For many, wearing a face mask is a new experience. Now that wearing a face mask is mandatory on public transport, we are seeing a rise in skin issues.
With summer on the way, it is the time to think about adjusting your skincare routine to protect your skin and maintain its health under a face mask or face covering. Minimalist skincare routines, using fewer products with fewer ingredients will help protect your skin through this change.
Skincare side effect of wearing a face mask
Face coverings can cause a mixture of uncomfortable issues for your skin. Some of the common problem we have seen include:
- rashes from the friction of the face mask chafing against your skin
- acne that has been aggravated by face coverings touching the skin
- flare ups of eczema and psoriasis
- Irritation and sores from poorly made face masks or rough materials
- blocked pores and accumulations of sweat.
Tips to keep your skin strong and healthy while wearing a face mask
If wearing a face mask or face covering is affecting your skin, here are some tips for what you can do to keep your skin strong and healthy.
- Cotton Face Mask over synthetic fabric: Try to choose a face mask made of natural materials like cotton. Cotton will feel more breathable on the skin, whilst synthetic fabrics retain more heat and moisture and make skin feel congested.
- Wash your Face Mask regularly: Cloth face masks should be washed regularly. Over time your face mask fabric will absorb your skin’s natural oils as well as accumulating bacteria, which could lead to breakouts on your skin.
- Use a plant based oil or serum to protect the skin: Protecting the skin barrier is key when wearing a face mask. This means fortifying the skin by using a plant based facial oil or plant based facial serum before putting on your face mask or face covering. The oil barrier can protect areas of your skin from friction or chafing. We favour plant based ingredients as they are more readily matched to the oils in your skin. Plant oils are highly moisturising, and help fortify the lipid barrier in your skin. Healthy and strong skin will be more resilient to the effects of a face mask.
- Stay hydrated: Wearing a face mask means that we may find we drink less during the day due to our faces being covered. It is important to make sure you are hydrated, as this will improve the barrier function of your skin as part of your overall skin health.
- Cleansing is key: Cleansing and nourishing the skin daily will ensure good skin barrier maintenance and repair. Cleansing removes natural debris and pollution that may have built up under your face mask or face covering, make sure you use a gentle cleanser and pat dry your skin.
- Avoid harsh exfoliants: If your skin is irritated from wearing a face mask avoid harsh scrubs or chemical exfoliators that may worsen the problem.
- Wear less make-up: Face masks create a humid environment that can lead to clogged pores and breakouts, so wear less makeup to prevent clogging of pores under the mask. If you must wear make up above the face mask is best and now is the time to think about using an eye serum.
- Invest in a face mist: Use a fruit enzyme face mist after wearing a face mask to hydrate and refresh your face, refine the surface of the skin and rebalance your skin’s pH levels. This will help to prevent pores from becoming clogged.
- Use the other Face Mask: At the end of a week, it is good to use a gentle face mask to cleanse and purge the skin as part of your overall skincare. Botanical ingredients are soothing and can help calm your skin as part of your routine.