8 Tips to Prevent Acne Caused By the Face Mask You Are Using to Protect Against COVID-19
With many states requiring the general population to wear masks when out in public, as well as the many healthcare workers and essential employees who must wear masks all day, many people are dealing with a new skin problem: “maskne”. This is the term that has been given by some to describe acne breakouts caused by wearing a face mask.
To avoid this bothersome skin problem, follow these five important tips before, while, and after wearing a face mask.
1. Cleanse Your Skin Every Night
You should never skip this step before bed, but especially not if you have been wearing a face mask all day. Use a cleanser that is a match for your Baumann Skin Type. If you work in a high-risk environment and your skin has potentially been exposed to viruses throughout the day, use a foaming cleanser to cleanse your skin after removing your mask, even if you have dry skin. (Just make sure you follow up with a barrier repair moisturizer like Zerafite, since foaming cleansers strip the skin of its natural lipids, or oils.)
The coronavirus is very susceptible to detergents that easily penetrate the virus protective coating, so using a foaming cleanser is a great way to remove any COVID-19 from your skin. Lather the cleanser and rub your fingers in a circular motion for at least 20 seconds and then rinse thoroughly.
2. Apply a Protective Toner after Cleansing
A protective toner such as Element 47 Skin Fortifying Mist makes the skin less hospitable to the bacteria that causes acne. You can apply this after cleansing but before the moisturizer. It lowers the skin’s pH and contains silver – both make acne bacteria less interested in hanging around on your skin under the mask.
3. Apply a Barrier Repair Moisturizer under Your Mask
Follow the Element 47 toner with a barrier repair moisturizer if you feel your skin is getting dry from the cleanser or frequent cleansing. Barrier repair moisturizers replenish your skin’s supply of the lipids that are removed by foaming. Using a barrier repair moisturizer under your mask can have the same effect, while also helping to keep your skin hydrated and protected from allergens and irritants.
4. Apply Lip Balm Under Your Mask
If your lips are getting dry and chapped from rubbing against your face mask, try applying lip balm under your mask. Lip balms contain occlusive ingredients, which create a physical barrier between your skin and the outside environment. This can help to reduce friction and irritation of the delicate skin on your lips.
5. Avoid Makeup and Acne-Causing Ingredients
Consider altering your makeup routine on days when you will be wearing a mask for long periods of time. Avoid wearing lipstick and pore-clogging foundations under your mask to reduce the chance of getting breakouts.
6. Don’t Reuse Disposable Masks
Disposable masks are a good choice for anyone with skin allergies to laundry detergents and even some types of fabrics. However, these types of masks are not meant to be reused, as they can harbor bacteria, dirt, oil, and makeup. Thus, reusing disposable masks can clog your pores and make your skin break out. One alternative is to use a cloth mask that you can wash and reuse.
7. Be Careful about Which Laundry Detergent You Use
If you are going to wash and reuse a cloth face mask, be sure not to use a laundry detergent that will cause breakouts, a rash, or other signs of skin irritation. Many people have skin sensitivities and allergies to common detergent ingredients. Look for fragrance- and dye-free options if you have sensitive skin.
8. Try Arnica for Bruising
If your face mask or other protective gear is causing your skin to bruise, try using topical Arnica patches or oral Arnica supplements. Arnica montana has been shown to significantly reduce bruising of the skin, thanks to its strong anti-inflammatory properties. This is why we also recommend Arnica to BOTOX and dermal filler patients to help reduce bruising after getting injectable treatments.
Wearing face masks while working and in public will likely be a new reality as businesses begin to reopen again following the coronavirus pandemic. However, these skincare tips can help you to maintain clear, healthy skin even when it must be under a mask.
Stay up-to-date on the latest skincare news, tips, and advice from Dr. Leslie Baumann by following Baumann Cosmetic on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
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