Yes, it’s really a thing & other skin related concerns from wearing a mask!
The Board Certified Dermatologists at George Dermatology have some important tips to share to reduce your risk of skin irritation:
- Cleanse your face with warm water and a gentle cleanser twice a day. If you work in a high risk environment, this is especially important as your face and mask have potentially been exposed to viruses all day.
- Moisturize your face after cleansing. In the morning, use a moisturizer with a broad spectrum sunscreen such as the EltaMD products we retail in the office. These moisturizers do not clog pores and will keep your skin hydrated and protected from irritants. If your skin is dry, apply a moisturizing cream at night that contains ceramides and/or hyaluronic acid to add more hydration to the skin.
- Apply petroleum jelly to your lips. Masks can rub our lips and after days on end of wearing, that friction can eventually lead to irritation. A layer of petroleum jelly serves as an excellent barrier to that irritation potential.
- Avoid makeup. On days when you will be wearing your masks for long periods, skip the makeup and lipstick. These can clog the pores. No one can see your skin or lips anyway under that new facial accessory! If you must wear makeup, read the label to make certain that the products you are applying are “non-comedogenic” or “oil free.”
- Avoid new products, especially toners and exfoliators. These can create additional irritation even without a mask. Plus, they are antiquated products from ages ago when soaps used to leave a residue on the skin. Newly formulated cleansers do not leave a residue and are pH appropriate for facial skin so avoid the potential problems they can create.
- Men, skip the aftershave if your beard area and neck are getting irritated. The residue from aftershave can lead to more irritation when occluded against the skin by a mask.
- Wear a correctly fitting mask & use it appropriately. Your mask should be snug, but comfortable. If disposable, do not reuse it. If made of cotton, wash your mask after each use with fragrance-free detergent. Cotton fabric is preferred for sensitive and acne prone skin. Polyester and nylon fabrics are more likely to clog the pores on your face.