Let’s face it: We’re going to be wearing cloth face masks for a while. The Center for Disease Control is now recommending that people wear face masks in public places where social distancing is difficult to maintain. Since it can help slow the spread of COVID-19, there are downsides for some of us, especially those who must keep them on during full workdays.
When you combine trapped breath, sweat and oil, you end up with a hot and moist environment under your mask. Due to the face constantly being covered skin experts are seeing an increase in skin issues from inflammation, angry red rashes to tiny clusters of pimples around the nose and mouth.
- Choose soft, natural and breathable material
Once hard to find, cloth face masks can now be easily purchased from a variety of places online. But you shouldn’t just buy just any “attractive-looking” mask, “Choose a tight, secure fit with tightly woven fabric. You basically want something soft, natural and breathable — like 100% woven cotton or cotton knit. Avoid synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon and rayon. These are more likely to make you sweat, which will dampen the fabric and, in turn, may cause irritation.
- Create a skin barrier with moisturizer
Putting moisturizer on your face throughout the day is the best way to decrease friction between the skin and mask. When your face is abraded by friction, the top layer of your skin releases water. As a result, your skin loses its natural moisture, while also becoming a less effective protective barrier against the mask. You’ll start to see dry, cracked skin that then evolves into red inflammation.”
Defy Nature recommends applying an oil-free moisturizer about every two hours to dampen the skin. Moisturizers from brands like Replenix & Neo-Cutis hydrate the skin well and provide skin-barrier replenishment.
- Keep your skin clean
Less is more when it comes to cleansing your face, so avoid using any strong face soaps or exfoliators, when possible.
Defy Nature suggests sticking to gentle and simple formulas cleansers that are more calming to the skin like Gentle Antioxidant Soothing Cleanser from Replenix. Wash your face before and after wearing a face covering. Don’t forget to apply moisturizer after washing.
Continuing your normal regimen for acne, rosacea or any other skin condition will keep your skin as healthy as possible and protect against any exacerbation caused by face masks. This is the time to pause your beauty routine and skip the foundation and concealer. When you wear makeup under a mask, the increased humidity on your skin can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. Not wearing makeup will help your skin breathe better.”