10 Oct 2020
Coronavirus: How to prevent skin problems caused by face mask
The ongoing pandemic has made wearing face masks a necessity while going out.
But wearing a face cover frequently is causing skin issues such as 'maskne', a type of acne that's caused when the mask traps dirt and oil in pores.
However, this doesn't qualify as an excuse to skip wearing it. And, you can tackle these skin problems by following these tips.
Avoid synthetic fabrics, wash your mask after every use
Avoid synthetic fabrics, such as those made with nylon, polyester, and rayon. These can irritate your skin and cause breakouts.
Look for masks that are a comfortable fit, feel soft, natural, and are made of a breathable fabric like cotton.
Also, wash your mask after every use, because it removes oils and skin cells that collect inside it, which eventually leads to skin problems.
Gently cleanse, exfoliate after removing mask; moisturize before wearing it
When you remove your mask, it is advised that you gently cleanse and exfoliate your face. A routine like this can prevent skin problems beforehand.
For this, use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser and moisturize afterward.
Another common face mask problem is dry skin. Applying moisturizer adds a protective layer that reduces dryness.
So, apart from after wash, apply some moisturizer before wearing a mask.
Avoid make-up and skin products that can irritate your skin
Avoid using heavy and oily products such as foundation. Face masks can rub, remove makeup, and trap it underneath your mask that can block pores and make acne breakouts worse.
Also, lay off harsh cleansers, exfoliators, and skin products that contain alcohol and retinol.
These products dry the skin and make it more prone to damage caused by a face mask.
Some other additional tips to prevent face mask-related skin issues
You can apply petroleum jelly to your lips after washing your face, before you put on your mask, and before bed to tackle dry and chapped lips.
Take a 15-minute mask break every four hours.
Healthcare workers have found this to be helpful in saving their skin. But remove your mask only when it is safe to do so and after washing your hands.