Tricks for Protecting the Beautiful Skin Under Your COVID-19 Face Mask
Face masks are essential for slowing the spread and protecting yourself from COVID-19, but hour after hour of wearing a mask every day could lead to skin irritation or other issues if you don’t take steps to care for your face under the mask.
Fortunately, there are many simple things you can do to help protect your face & stop potential problems from ever developing on your skin. In this article, you’ll learn why some people have experienced skin problems due to extended periods of mask wearing, as well as what you can do to treat these types of skin problems and prevent them from ever occurring. Proper skin care techniques, along with advanced skin care products like the Silk’n ReVit Prestige Microdermabrasion Device and the Silk’n Pink Swirl Facial Cleansing Brush, can help repair and protect your skin from a wide range of issues.
First off, let us reinforce just how important face masks are in helping stop the spread of COVID-19. As a virus that is transmitted through close contact with infected individuals, airborne particles/droplets, contaminated surfaces, and other types of physical contact, every effort must be taken to prevent the transmission of the virus from person to person.
Face masks provide a barrier that helps reduce airborne transmission of the virus, as well as reduces the likelihood that the virus will be transferred from an infected surface to a persons’ hands, and then on to their mouth or nose. Face masks also make us more aware and attentive to the frequency we instinctively reach to touch our faces, and also serve as a reminder for us to frequently wash our hands as yet another layer of safety in the prevention process.
It’s proven that face masks are an essential tool in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, for some people, extensive periods of wearing face masks can cause discomfort, or even develop into a variety of different skin problems. Why does this happen for some people? The answer is actually quite simple, so let’s take a look.
How can wearing a mask for long periods of time cause skin problems?
There are two main factors that can be causes of skin issues resulting from long periods of mask wearing. Problems can arise from the constant contact your mask has on your skin, or the higher levels of moisture and humidity inside the mask as you breathe in and out.
Physical Friction & Points of Contact
In order for masks to be as effective as possible, they need to fit properly on the face. This means a relatively close fit over the nose, under the chin, and on the cheeks. Along with the straps that go around your ears to hold the mask in place, these are some of the most common areas where potential skin problems can arise.
As you move your jaw to breathe or talk throughout the course of the day, your mask also moves and shifts slightly on your face. These frequent, repetitive motions cause friction as the mask rubs against your skin in these points of contact. This rubbing can dry out the skin, create irritation, and produce general discomfort in these areas over time.
Increased Moisture & Decreased Airflow
Another factor that can result in skin troubles is the increased level of humidity inside the mask that forms from the moisture in your breath as you breathe in and out. In addition, the close-fitting nature of the masks reduces the ability for this moisture to dissipate in to the surrounding air. This constant exposure to higher levels of moisture is detrimental to your skin in the long run, and can result in redness, dry skin, puffiness, and other annoyances.
Over time, these minor issues can lead to more significant problems for your skin if left untreated. Let’s look at some of the potential long-term effects if you don’t take steps to help protect your face and mitigate the negative effects of moisture and friction.
What are the types of skin problems that can occur?
There are several different ways that skin problems can manifest themselves due to frequent exposure to friction, rubbing, moisture, and humidity.
Dry Skin & Chapped Lips
Dry skin and chapped lips are common issues that many of us deal with from time to time, but these problems can be exacerbated by wearing a mask all day, every day. This can also be amplified by dry air, such as when we find ourselves in the winter. Air heaters tend to dry out the air and drop the humidity level in the surrounding environment, producing an increased likelihood of developing dry skin.
Redness or Swelling
The rubbing of the mask material on your nose, cheeks, chin, lips, and behind your ears can build up over time and produce redness on the affected areas. In some cases, this can be accompanied by swelling as the body naturally increased blood flow to the area in order to aid in the healing process.
If left untreated, dry skin can lead to a common condition known as dermatitis. This can result either from frequent irritation or from allergic reactions, possibly to certain types of mask materials. If this is the case, try an alternate mask material to see if the condition persists. If so, we recommend you consult your doctor or dermatologist for more advice on how to deal with dermatitis.
Acne & Rosacea
Chronic skin conditions like acne and rosacea can arise or worsen from the friction and moisture associated with extensive mask wearing. An increase in the frequency or severity of acne breakouts may result, and rosacea sufferers may notice their condition becomes triggered more often on the areas of skin under the mask.
While the list of possible issues may seem like a lot, it’s important to always keep in mind that these conditions are easily treatable and manageable, and these should not be used as excuses to forego the essential protection offered by face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic for yourself and those around you.
Fortunately, there are many simple steps you can take to minimize the possibility of developing these issues and prevent them from occurring in the future. Let’s move on to how you can treat and prevent potential mask-related skin troubles.
What can I do to treat these types of skin problems and prevent them from occurring?
For starters, it really pays to regularly apply a top-quality skin moisturizer that will help keep your skin in tip-top shape. This should be done each time you clean your face, particularly in the morning and at night. We recommend an oil-free moisturizer that is gentle and light, to avoid the potential of clogged pores. In addition, it’s best to minimize the amount of makeup that you apply on the areas under your mask or avoid it entirely. A layer of makeup on these areas can increase the likelihood of experiencing the problems we described earlier.
Cleanse & Moisturize
In addition to keeping your skin properly moisturized, it’s important to make sure you’re cleaning your skin regularly. However, with frequent cleaning it’s essential that you choose a cleanser that is gentle, yet effective, and won’t dry out your skin. We recommend our Silk’n Pink Facial Cleanse which is perfect for everyday use and helps to remove excess oil and dirt that can clog up your pores. For an even better clean, use this in conjunction with the Silk’n Pink Swirl Facial Cleansing Brush. It’s soft bristles and cyclical motion works to massage and scrub the skin for a fresh, relaxing, deep clean.
Exfoliation is your Friend
Exfoliation is one of the best things you can do to stimulate the natural repair and rejuvenation processes in your skin, and it’s easy to do right in the comfort of your own home thanks to the Silk’n ReVit Prestige Microderm Device. This intelligent tool features manual and automatic modes to help simplify your exfoliation treatments, and multiple different tip styles to customize the experience for perfect results. You’ll love how it makes your skin look and feel, and the vibrant glow your skin will have every time you use it.
Other things you can do to help keep your face looking and feeling great while wearing your masks are to ensure that you’re cleaning and sanitizing your masks regularly. Reusable masks need to be washed after each use, and if you’re using disposable masks, be sure to only use them once and not multiple times. We also recommend having more than one mask ready and available at all times, this allows you to change your mask throughout the day as they absorb moisture from your breath and shifts the contact points to different areas of your skin.
On that note, you also may want to consider is making or buying an ‘ear saver’ device to help take the pressure off the area behind your ears. These clever little mask enhancers are small straps that connect the two ear loops together around the back of your head, thereby removing the touchpoints behind your ears and preventing them from becoming irritated. It’s a small thing, but after hours of mask wearing, you will definitely notice a big difference in comfort.
Stay Safe and Stay Beautiful
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to ensure you’re caring for your skin as you do your part to protect yourself and others during COVID-19. All our mutual efforts to protect each other will help get us through the other side of this pandemic as quickly and safely as possible and we hope you’ve found these tips helpful and informative. Stay safe!