How to Protect Your Skin While Wearing Face Masks

This new normal currently includes the use of face masks when you’re out and about. While masks do keep you safe and help flatten the curve for COVID-19, it does come with some side effects.  These include acne breakouts, skin that’s more prone to inflammation and dryness, chapped lips, and even rashes. Here are some questions you should ask regarding the use of masks and your facial skin:

What is the mask made of?
A lot of synthetic fabrics may irritate your skin. Consider what you’re allergic to, and what materials you might be potentially allergic to. Pick a mask that’s made from something soft, like cotton. This applies whether you’re making a DIY mask, or if you’re purchasing one.

Are you wearing makeup underneath the mask?
Now is not the time to apply your regular amount of makeup. When you’re wearing a mask while outside, your skin may get damp or sweaty underneath it. Allow it to breathe by applying minimal makeup, or foregoing makeup altogether. The mask can also rub makeup all over your skin, potentially clogging your pores and causing acne breakouts.

Does the mask fit over your face well enough? 
You want the mask to fully cover your nose, your mouth and your cheeks and to be tightly secure. However, you don’t want it to be too tight to the point of it being uncomfortable or painful. You want a decent amount of space between the fabric and your facial skin to avoid the fabric from continuously creating friction. This can inflame your skin and either produce redness, bruises, or even acne. There’s also the issue of over-adjusting the mask if it feels uncomfortable, leading to you touching your face even more, or creating more friction.

Did you apply skincare products before putting on the mask? 
It’s still important to take care of your skin even while wearing a protective mask. Your anti-aging and anti-acne products might be contributing to irritation if your face is covered with a mask while you’re out, so adjust those to be used at night. Remember to wash your skin gently with a cleanser, to moisturize it, and to apply SPF afterwards. It’s also a good idea to apply lip balm to your lips to keep it from chafing.