Now that face masks are mandatory when and if you need to leave your house, we’re dealing with more beauty woes, especially skin irritation. No matter what mask you wear — fabric, surgical, or an N95 respirator — it can wreak havoc on your skin. It’s meant to be worn tightly around the nose, which traps your breathing. Coupled with the sweat from our humid climate, it can lead to pressure damage on the nose and cheeks, and gradually, rashes, irritations, and skin breakouts. These skin problems can be dealt with, but remember that whatever you do, do not take off your mask until you are safely at home. Ahead, five tips to help you prevent and treat face mask related skin irritation.
Keep your skin and mask clean
Use a gentle, non-comedogenic face wash to minimise irritation, and choose a formula that offers hydration for dehydrated, sensitive, and inflamed skin.
Look for skin-soothing ingredients such as green tea, and bisabolol, which is often found in chamomile. If your skin is more tolerant, a gentle cleanser with a mild dose of glycolic acid or salicylic acid helps to slough away dead skin and impurities that can clog your complexion. Steer away from harsh scrubs and chemical exfoliants if your skin is already showing signs of irritation.
Also keep that reusable mask clean. Wash it regularly not just for face hygiene, but to also prevent any lingering germs.
Calm skin with a toner
Calm your skin in under five minutes. Soak cotton pads with a gentle, hydrating and non-drying toner and swipe it across your face, especially where it’s covered by the mask. For a skin treat, soak the cotton pads thoroughly and leave it on until the pad starts to feel a little drier or lukewarm. This is a good fix for dehydrated skin.
Reduce friction by moisturising
If you’re a healthcare worker and face bruising and red indentations on the skin, look to reducing friction and chafing. Use an anti-chafing ointment, or apply a thick ceramide-based moisturiser or balm to act as a barrier between your skin and the mask. Let it dry and set for at least 30 minutes before putting on your mask.
Minimise wearing makeup while you’re masked up or at least where your face is covered. Foundation, concealers, and powders can clog your pores and increase sebum production under the mask, particularly in a humid environment.
Let it heal
If you’re experiencing redness and irritation, it’s best to tackle those areas with a healing ointment. Massage on a skin soothing balm with a gentle formula to relieve rashes and protect dry or chapped skin.or topical homeopathic healing gels such as arnica, helps to heal skin discomfort.