Taking Care of Your Skin While Wearing A Face Mask


By: Fola Onifade
Graphic illustration of three people wearing masks
Photo by Consumer Reports
The CDC guidelines suggesting that people wear masks  in public is the latest form of protection. However, it has also created new concerns regarding our skin.

​For those who wear masks often or for long periods of time, the rubbing of fabric against the skin could lead to friction and irritation. Skin under the mask can also become damp from the moisture in our breath, making it susceptible to breakout. Similarly, sweat, dirt or makeup can build up in the fabric and may cause rashes or acne.

To take care of your skin while protecting yourself and others around you, keep in mind these simple rules for wearing a face mask.

Choose a breathable cotton face cover.
The fabric of your face mask can make a huge difference, and experts recommend a mask made of breathable fabric like cotton. You want it to be secure, but not too tight, and remember to touch the mask as little as possible. Check out the CDC's short video to learn how to make a simple, yet effective mask out of materials in your home.

Wash your face before and after wearing a mask.
During this time, you’ll want to hold off on using strong cleansers or exfoliators. Harsh facial cleansers can hurt the outer layer of your skin and increase the likelihood of an irritation from wearing a mask.

Instead, apply a gentle cleanser after you remove your mask. If you’re oily, look for a wash with salicylic acid to remove oil and dead cells. Use lukewarm to wash your face, since hot water can be abrasive to the skin.

Apply moisturizer containing key ingredients.
To prevent compromising your skin’s barrier from the constant rubbing of the mask, apply a moisturizer that includes the trifecta for fighting dryness and irritation: ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. Ceramides are a natural skin component that replenish the skin barrier. Hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin by pulling moisture from the environment, and niacinamide (or vitamin B3) soothes the skin and reduces redness. SkinByAme's Raw Shea Butter, which has no additives, makes it the perfect cream to create a moisture barrier for ALL skin types.

If you’re experiencing irritation or inflammation, opt for healing and soothing protective ointments like CeraVe Healing Ointment.

Give your makeup some time off.
If you typically wear makeup on your entire face, it’s time to shift your application to only what’s above eye level. Dermatologists recommend limiting your use of heavy foundations and concealers to prevent clogged pores and breakouts caused by the increased humidity.

Taking care of your skin while wearing a mask will help prevent the spread of bacteria, viruses and infection. So, while these are strange times for everybody, the most important thing is to keep yourself and others safe.

COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. For the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources, visit the CDC website.


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