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Face masks are here to stay. After the onset of coronavirus, the CDC together with other health bodies encouraged people to wear face masks to stop the spread of the virus. Today, wearing a face mask has become a norm and everyone is embracing this new way of life. However, it’s important to learn how to take care of your skin while wearing a face mask. If you’re not careful with your skin, you may notice a few annoying problems beyond your foggy glasses: pesky pimples, itchy skin, and oily blackheads among others. So with the scorching heat, humidity, and sweat, how do you care for your skin while wearing a face mask?

Wash Your Skin Properly and Moisturize

To avoid having a dry and cracked skin, wash your face before wearing the mask and moisturize it properly. This way, your skin will remain smooth and clean throughout the day. Since you have to keep on the mask for a long time, if your skin is not properly moisturized, it might get irritated with the constant rubbing of the mask against it. The moisturizer acts as a protective and slippery layer to your skin.

Note that you should avoid thick moisturizers otherwise your skin will become too greasy to manage with the mask on. Instead, use light cream or lotion and apply a thin layer.

Wear a Skin-Friendly Face Mask

There are so many different types of masks in the market and not all are created equal. For people with sensitive skin, you’re advised to wear cotton masks. Masks made of natural fiber are more gentle to the skin as opposed to synthetics and are less likely to cause skin irritation. Cotton masks come handy during a workout because of the high friction and moisture around your face. For better skin protection choose 100 percent cotton face masks.

Avoid Makeup

Avoid wearing makeup under your face mask. Makeup tends to be trapped on your skin, clogging the pores or causing skin irritation. During this pandemic, give your skin a break and go foundation free. Nobody can see your skin underneath your covering. Plus, when you mix foundation and face mask that might induce sweat, which isn’t good for your skin. Clogged skin results in acne, pimples, blemishes, and the heat generated inside the mask can also mess up both your make up and face mask.

Cleanse Your Skin and Wash Your Mask Afterward

Just like you clean and moisturize your skin before wearing the mask, you should take care of your skin immediately you take off the mask. When you get home, take off your mask and cleanse your face. Cleansing skin gets rid of any built-up dirt, oil, and mask fibers. After cleansing, moisturize your skin to keep it smooth. Cloth face masks are now becoming the thing since they are soft on the face and reusable. The CDC says that you should regularly wash your mask depending on the frequency of use, which is technically after every use. Wearing face masks a couple of times without washing it will transfer all the collected bacteria on the mask to your face. Those bacteria cause all sorts of skin and health issues.

Keep Your Hands Sanitized

Because you’ll be wearing your mask the whole day, chances are you’re going to constantly touch your face and the mask, either fixing or adjusting it. Thus, you should always sanitize your hands to keep away the germs. Sanitizing regularly prevents the transfer of harmful bacteria from your hands to your face. Additionally, touching your face stimulates the sebum production in the skin and hence contributing to breakouts.

Consult Your Dermatologist

In case you’ve followed all the above steps, and you keep seeing random breakouts, it’s time you book an appointment with your dermatologist. You can now talk to your dermatologist through video calls at the comfort of your home. If you have a wounded and irritated skin, he/she should be able to guide you on the steps to take. Ensure that the expert you’re consulting is a board-certified dermatologist.

Conclusion

Cleansing, nourishing, and moisturizing your skin daily – in the morning and evening – ensures skin barrier maintenance and repair. Look for facial cleansers that are gentle on the skin and actively removes dirt and oil. Since wearing mask has become a daily routine, ensure you change the mask often. If you can’t afford to wash your mask daily, go for the disposable kind. What’s more, be sure to keep your skin hydrated by drinking lots of water. Remember prevention is better than cure and wearing a face mask is important since it helps to keep the viruses away.

All images by Shutterstock

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