Do you find yourselves having more itching, irritation, and rashes under your mask? Are you experiencing more acne breakouts, more rashes, and rosacea flares? The masks may be the temporary new norm, but it can wreak havoc on our skin. For those of us on the front lines caring for patients, properly wearing our N95 can cause skin abrasions and irritation. But this information is not just for the medical professionals; it’s for EVERYONE! We are all now wearing masks to protect ourselves or protect others (if you are in quarantine). The masks have become a new fashion statement but we don’t want that fashion statement to create a new “fashion statement” on your skin.
So what does this mask do to our skin? The constant friction, rubbing, trapping of air, dirt, and sweat cause irritation, soreness, inflammation, and even abrasions. The mask can flare acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. Even if you don’t have these skin issues, wearing a mask may make your beautiful skin have a blemish. Now is the time to really focus on starting a hygiene routine to maintain healthy skin.
First, wash with a gentle cleanser. The goal is to remove the dirt without removing the skin barrier. At the minimum, wash your skin twice a day. Next, apply a lightweight moisturizer with healing properties. A moisturizer with hyaluronic acid will heal the skin with its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. This is especially important when you are home, relaxing, and not wearing your mask. During this time, your skin can breathe, heal, and be pampered. If you struggle with acne, try using a wash with salicylic acid twice a day to decrease the sebum in the cheeks and help control acne flares. If you have “trouble areas” with irritation and abrasions, consider a spot treatment with hydrocortisone cream to decrease inflammation. If you have a deep abrasion, hydrocolloid dressings placed on the skin before the mask will protect the skin while helping maintain a tight air seal. You can also consider placing zinc oxide (diaper ointment ingredient) on the irritated areas to help protect and heal the skin.
This may cause some of the ladies to screech, but back off on the makeup or go with no foundation at all. Moisturizer and sunscreen are a must, then forgo the rest. Putting base, concealer, foundation, and other products then covering it with a mask will just plug the pores and aggravate the skin. Express yourself with your eye makeup. Get creative or better yet, get crazy. Use your eyes as your new makeup muse.
One area that people may not realize is the soreness, redness, and even sores forming behind the ears. This is especially a problem for people wearing masks for long hours. Consider using a headband with buttons or ear pads for the elastic loops. These tools are now a new fashion accessory in this era of wearing masks.
Another tip is…don’t forget to wash your cloth masks. Wearing masks without cleaning them will aggravate the skin. Keep your reusable mask clean and as dry as possible.
Get yourself of a home skincare regimen and call us at Doucet Med Spa for a deep clean with monthly Hydrafacial treatments and medical-grade skincare products by Zo Skin Health. We are committed to seeing your skin glow. Call us or come by for a consultation soon.