COVID-19 has compelled all of us to mask up. It’s the need of the hour; but it also affects the free breathing ability of the skin. A 2020 report by a team of Korean researchers revealed that prolonged wearing of face masks could affect the skin around the mouth significantly. Skin temperature, redness, and hydration differ significantly between the mask‐wearing areas and the non–mask‐wearing areas. Conditions like flaking, itching, pustules may appear, making the sensitive facial skin vulnerable to long-term damage. This may be exacerbated by wearing cosmetics or using skincare products containing harsh chemicals.
This is all the more reason why we should add more TLC towards our skin! Read on for 5 power tips to keep your skin glowing and healthy even behind that mask.
- Hygiene first!
Keeping your face clean is one of the best ways to not hurt your skin.
- Use a gentle, pH balanced cleanser—such as these organic face washes for sensitive skin at Earthy Selections to cleanse your skin before and even after wearing a mask.
- Always, always use a fresh mask (if using disposable surgical masks), or wash your reusable cotton masks. These tend to collect a lot of germs and dirt through the day, so reusing them prevents these foreign elements from breaching your skin barrier.
- Let your skin breathe!
Skin pores are built to release toxins from the body in form of sweat, and supply sebum to the outer layers of the skin, keeping it lubricated. Wearing a mask, says an article by Mayo Clinic () can increase the amount of moisture next to your skin within a closed-up environment.
- Avoid heavy cosmetics under the mask area as far as possible, since it not only clogs up the pores, but also may cause breakouts. Use non-comedogenic products that don’t suffocate your skin. There is a wide range of non-comedogenic organic beauty products that you can explore at Earthy Secrets.
- Apply a light, non-greasy moisturiser such as Forest Essentials Hydrating Facial Moisturiser on the perioral region (area around the mouth) once you’re done with the mask time.
- One common mistake we all tend to do: wear ill-fitted masks for way too long. A good fit of mask ensures your facial skin breathes easy. Don’t forget to take a mask-free break every hour or so.
- Be gentle!
You may be used to harsh scrubs, heavy exfoliants, and thick foamy cleansers. However, frequent and long-used maskers should go easy there: lesser the chemical ingredients in your cleanser, toner, serum or any other facial product, the better for your skin.
- Choose products with soothing and cooling ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, aloe-vera, and geranium.
- Being gentle also means you need to prep your face for the compulsion of a mask. Use a good barrier cream, such as Re’equil Ceramide & Hyaluronic Acid Moisturiser, at least 30 minutes before putting on a mask.
- Don’t touch your face too often! The contact can make your face susceptible to dirt and infections transferred via touching.
- Speak with the eyes!
The masked culture has turned the spotlight on eye makeup. A 2020 report by McKinsey predicted the rise of eye makeup and transfer-proof lipsticks. This means that masks can’t dampen the makeup artist in you!
- Dazzle the boardroom with bold strokes and subtly coloured eye makeup.
- Make sure you wipe off all makeup at the end of the day; reiterating the importance of a clean, breathable skin, we recommend using a non-fragrant gentle makeup remover or micellar water for this purpose.
- Cool down your skin!
Masks can significantly raise the skin temperature around your mouth area, causing irritation, red patches/rashes and acne. One way to avoid all these issues is by airing out your skin.
- Use masks made of breathable cotton material.
- Take regular breaks from masks.
- Rub an ice cube on your face once in a while, or splash it with plenty of cool water.
- Spritz some rose water toner for a fresh and cool feeling through the day.
These tips will definitely help you glow despite covering up. Don’t shy away, but shine like a star wherever you are!