Skincare While Wearing a Mask
Published: July 10, 2020
Wearing a mask while out in public is increasingly becoming a significant part of our “new normal”. While wearing a mask is an important health and safety measure, many of my clients are experiencing irritation and breakouts, or what I’ve coined as ‘maskne’. There are two main culprits behind the skin sensitivities that result from routinely covering the face with a mask — the humidity that forms from breathing while wearing a mask and the friction from masks touching various areas of skin such as the nose, chin and cheeks. Wearing a mask for hours at a time can wreak havoc on various skin types, and cause bacteria to grow which results in acne. Therefore, taking preventative measures is key.
Here are my tips for keeping skin healthy while wearing a face mask:
Assess Your Skin Type
Most of my clients come in with prior knowledge of their skin type, but your skin can change dramatically over the years, due to external or environmental factors and from internal factors such as increased stress levels from dealing with a pandemic. So be aware of the types of symptoms you’re experiencing. Do you have dryness, irritation, or sensitivity and breakouts? These are all common issues I see my clients experience due to wearing a mask for extended periods of time.
Foundations and concealers often consist of heavy formulations containing pore-clogging ingredients. If you know that you will be wearing a mask for a few hours, it’s better to skip makeup application to the areas which will be covered. Consider going without makeup for the day and instead focusing on the overall health of your skin which will leave you looking radiant even while makeup free.
Three Step Cleansing
This process of cleansing the skin has truly been a game changer for me and many of my clients. Removing oil, dirt and bacteria is vital to keep your skin clear and acne-free after wearing a face mask. While the perfect skincare routine will vary greatly from person to person, I find that this three step cleansing routine works well for many of my Total Glow clients. I recommend they start with a pre-cleansing oil such as the Environ Dual Action Pre-Cleansing Oil, follow this with a micro-exfoliator like the Environ Hydrating Clay Masque, and finish with a gentle cleanser such as the Environ Botanical Infused Sebu-Wash Gel Cleanser.
The Sebu-Wash Gel Cleanser is part of the Environ Clarity line, which was developed to help treat acne-prone skin, but is a general favorite because it leaves skin soft and hydrated. It’s a gentle, soothing cleanser that’s safe for even the most sensitive skin types and is great for removing excess oil and environmental debris.
By sticking to a three step cleansing routine such as this one, you will ensure that you break down any remaining debris while maintaining hydration.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Depending on your skin type, there are a few products I recommend to lock-in moisture and preserve the skin’s protective barrier. A hydrating serum with antioxidants is your best bet for sensitive and dry skin. The Environ Vita-Complex Super Moisturiser+ is a fan favorite among flight attendants for its ability to keep skin plump and hydrated even in the high-altitude dryness of an airplane.
For acne-prone skin, I like the Environ Botanical Infused Sebu-Tone Clarifier for its antiseptic properties to remove buildup and improve skin texture. A water-based product with concentrates of vitamin A, vitamin C and other antioxidants such as the Environ Vita-Antioxidant AVST Gel works wonders to soothe the face on either skin type.
Mask After Care
Washing cloth masks daily and replacing disposable masks after each use is another important step to preventing maskne. These materials will collect bacteria over time so you want to keep them as clean as possible. It’s also important to take the mask off when it’s safe to do so to give your face some fresh air and room to breathe.
By following these tips and tricks, you can create a strong skin barrier that will help stop maskne in its tracks! Remember that although wearing a mask may be uncomfortable, it protects both you and others from spreading COVID-19. Now here’s to happy and healthy skin!
– Terrie Absher Kochman