9 Ways To Prevent Face-Mask Skin Problems
Updated: Sep 29
Masks play a vital role in reducing the spread of the coronavirus. Masks can also be hard on your skin, causing problems that range from acne and peeling skin to rashes and itchiness. To help prevent skin problems from developing under your mask, board-certified dermatologists recommend these nine tips.
1. Cleanse and moisturise your face daily.
Gentle skin care can prevent skin problems. When washing your face, use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser. Dry skin is a common face-mask skin problem. Applying moisturiser adds a protective layer that can reduce dryness. You want to apply moisturiser immediately after washing your face. You can prevent breakouts from your moisturiser by using a moisturiser formulated for your skin type. If you have acne or tend to break out, you can still use a gel moisturiser.
2. Protect your lips by applying petroleum jelly.
Dry skin and chapped lips are common face-mask skin problems. You can prevent chapped lips by applying petroleum jelly to your lips:
After washing your face
Before you put on your mask
To prevent breakouts, take care to apply the petroleum jelly only to your lips.
3. Skip the makeup when wearing a mask.
Beneath a mask, makeup is more likely to clog your pores and lead to breakouts. If makeup is necessary, use only products labeled “non-comedogenic” or “oil free.”
4. 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, says board-certified dermatologist Daniela Kroshinsky, MD, MPH, FAAD.
5. 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, Dr. Kroshinsky recommends cutting back on products that can irritate your skin, such as:
Leave-on salicylic acid
Retinoid you apply to your face
6. Wear the right mask.
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
Wearing a mask that offers a snug, but comfortable fit helps to protect you and others from the coronavirus. You want a snug fit across your nose, on the sides, and under your chin.
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. 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.
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.
7. 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:
Inside your car when you’re alone
8. Wash your cloth masks
Many health care organisations 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.
9. Continue the treatment plan that your dermatologist created for you
If you have a skin condition, such as acne or rosacea, it’s especially important to follow your treatment plan. This can help keep the condition under control.
Check out EQ Benefits, Singapore's preferred healthcare privilege card. Get member's rates when visiting medical, dental or wellness service partners and enjoy exclusive deals on the EQ Benefits & Rewards App e-mall. Click Here to find out more!