Like it or not, covering up has become the new normal. Wearing a face mask in public places not only helps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 but also protects us from contacting it too. While face masks do a phenomenal job at keeping us safe during these trying times, there are side effects to it too. Acne, chafing, inflammation, fungal infections, are common skincare problems most of us have been facing during the pandemic and your face mask is probably the reason for it.
So why do face masks have to get a bad name? Let's see...
Even healthy and clear complexions fall prey to face mask induced acne. However, acne-prone and sensitive skin types bear the brunt of it the most. So how do you protect yourself and your skin at the same time? Let's find out!
The first thing you must do after coming home from work or grocery shopping is, wash your mask. You need to soak in a tub of lukewarm water mixed with an antiseptic disinfectant liquid. This prevents the mask from becoming a breeding ground dust, bacteria, dirt and diseases. Wearing a clean mask every day should be a priority and will prevent you from developing a nasty skin allergy in the future.
When shopping for a face mask, pay attention to the fabric. Stay away from synthetic fabrics as they are more likely to cause chaffing and inflammations. You want to keep an eye out for softer, natural fabrics like cloth, cotton and silk. This will reduce the moisture levels and bacteria levels in the skin, however, you must understand it does expose you more to environmental air. Thus making it not suitable for front-line workers like delivery workers, supermarket staff, doctors, nurses and public transport workers. For people who work in these sectors, require a more hardy face mask such as an N95 mask. However, if the aim is to just take a walk or make a quick trip to the supermarket, then cloth, cotton or satin face masks would be ideal to wear in such scenarios.
The beauty of investing in a zinc-based SPF is that it forms a thin seal over the skin. It protects your skin from UVA rays by resting on your skin's surface and reflecting UV rays away from your face and body.
Every time you come home, don't just wash your hands, wash your face too. If you don't do this, there is a fat chance that the dirt and bacteria on the mask can transfer onto your skin. When that happens, expect to deal with acne and inflammations. Hence, for the sake of your skin, make it a point to keep your pores squeaky clean!
All that cleansing and scrubbing is bound to leave your skin feeling dry and red. Moisturising on the daily will set things right. Before putting your mask on, make sure that your skin is moisturised and has sunscreen on it. Dry skin, plus the tugging and rubbing of a face mask can irritate the skin and cause inflammation. If at all you miss this step and have to live with breakouts after, you can always use products infused with benzoyl peroxide, pimple patches or tea tree oil to calm the zits!
Now that you know how to battle mask acne, we hope you take good care of your skin from now on.
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