As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and masks continue to be a new part of our daily routine, you may have noticed a change in your skin. While many of us have adapted to wearing masks, we likely haven’t adapted our skincare habits to meet the new demands. Let’s take a closer look at what’s happening to our skin and how we can care for it.
Why Is My Skin Acting Differently With a Mask?
Facial skin is much more delicate and sensitive than skin on the rest of your body. (That’s why wearing clothes doesn’t seem to cause the same irritation as wearing a mask.) Breathing in and out of a mask all day long can create a hot, sweaty environment. Oils and bacteria may clog pores. Even though the oxygen exchange is completely efficient and safe, the skin may respond to the warmer, damp circumstances. And if you have previously existing skin conditions such as acne, rosacea or eczema, they could be aggravated.
Fortunately, a few simple changes can make a big difference!
Wash and Change Your Masks
It’s easy to think “eh, I didn’t get or give COVID today, I don’t need to wash it.” Along with the CDC recommendation of daily washing to prevent infection spread, daily washing of your mask is important to the health of your skin. You should also change your mask during the day if it becomes damp or you have noticed more breakouts of acne around the masked skin. Less dirt and bacteria means healthier skin.
Choose a Quality Cleanser
If your skincare routine was minimal before COVID, it’s probably time to find a quality, gentle cleanser specially formulated for the face. Be sure that face washing is a part of your morning and evening routines so you start the day clean and wash away dirt and oils before bed. This one change could make a big difference.
Your Mask Matters
Selecting a mask with a breathable material, such as cotton, is highly recommended for those not at high-risk of exposure or not in a healthcare field. For most wearers, cotton is sufficient. Ensuring an appropriate fit is also important. You want it to be snug enough to stay above your nostrils and below your chin, even as you talk, but not so tight that it feels uncomfortable or chafes the skin.
It seems almost counterintuitive that moisturizing your skin will protect it against a damp or sweaty environment. But trust us on this one! Finding a quality moisturizer featuring ceramides and hyaluronic acid will protect your skin from drying out or overproducing oils. Moisturize after washing or throughout the day if you have dry skin. Use lip balm to protect your lips. (Don’t use petroleum jelly on the entire face or it could affect mask fit.)
Skip the Makeup
Let’s be honest, if you’re wearing a mask, no one is seeing your skin. So, skip the makeup and let those pores breathe as freely as possible! Minimize your risk by skipping products that can cause acne, oil, or bacteria. Opt for eye makeup only and hit snooze for the extra nine minutes of sleep!
When you’re ready for some relaxation and someone to pamper your skin, reach out to A Moment’s Peace for a facial or other skin care treatment with one of our amazing aestheticians. Book an appointment online or call us at 615-224-0770.