Is your skin flaring up from wearing a face mask? Well, you’re not the only one. Extended use of wearing a reusable face mask led to a rise in skin irritation issues. Dermatologists explain that the friction or pressure of the mask and the material of it could have led to breakout on the chin and cheeks.
Why are you experiencing a breakout?
With many of us using reusable face masks, there could be two factors leading to mask acne - contact reaction and bacteria.
People with sensitive skin are more likely to experience a contact reaction from the material of the mask. Synthetic materials, polyester or nylon to name a few, are less breathable and cause discomfort.
Breathing in and out of a mask made out of a synthetic blend would create a warm, moisture-rich environment for bacteria to thrive. With the warmer weather and humidity, this worsens your breakouts.
How to best treat mask acne?
With COVID-19 measures put in place to safeguard our health, reusable face masks are important. This does not mean we have to live with inflamed skin and acne breakouts. Here are some ways to help calm your skin.
1. Use gentle skincare products
Your skin’s natural barrier is important. Use products free of oil, fragrance, and sulphates to help maintain your skin’s elasticity and moisture. During this period, avoid exfoliating the skin with products that contain micro beads or scrubs. This dries out your skin and weakens the barrier.
To effectively maintain your skin, invest in your nighttime routine and hydrate it. Opt for lighter formulas like serums and moisturise before bed.
2. Use anti-inflammatory skincare
Turmeric and witch-hazel have anti-inflammatory properties to help calm itchiness and red skin. To know if your skincare product contains it, it should be in the top 3 mentions in an ingredient list.
3. Use a cotton mask and always wash it after use
Layered cotton masks contain a weave that helps to trap water droplets and particles to slow down the spread of germs. It is also a breathable fabric that is gentle on the skin. It is absorbent and draws moisture away from the skin. Silk is another lightweight material that is gentle on the skin.
Wash your face mask with a gentle cleanser. Harsher chemicals can be transferred from the mask to your skin and aggravate your acne.
4. Go makeup-free (if possible)
Chemicals from makeup, perspiration, and bacteria from your breath can clog up your pores. If you have sensitive skin, give it a little break and go makeup-free to help relieve it.
5. Create a hydration seal
When layering moisturiser, foundation, sunscreen, and makeup, it is important to wait before adding the layers. Wait about 15 minutes after adding your moisturiser to create a seal to protect your skin’s elasticity. Swap out a lip gloss with a lip serum or conditioner for a waxy finish to keep it hydrated. Plus the product won’t stick to your mask.
True to the saying "you are what you eat", taking supplements for the skin can help to support your body's response to skin inflammation by providing added hydration and maintaining your skin's elasticity.
Alternatively, if you are in need of solutions to relieve skin irritation and acne breakouts when wearing a mask, a night cream infused with a super ingredient, turmeric, could help nourish your skin. explore these products below. Made of organic, natural, and hypoallergenic ingredients, add it to your skincare routine to boost your skin’s moisture.