Face masks are a barrier that protects you from harmful bacteria and particles, but they cause some skin problems if you’re prone to irritation. Wearing a face mask regularly may lead to skin complications which can be painful.
There are several downsides of wearing a face mask daily, especially for people who need them during their full workdays. They can lead to skin irritation, specifically with people who already have some underlying conditions such as acne and rosacea.
In this article, we are going to discuss how you can protect your skin from a face mask, whether it’s a medical (disposable) mask, N95 respirator or cloth covering.
As a start, if you have a reusable face mask, you should wash it in hot water to keep it clean of any bacteria. Also, it would be best if you wash your hands before and after you put on the mask to minimize spreading any harmful bacteria.
[Further reading: Masks and skin irritations.]
Here are four ways you can keep your skin free of any irritations caused by face masks:
Get a Face Mask Made from Soft, Breathable Fabric
Wearing a face mask has become a trend. A few months ago, it was incredibly hard to find a face covering, but now, you can choose from thousands of options online. However if you are prone to skin irritations, you shouldn’t choose the first mask you see.
You don’t want a face mask that makes you sweaty and leads to skin rash. You want a tight mask that can fit your face and it’s made from high-quality fabric like cotton, for example. It would be best to get a soft, natural, and breathable face covering.
You should avoid face masks created from synthetic materials at all costs. Don’t buy coverings that have polyester, nylon or rayon in them, because they make you sweat easily and that leads to skin irritations.
Find the Root Cause of Your Skin Problems
If you’re experiencing skin irritations on your nose or mouth, that doesn’t mean that it’s coming from friction or sweat. It may as well be caused by a material that’s either in or on your face mask.
You may be allergic to the cleaning product you use to wash your face mask. If you start getting skin irritations regularly, you should first consult with your dermatologist before you go online and buy a dozen masks.
If you can’t immediately go to your doctor, you have a few ways to find the cause of your skin problems. Some face masks have a strip that can lead to a rash on the tip of your nose. That can happen because of the adhesive strip.
If you have a skin irritation around your ears, it might be caused by the fabric of the rear straps.
There are tons of cleaning materials that contain chemicals which can damage your skin. If both your nose and mouth are irritated, it’s likely that the soap you’re using is the root cause of your skin problems.
Use a Moisturizer for Extra Skin Protection
One of the best ways to reduce the friction between your skin and your face mask is to regularly moisture your face throughout the day.
When there’s friction on your face, the top layer of your skin releases water, and you lose some of its natural moisture. Also, your skin becomes a lot less effective in protecting you from your face mask. Then you can start seeing dry, cracked skin that slowly gets inflamed.
To protect your skin from skin irritations caused by your face mask, it would be best to apply oil-free moisturize every two to three hours. It would help if you got creams from brands that hydrate the skin well and provide it with protection. Using products with natural ingredients comes a long way to protect the skin on your face.
It’s similar to washing your hands. If you wash them too often, they are going to become dry of the constant washing.
If using lotion moisturizer doesn’t give you the desired results, you should try adding a thick ointment. After that, cover each hand with a cotton sock overnight to lock in extra moisture.
Clean Your Skin Regularly
To keep the skin on your face clean, you should avoid using strong soaps or exfoliators. Using products with simple formulas that calm your skin comes a long way to protecting the skin on your face.
As a start, apply moisturizer after you have washed your face. If your doctor has put you on a specific medication or face product, don’t stop using it. Continuing your recovery from acne, rosacea, or other skin irritation will help you keep your skin healthy and clean as possible.
Last but not least, if you’re experiencing any skin irritations, you should stop doing your beauty routines while you’re wearing a mask every day. Some makeup products can make you more irritable to the fabrics on your mask.
Remember, before you start doing anything to protect your skin, you should consult first with your dermatologist. It may be necessary to check with him at least once a year.
The doctor can help you if you have any skin problems and conditions and guide you on the proper fabrics you can use on your mask.