Masks are now part of our everyday lives. It is a fashion essential in the new normal because it protects ourselves and other people from COVID-19. Masks reduces the risk of exposure to an infected person and at the same time prevents transmission, if worn by an infected person. Unfortunately, wearing masks is very uncomfortable because it creates an occlusive on the airflow making it difficult to breathe. It also traps moisture in the enclosed space causing skin irritation. In addition, bacterias thrive on sticky and humid environments casing acnes and breakouts. So, how to take care of your skin while wearing mask?
1. Select the Material of the Mask
The material of the mask is important. Choose a material that will protect you from the virus and at the same time, protect your skin too.
Not all masks are created equal, according to a research done by University of Arizona. The researchers tested a variety of mask materials during a 20-minute and 30-seconds exposure to the virus. They found out that the level of risks varies depending on the kind of mask used:
|N99||most efficient at 94% to 99%|
|N95||94% to 99%|
|Vacuum Cleaner Filters (inserted in filter pockets in cloth masks)||58% to 83%|
|Cotton-blend fabrics and antimicrobial pillowcases||24% to 44%|
|Scarves made of nylon, polyester or silk||24% to 44%|
Reserve the N99 and N95 masks to healthcare workers. For the rest of us, opt for soft and natural fabrics. Dermatologists suggest a 100% cotton because it allows the skin to breathe. Avoid synthetic fabrics like nylon, polyester and rayon. They can cause skin irritation.
2. Fit Matters
To allow your skin to breathe, make sure the mask fits your face perfectly. Masks should be snuggly. It should be comfortable. It should not be too loose nor constricting.
3. Clean and Moisturize Your Face Daily
Learn to adapt to the basic skin care routine. Just wash your face gently with a mild fragrance-free soap before putting on your mask and before going to sleep. The moisturizer will reduce dryness. No need to put on too many beauty products. Other beauty products such as those peels, exfoliants, acids and retinol can only cause more skin irritation. If you need to treat spot or a break-out, then just put medication on the specific spot not on the whole face.
4. Don’t Wear Make-up
Your face is going to be covered anyway so there is no point in wearing make-up. Make-up can only clog your pores and can cause break-outs. If you really need to wear make-up, wear non-comedogenic products or products that won’t clog or block the pores of your skin. You can also use an oil-free make-up primer or a sunblock instead to reduce the friction between the mask and the face.
5. Take a Break From Wearing the Mask
Every now and then, take a break from wearing the mask so you and your skin can breathe properly. But remember before you remove it, make sure you go to a place where it is safe to do so; when you are away from the crowd or inside your car for example.
6. Make sure Mask is Clean
Masks should be treated like underwear. Wash them after using them once. Change them right away after sweating or exercising. Masks should always be clean. Wash them with a mild fragrance-free detergent and dry them. If you are using disposable masks, dispose them after one use. Do not recycle.
7. Refrain from Touching Your Face and Mask
As a precaution, refrain from touching your face and mask. It is a way to not only protect your skin but yourself as well from the virus for your hands might be dirty or contaminated.
8. Put Lip Balm
Trapped heat and humidity inside the masks can cause dryness. Just like the skin, it can also cause irritation to the lips. It is difficult to keep on drinking water just to keep the lips moisturize. Thus, it is better to apply lip balm to avoid dry or chapped lips.
Even if it is covered, it is still important to take care of your face. Keep in clean, clear and glowing so that when the time comes when there is no longer a need to cover our faces with a mask, you are ready to show a nice, healthy looking skin to the world.
Beautiful skin requires commitment not a miracle.– Erno Lazlo