by Alexandra Nicole

HOW TO: Reduce Skin Irritation and Maskne

skin irritation face mask
Image via @vanessahong

You’re wearing a mask because it’s necessary, but it’s taking a toll on your skin.

Face masks have become an essential accessory for many people in recent weeks. While they offer protection against germs, they can also wreak your carefully-maintained skin. Here’s why: face masks need to fit snugly on your face, and must be secured tightly around the nose to ensure that they offer maximum protection. Although the masks are effective at filtering out airborne particles, wearing them can result in rashes, inflammation, and even acne. This is because you’re sweating under the mask, leading to friction and a buildup of sweat and sebum on the skin.

Here’s how you can take extra care and minimise any skin issues while wearing a mask.

Amp up hydration

Wearing a mask all day long can dehydrate your skin and cause irritation. You want to make sure your skin barrier is in the best shape possible, which means it’s both balanced and hydrated. Even if you are not wearing makeup, it’s important to spend more time on your skincare routine to provide extra nourishment.

Use products that are rich in hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture on your skin. Also, you can try to take “mask breaks” and spray some face mist onto your face before putting the mask back on.

Skip makeup

If you’re used to wearing a full face of makeup, it’s time to skip that, or at least shift to the upper half of your face. That way, you can avoid potentially irritating or clogging your skin while under the mask. You can take the chance to highlight your eyes; a simple flick of eyeliner and a coat of mascara will do. Don’t forget your brows, either.

If you can’t forgo makeup, it’s best to wear waterproof formulas. Set it in place with a layer of translucent powder on top.

Treat and heal

If you’re already experiencing irritation or redness from wearing a mask, use over-the-counter treatments, like aloe vera gel or calamine lotion, to help the skin heal. The same care should also be applied to breakouts; opt for products with salicylic acid.

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