One cannot avoid wearing a mask as it is one of the most potential measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, but wearing one can be harsh on your skin, especially if it is the sensitive type. Wearing masks for a longer period of time can invite skin irritation, bruises, or even breakouts. Here are a few essential tricks to take care of your skin while wearing a mask, said Dr Shraddha Deshpande, consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Wockhardt Hospital.
Continuous use of masks allows oil and sweat to build up, traps your breath and creates a warm, humid environment leading to acne (breakouts), rashes, skin irritation, bruises, or skin infections.
Following these tips can come handy to avoid such skin-related issues.
*Use a gentle cleanser before wearing a face mask. Don’t forget to use a light moisturiser if your skin is dry. Say no to ointments that are too greasy, and use a proper-fitting mask. The mask should not be tight as your skin will not be able to breathe.
*Washing your face with a mild salicylic acid-based face wash and avoiding harsh alkaline soaps is advisable. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water after removing your mask.
*Apply gel-based light moisturiser at the mask-skin interface to avoid marks and chafing.
*Avoid using concealers, compact, and other makeup products in the mask covered areas. Stick to mineral-based makeup and lip balms, if you have to.
*Use either disposable three-ply masks or masks made of natural materials that can be washed regularly. Avoid synthetic materials like nylon, rayon, and polyester.
*Follow a night skincare routine. Cleanse your face nightly and use your skincare products like vitamin C serum and retinol at night for optimum effect. Wash your cloth mask daily.
*If you have areas on your skin that are raw or chaffed, then you should apply an ointment to these areas after you are finished wearing your mask for the day. But, consult your doctor regarding the ointment you must use. Do not use any over-the-counter (OTC) products that can worsen your problems.
*If you tend to experience breakouts, rash or dermatitis from face masks, it is advisable to avoid using harsh cleansers, exfoliators, and drying skin products that contain alcohol and retinol. These products dry out the skin and your face mask will rub and cause further skin damage.
*Drink at least three litres of water daily and avoid late nights. Follow these simple guidelines to enjoy clean and blemish-free skin.