5. Avoid trying new skin care products that can irritate your skin.
Wearing a mask for even a short time can make your skin more sensitive. To reduce skin problems, avoid trying harsh products, such as a chemical peel, exfoliant, or retinoid for the first time. Retinoids can irritate your skin
TIP: “If you’ve been using a retinoid (or retinol), apply it at bedtime and don’t increase the amount that you apply.
6. Use less of certain skin care products if your face becomes irritated.
When you cover your face with a mask, some skin care products that you’ve used in the past may irritate your skin. If this happens, you might want to cut back on products that can irritate your skin, such as:
- Leave-on salicylic acid
- Retinoid you apply to your face
Products with alcohol may irritate your skin if it has been chafed by the constant rubbing of the mask. Exfoliation of those areas that are not irritated can be accomplished by using My Skin's Friend Enzyme Peel vs an acid based formula. Our formula doesn't burn the skin. It exfoliates by using our proprietary enzyme formula to gently dissolve the "glue" that holds old, dead skin cells together so you can wipe them away without damaging the underlying layer of new skin.
7. Wear the right mask.
The mask mandate in many states has given birth to an entire industry of custom designs and sizes so to reduce skin problems, look for masks that offer the following:
- A snug, but comfortable fit
- Soft, natural, and breathable fabric, such as cotton
- Fabric on the inside that feels soft if you have sensitive skin
- Cotton material inside if you have acne or oily skin
You want a snug fit across your nose, on the sides, and under your chin. I see people wearing masks occasionally that are under their nose and/or with bulges around the nose that would allow a small animal to pass through, much less a virus.
A snug, comfortable fit also reduces skin problems. If the mask feels too tight or slides around on your face, it can irritate your skin. What other problems might a misfitting mask present? You’re also more likely to adjust a poorly fitting mask. When you touch your mask, you can transfer germs to your mask and your face. That completely negates the reason you're wearing one in the first place. This is all new to us and these tips are compiled here to help you get through this pandemic as comfortably as possible.
The fabric is also important. Avoid synthetic fabrics, such as nylon, polyester, and rayon. These are more likely to irritate your skin and cause breakouts.
8. Stop behind-the-ear soreness
- Find masks with different types of ties and ear loops and wear a different type each day.
- Take a 15-minute mask break every 4 hours. Health care workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic have found that this helps save their skin. Of course, only remove your mask when it’s safe to do so and after washing your hands.
Safe places to remove your mask include:
- Outdoors, when you can stay at least six feet away from people
- Inside your car when you’re alone
- At home
9. Wash your cloth masks.
Many health care organizations now recommend that you wash a cloth mask after each use. Washing it also removes oils and skin cells that collect inside the mask, which could lead to a skin problem. You can wash a cloth mask in a washing machine or by hand. Both ways remove germs and other particles. Just be sure to:
Follow the washing instructions on each mask.
- Wash the masks in hot water unless the instructions say otherwise.
- Use a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic laundry detergent.
- After washing your mask, check its shape.
- If a mask no longer fits snugly (and comfortably), it is less protective.
If you have a skin condition, such as acne or rosacea, it’s especially important to follow your treatment plan prescribed by your dermatologist. This can help keep the condition under control.
What if you still develop a face-mask skin problem
Life gets busy. Sometimes, it’s hard to care for your skin as planned. If a skin problem develops despite all you do to help prevent it, see your dermatologist. They’re trained to recognize and treat skin problems, even those caused by the very thing being used to protect your health.