Putting on protective face masks is a must to protect yourself and others. Wearing a protective mask for several hours might cause some people to develop acne, redness and even dermatitis. Read on to find out how to prevent and treat these symptoms.
What is happening to the skin underneath the mask?
Whether you are wearing disposable surgical masks or washable fabric masks, ‘maskne’ is real. Acne, redness, and skin irritation are triggered by four main factors: increased humidity, occlusion, increased perspiration and excess sebum.
Why do face mask breakouts happen?
When talking and breathing underneath the mask, the increased heat and humidity can alter the pH of your skin around the covered area, and encourage more bacteria to grow. This, coupled with excess sebum and increased perspiration, potentially leads to pimples growing around the mouth. Especially in countries with perpetual summer, like Singapore, the threat of ‘maskne’ is very real.
More ageing signs and what else?
To offer the best protection, masks must be worn tightly, especially at the nose. The increased heat and perspiration can cause redness of the skin and chronic inflammation. Inflammation is widely known as the mother of all ageing, resulting in signs of ageing such as fine lines, to appear earlier than before. There are also increased in reported cases of dermatitis caused by wearing masks for several hours. This is usually associated with friction between the mask and the skin. On highly sensitive skin, this can cause a lot of discomfort to the wearer.
What can you do then?
Use a fresh, surgical mask. As surgical masks are frequently replaced, they will not collect dirt and oil and aggravate acne. For earth-friendlier options such as a cloth mask, you should wash them every day.
Less layering of products on the skin means less occlusion to the skin. Makeup worn underneath the mask can further clog pores and path the way for more bacterial activity. Changes in your usual skincare routine are a must to avoid maskne and other skin issues during this mask-wearing period. If makeup is a must for your, skip the moisturiser before your makeup and use a 2 in 1 tinted moisturiser instead. bSoul’s BB Hydra repair, with its all- day hydration properties and non-clogging formula, is one such option.
Strengthen your skin barrier
We cannot stress this enough. A healthy, uncompromised skin barrier can keep out bacteria and keep water in. If you need to powerup your skin barrier function, start with this Physiological Normalisation Kit.
Skincare products to use
Use lightweight moisturisers, with barrier protection and hydration functions. IOMA’s Optimum Moisture Cream’s ultra-light fluid absorbs quickly and offers protection against water loss. While bSoul’s Hydra Comfort’s NMF and barrier repairing formula provide all-day hydration. This is also a good time to add a facial mist into your daily routine. Use the mist to calm and hydrate your skin after a few hours of wearing a mask. Invest in a good mist that can cool the skin down and reduce sebum production, without clogging your pores. IOMA City Mist particularly suitable.
Protect and repair
Your lips are at risk of being persistently chapped or cracked at the corners. Hydra Lip’s blend of avocado and olive oil effectively protects and repairs the lips from being damaged. We do not recommend Vaseline as petroleum-based products tend to offer instant protection at the expense of dehydrating the lips, causing a cycle of dry and cracked lips.
Finally, if you have not already discovered the wonderful healing powers of facial oils, this is the perfect time to. bSoul Hydra Essential FA is one of the best-kept secrets. Add this in your daily night routine to replace the essential fatty acids lost through skin perspiration in the day. Not only will your skin repair faster, it will look younger and plumper, reversing the damage caused by mask-wearing.