishing face cream can purify and cleanse the skin, while expelling toxins and keeping your skin nourished. 
  • Wash your face daily – a big part of skincare is keeping your face clean. The best way to do that is by adding a face cleanser to your routine. Especially when you rinse your face after removing your mask. 
  • Give yourself a deep cleanse – after a long week in which you’ve worn your mask for too many hours, it’s a good idea to kick back and exfoliate with a different kind of mask. A deep cleanse face mask can draw out excess dirt and make sure that your skin stays squeaky clean. 

 

 

Change your mask
Masks should be changed quite a lot

 

An Overall Treatment After Wearing a Mask

Though keeping your face clean and healthy is of the essence, don’t forget rinsing and cleansing any other body parts that may come in contact with your mask. Fingers, hands, cheeks, ears, and even your forehead, all these parts can be affected by the mask – so make sure you keep them clean at all times.  

 

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