It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing an N95 medical mask for work, or you’re just a conscientious person wearing your cloth face covering, it’s likely you’ll discover that your face mask may be causing some less than desirable side effects. Don’t sacrifice your safety though, here are some tips on helping your skin cope.

First, let’s understand what is happening under your mask. A mask that covers your nose and mouth traps moisture and heat, and causes a build up of your skin’s natural oils. This mix of oil, heat, and moisture is a perfect environment for bacteria to grow. In addition to that, the friction of the fabric against your skin, and/or the pressure on the delicate skin of your face (especially for tight fitting medical masks) causes irritation and damage to your skin cells. Fortunately there are a number of steps you can take to mitigate these side effects of mask wearing.

1. Skip the foundation. Give your pores as much space to breath as possible, don’t layer on foundation under a mask. (No one can see it anyway!) Have fun with your eyeshadow instead.

2. Cleanse ASAP. As soon as you can take your mask off, use a mild cleanser and moisturizer on your face AND make sure if you are using a cloth mask that you wash it after each use. It is ideal to have more than one mask and to alternate them.

3. BUT go easy on the cleansing! Skip the heavy duty cleansers and exfoliators on irritated skin (including breakouts). The outer layer of your skin needs repair, not reprimand. Use a mild cleanser, a light moisturizer, and skip any product with retinol in it if you wear a mask regularly right now.

4. Pamper. Use a soothing gel mask in the evening (put it in the fridge for a bit before using!), and apply a barrier cream on areas that are getting the most friction.

As with any skin problem, we are here to help! Do you need help adjusting your skin care? Call today, or schedule your consultation online.

www. 702.496.2066