Mask wearing is a necessary reality that most of us currently live with. And while it isn’t the world’s biggest inconvenience, it does pose a challenge when it comes to skincare. Covered skin may not breath as well, could collect dirt and bacteria, and for those who have more oily skin, could cause skin breakouts. Here are our top tips for ensuring your skin still stays well and cared for even while wearing a mask.
1. Wash and Moisturize Regularly
This one goes without saying. While a regular skincare routine of cleansing and moisturizing is always important, it is never more vital than when your skin is going to be in a covered and relatively clammy environment for long periods of time. While wearing a mask, it is easier for pores to become clogged and your skin to dry out. Make sure to start and end your day by cleansing the skin thoroughly and then moisturizing. This extra care also extends to your lips--make sure to include lip balm on hand during the day to rejuvenate when necessary.
2. Go Easy On the Makeup
Makeup can be a number one pore clogger on a good day. Stuck behind a mask is not a good makeup day. Hardy foundations, cover-ups, and even lipsticks can clog the pores on your face beneath the mask, and let’s face it--with the mask on, you don’t need the makeup underneath. If you are on your way to a location where you would like to be wearing makeup and do not require a mask, consider bringing your makeup kit with you, and applying it once you have already taken your mask off your face. This will prevent the makeup from wreaking havoc on your skin, and as a bonus, will also prevent your mask from wreaking havoc on your makeup.
3. Avoid Certain Products
Certain aftershaves or skincare products with salicylic acid in them are normally just fine. When exposed to the air, they slowly dissipate. When behind a mask, however, they have nowhere to go except to concentrate on your skin and that can cause irritation and skin problems. Try swapping out for gentler skincare products to wear underneath the mask if you plan to spend a day outdoors or anywhere where you will be wearing your mask for long periods of time.
There are few things as bad as an uneven sunburn leading to an uneven tan. Never has this been more of a concern then when half of your face is covered. Make sure to apply sunscreen well so your skin is protected from the sun and you can avoid the unfortunate “reverse-raccoon” look. On another note, bear in mind that not all masks protect from the sun’s rays, so either wear a mask that does, or be sure to apply protection beneath the mask. We recommend the former, as the latter could clog your pores when behind a mask.
5. Wear a Comfortable Mask
As always, the best treatment is prevention. Make sure you wear a mask that is comfortable. It should be smooth--abrasions on the mask will chafe at your skin as the day goes on. It should also be a breathable fabric to allow you to breathe comfortably and avoid the inside of your mask becoming a moisture haven. It should be a good fit--not to loose or too tight. Too loose, and it isn’t as effective; too tight and it will distress the area of your skin it touches and create chafing and “maskne.” Medical professionals on the front lines are required to wear masks that conform closely to the face for maximum safety and will often feel too tight and leave damage behind. We recommend putting on a skin lotion to create a barrier that still allows your mask to fit snugly without it abrading the skin.
With these tips and tricks you can continue to keep friends, loved ones, and your community safe without your skin having to suffer. Stay safe, stay healthy, and we can’t wait to see you in class!