Times are changing, and one of the biggest day-to-day adjustments we’ve had to make is to wear a mask wherever you go in public. This may be a personal preference or required by your local government or employer - either way, this may have had a detrimental effect on your skin. Many healthcare professionals have reported skin difficulties due to having to wear a facial mask more often than normal, and non-healthcare individuals are starting to experience the same issues.
What Skin Issues Can Occur Due to Wearing a Face Mask?
Wearing a mask traps moisture and vapor against the skin, specifically around the nose and mouth area, and can cause a variety of issues such as redness, rashes, acne, and peeling. You may notice pimples appear in small clusters in those areas as well. This is due to perioral dermatitis/irritant dermatitis which is directly caused by mask-wearing and can disrupt the balance of your skin in that area.
Can Wearing a Mask Damage Your Skin?
Wearing a mask cannot damage your skin permanently, as long as you are utilizing recommended & safe masks and materials. You may find irritation that can occur during the first few weeks of wearing a mask often, or for some with more sensitive skin, it can be a more prolonged issue. A few issues you may notice as a result of wearing a mask often can be:
- Redness or Rosacea
- Skin Dryness
- Acne or Pimple Clusters
How Can You Prevent Irritated Skin While Wearing a Mask?
If you notice that your skin is reacting badly to wearing a mask, try to limit wearing one when not necessary - such as in the car, when outdoors (as long as you are social distancing from other people), or in your home. Otherwise, you may need to add products to your skincare routine to combat specific issues.
Skin Gets Red When Wearing a Mask
If you are noticing redness occurring after wearing a mask for an extended period, be sure that you aren’t reacting badly to the actual mask itself - if you are using a homemade mask, check to see what the material is and whether that could be the cause of irritation. If so, look into replacing it with an N95 mask or one of a different (yet still effective) material.
Using products that target facial redness can also be a very helpful tool to add to your skincare routine during this time. This includes different types of products such as cleansers, moisturizers, or even at-home facial kits. Here are some recommendations for products to try if you’re experiencing skin redness from wearing a mask:
This cleanser is a fantastic choice for those who wear a mask often, as it targets impurities and cleanses the skin to remove dirt, grime, and oil buildup. For those experiencing skin redness - whether in general or as a result of mask-wearing - this product is fantastic for restoring your skin and calming irritations.
This extra-strength serum by Eminence Organics specifically focuses on balancing your skin and reducing redness on the face. Calming ingredients like chamomile, lavender and arnica help reduce irritation caused by perioral dermatitis. You can use this anywhere from 1-3 times a day, either to just affected areas (like the skin covered by a mask) or the entire face.
Acne Caused by Wearing a Mask
Whether your are acne-prone in general and wearing a mask exacerbates the issue, or if acne is a new problem caused by mask-wearing, you may need to introduce some new products to help eliminate existing pimples and prevent new ones.
Those with acne may feel like adding additional moisturizer could cause worse facial acne - but this is far from the truth! This moisturizer for acne-prone skin is ultra-light and actually works to detoxify the skin and clear your appearance. It uses tea tree and cucumber to target existing blemishes in conjunction with probiotics that exfoliate and help prevent new ones.
Pair this acne-fighting cleanser with the probiotic moisturizer above for a combination that will surely help reduce and eliminate blemishes on the skin caused by wearing a mask. A similar combination of ingredients that utilizes tea tree really help target acne on the face, but still maintains enough moisture on the skin to avoid drying it out.
Wearing a Mask Causing Dry Skin
Wearing a mask for long hours can sometimes cause your skin to become very dry due to not being exposed to the outside air that balances the amount of moisture that is in contact with your skin. Adding a moisturizer specifically targeted for dry skin can help solve this issue, and can be used for other dry skin problem areas as well.
This fan-favorite moisturizer can be used as a daily or nightly staple or even post-peel. If you’re experiencing dry skin due to wearing a mask, applying this non-comedogenic moisturizer can revitalize your skin. It is specifically formulated to target blocked or clogged pores, which is certainly an issue when wearing a mask, as you are trapping impurities and moisture in that space against your skin.
Wearing a mask may not be around forever, but skin problems may be something you experience for a while. Be sure your skincare routine is customized specifically to your skin and addresses any issues such as acne, redness or dryness. Need help with a specialized routine? Contact us today to ask an esthetician your questions and we can help create a collection of products that can be used to combat mask-wearing problems or everyday issues.