In the midst of a global health crisis, most of us are trying our best to stay safe, and to promote the health and wellbeing of our neighbors. One of the simplest ways we can do that is by wearing a mask, especially when we’re in crowded spaces where social distancing isn’t possible.
Masks are an important way to promote public wellbeing, and they also limit personal risk of COVID-19 infection. With that said, there are some very minor side effects to mask-wearing, including potential irritation to the skin.
Those who wear masks regularly may even notice some minor acne, or “mascne,” popping up in unwanted places. The good news is, there are some basic skincare protocols you can follow to maintain a clear complexion, and to continue wearing your mask without too much worry about skin irritation.
Why Do Masks Irritate the Skin?
First, what’s the real cause of “mascne,” anyway?
Part of it is that, when you have a mask on, it can lead to a lack of oxygen as well as a buildup of moisture, a potentially dangerous combination that may cause facial bacteria to grow and spread. Additionally, mask wearing can cause heat to build up, which then leads to inflammation.
How to Care for Your Skin
Here’s what we’d recommend for skincare in the COVID-19 era:
- Wash your face. Before putting a mask on for the day, make sure you clean your face thoroughly, minimizing any oil or residue that might get trapped under the mask and lead to irritation. As a general rule, it’s recommended that you cleanse your face as early in the morning as you can, then again in the evening. Also make sure you wash your hands before picking up the mask to put it on.
- Avoid picking at your face. Once the mask goes on, try to avoid touching your face any more than you need to. Also try to avoid using your mask to rub the skin (for example, if you have an itch).
- Rinse off your face once you’re done with your mask. Once you take your mask off for the day, take just a minute to wipe your face clean.
- Make sure you’re wearing a clean mask each day. Placing a dirty mask on your face will only irritate the skin. Have a few masks you can cycle between and wash them after a day or two of use.
- Take care of dry skin. If you find that your skin is especially dry or flakey, invest in a good moisturizer. Skincare masking can also help; consider using a cosmetic mask two or three times a week.
With these basic tips, you can minimize your risk of “mascne” and related problems.
Please do wear your mask as needed, for your own safety as well as the safety as others. And if you have any questions about proper skincare, give us a call. The Javan Wellness team is happy to advise you.