Masks and face coverings are a part of the “new normal” due to the ongoing pandemic. But these protective masks may take a toll on your skin. With temperatures soaring and people spending more time in public, many have reported breakouts and skin irritation as a result of wearing a face covering.
Acne and breakouts are often related to hormones and other internal factors, but the breakouts caused by wearing a mask or face covering have a different origin. Also, people who are not used to dealing with acne may still find their skin irritated. Those who are most susceptible to reactive skin will likely bear the brunt.
Wearing a mask or other protective clothing around your face can lead to a type of acne called acne mechanica. According to skin care experts, when something is constantly rubbing up against your skin, the combination of friction, heat, and pressure can result in breakouts. The areas most susceptible to risk are the bridge of the nose and where elastic bands hit behind the ears. Over time, tightly fitting masks can put enough pressure on the skin to cause it to breakdown.
Masks not only irritate the skin by rubbing on it, but they also create a moist environment for breakouts to thrive. Direct physical friction and pressure from the mask inflame and aggravates the skin. The material of a mask pulls away from the skin’s natural oils. This may lead to dryness and sensitivity. Apart from these conditions, residue from detergents and fabric softeners also gets stuck underneath the mask and can lead to irritation. This irritation may result into inflammation and you may see redness, dry patches, peeling, or dark marks. In case you have a skin condition like rosacea or psoriasis, the soreness can make it flare.
Occlusion from a mask or covering also causes skin issues. Pores get clogged and can become pimples or acne cysts. You must know that your breath trapped beneath the mask makes the skin surface warm and moist. This environment can lead to a breakout called folliculitis, which is when yeast or bacteria infect hair follicles. Also, the air that we breathe out inside the mask contains bacterial yeast populations found in the mouth. This gets deposited onto the already inflamed and irritated skin, creating breakouts.
It all starts with keeping the skin clean and as healthy as possible. When an object like a mask is consistently being rubbed across your skin, it can disrupt your protective moisture barrier and create tiny cracks. The following ways can help combat and prevent skin irritation:
Dirt, sweat, and oil on your skin can get trapped under the mask and lead to breakouts. Always put your mask on over a clean face. That is why it is important to wash your face with a gentle, pH-balanced cleanser before and after putting on your mask. If you’re using a homemade cloth face mask, you should wash it regularly, as it may be absorbing your skin’s natural oils. Always rinse your face with lukewarm water, not hot. Avoid scrubbing or rubbing the skin harshly.
Try Oriental Botanics’ Aloe Vera, Green Tea & Cucumber Hydrating Face Wash. Despite its powerful cleansing action, it is gentle on the skin. Its rich creamy lather washes away all traces of impurities and clears the skin so that the skin feels fresh and is revitalized. Packed with skin hydrating and nourishing botanical ingredients, it instantly eliminates skin dullness and brings out the natural beauty of the skin. This hydrating face wash replenishes the skin’s hydration so that the skin does not feel dry, stretched, or scratchy and remains supple after cleaning.
If you are dealing with acne resulting from a mask, an antibacterial and gentle toner will be your best friend. Wipe the toner over the affected area once or twice a day. Additionally, products that contain ingredients like salicylic acid, lactic acid, tea tree oil, and/or other leaf extracts can further clear up the complexion.
We recommend you to try Oriental Botanics’ Aloe Vera, Green Tea & Cucumber Face Toner. This is a gentle face toner that soothes, cools, refreshes, calms and rejuvenates the skin, and restores the skin to its clear, pH balanced, and healthy state. It helps to tighten the skin pores, minimizes the appearance of enlarged pores and makes the skin less oily.
Some of you might be experiencing redness or rashes that haven’t turned into breakouts. Experts recommend them to use a hydrating serum. This will pamper and soothe thirsty skin cells by delivering moisture deep into the skin.
Oriental Botanics’ Australian Tea Tree Face Serum is a lightweight serum that absorbs quickly into the skin and restores its moisture and lipid balance. Enriched with essential oils and botanical extracts it soothes the irritated skin, lightens blemishes, and brightens the complexion.
To protect the skin from irritation and damage, skin care experts recommend using a light, non-oil based moisturizer before putting on your mask. This will help to create a protective hurdle that can combat the friction caused by the face covering. Avoid heavy products that can clog your skin and make you break out.
You will love Oriental Botanics’ lightweight Australian Tea Tree Day / Night Face Gel. This is a fast-absorbing, non-greasy face gel enriched with natural oils and plant extracts for moisturizing and nourishing the acne-prone and oily skin. It is a non-comedogenic gel that quickly permeates the skin without clogging the pores and improves the condition of the stressed skin. Rich in nutrients that help in the regeneration of the skin cells, this face gel helps to repair the damaged skin. It has an illuminating effect on the skin and helps in lightening the dark spots and blemishes.
Remember the latest no-makeup makeup trend? Well, in this scenario, skipping makeup all together may be your best bet. If not that, at least you can scale down your makeup routine. Heavy makeup under the mask will lead to occlusion. But do not think this as an excuse to skimp on sunscreen. Regardless of if you work indoors, SPF is necessary.
You can use Oriental Botanics’ Aloe Vera, Green Tea & Cucumber Sunscreen SPF 50 because it is a gentle sunscreen made with botanical ingredients and perfect to use under a mask. This is a broad-spectrum sunscreen enriched with ingredients for superior protection from UV rays and provide advanced skincare. It protects against sunburn, tanning, and photoaging, and keeps the skin hydrated, soft and bright.
It is imperative to wash your face right after you take your mask off or as soon as you can. It is key for treatment and prevention. Also, it is important to exfoliate the skin to prevent a buildup of dead skin cells and other acne-causing bacteria. But take extra care that the products used are gentle and do not compromise the skin’s barrier. To achieve that balance, a botanical cleanser will prevent stripping the skin from its natural protective barrier, while a gentle exfoliator will remove dead cells, decrease build up, and encourage skin regeneration.
We would like to recommend you Oriental Botanics’ Australian Tea Tree Face Scrub. This face scrub is created to restore your naturally glowing skin. It increases the skin’s clarity and radiance and refreshes the skin. Mild abrasive agents and gentle exfoliants are blended in the face scrub to expose the younger layer of skin hidden behind the dead skin cells and helps to eliminate skin dullness. It helps in loosening the blackheads and whiteheads and unclogging the pores. It helps to fade the dark spots and its skin-lightening effect assists in reducing the appearance of the hyperpigmented spots.
The overnight hours offer an ideal time to further heal and fortify the skin after being through the harshness of the face mask. Since the skin naturally repairs itself at night, applying nighttime skin care that complements these processes can boost the benefits. You can use a calming moisturizer on the skin at night to repair, heal and regenerate it.
Proactively protecting your skin from the friction caused by masks can help ward-off acne, as can a gentle-yet-effective exfoliating routine. It may seem obvious, but be sure to regularly wash your face masks and coverings. It is the best practice for good hygiene and it will also prevent oil and dirt from being reintroduced to the skin.
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