Wearing Masks & Skin Care

Jun 18, 2021
Wearing Masks & Skin Care
Hello, Warriors! How are you all doing out there? We hope you’re taking the time and care you need to heal, rest, and fight! Life is slowly returning to normal out there, but we all know that the concept of what our normal was has changed.

Hello, Warriors! How are you all doing out there? We hope you’re taking the time and care you need to heal, rest, and fight! Life is slowly returning to normal out there, but we all know that the concept of what our normal was has changed. Though more and more people are getting vaccinated and being aware of the ways our world was impacted by COVID-19, there are many out there who are more comfortable with wearing masks regularly. 

For some it’s because of the realizations at how easy sickness can spread and for others it is the maintained concern of lingering exposures to COVID. Wearing masks consistently though can be very rough on your face and skin.

Wash your mask!

Our skins’ pores naturally release sweat and oils throughout the day to retain body temperature and a healthy system. Because of this, it’s recommended to wash your clothes regularly, and a common practice is to wear an outfit for a day and then wash. We all know the laundry drill, right?

Well, with more and more people wearing cloth masks regularly, it stands to reason that we should be paying attention to that piece of clothing too! Regularly switching out and washing your cloth masks is our top recommendation when it comes to taking care of the skin on your face while wearing masks, but there are so many others we wanted to share with you today! Being mindful of the action of wearing your mask and how it affects your skin care is important as well in order to prevent damage to your skin or sickness! 

Chafing & Inflammation

Wearing face masks can do damage to your skin even when it’s clean!

If your mask is too tight for example, or if you wear it consistently throughout the day, the friction and chafing it can cause on your skin can be a lot like rug burn. The areas most at risk for this kind of discomfort are the areas behind your ears that typically ‘hold’ your mask back, and the bridge of your nose. Hospital workers and nurses have found solutions for some of this discomfort by using monkeys from the typical ‘Barrel of Monkeys’ kids toy to hold the straps against the back of their head instead of on their ears. If you try this and it works for you too, be sure to tag us or comment below! 

Skin Sensitivities

For those with skin sensitivities, residue from detergents and fabric softeners that linger on clothing and cloth masks can irritate your skin too! Skin irritation often looks like inflammation, redness, dry patches, peeling, or dark marks, and if you experience a pre-existing skin condition, like rosacea or dermatitis, inflammation can make it flare up. 

Acne (Maskne)

Acne is a common skin condition you may experience from time to time due to clogged pores from sweat, dirt, and hormone changes that can also be caused by consistent wearing of cloth masks. Remember that sweat and oil that naturally secretes from your skin? Even though you may wash your mask regularly or switch it out, it takes just one clogged pore to create a typically acne bump, and then picking at it can contribute to a full breakout. Your best defense to this? Keep your mask clean, take appropriate breaks from wearing one, and consider purchasing a tightly woven, 100% cotton mask that can be effective, yet gentle on your skin!

‘Maskne’, a term coined recently for the skin condition brought on by prolonged wear of masks and coverings, is medically named acne mechanica. 

Dermatologists Recommendations:

Dermatologists recommend the following steps to fighting maskne and taking better care of the skin on your face:

  • Keep your face clean!
    • Be sure to use a gentle cleanser and clean water to prevent dirt and oil from being trapped on your skin's surface. You should try to avoid putting your mask on if you’re sweaty or dirty. A good idea would be to keep a back-up mask in your car, purse, etc, so you can easily switch out when one becomes over-used. Some gyms are asking or recommending their members to wear masks during workout, or while alternating between equipment. If this is familiar to you, you know how dirty or gross your mask can become even after a short workout session! Limit the amount of time you wear your mask while doing strenuous activities, and be sure to wear a clean mask as often as possible.
  • Use a lotion or moisturizer.
    • Keeping your skin hydrated and creating a barrier between your skin and your mask? Yes please! You know here at The Breast Place we are obsessed with skin care, and we’re more than ready to share with you our favorite products to fill this need! Everyone’s skin care requires different products- no two people are completely alike and your skin care routine may be unique to you and your needs. Some individuals have more dry skin, others oily, and for some a combination of the two in ‘patchy’ behavior. If you’re still seeking the perfect formulation for your skin type, stop by sometime and let us help! We also offer monthly specials that often involve our skin care product selections, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see our regular deals, or reach out to us today to learn which ones we have going on now or coming up! We’d love to see you and help make a difference in your skin care and wellness routine!
  • Limit Makeup.
    • Limiting makeup is beneficial for regular mask wearers because makeup can directly clog your pores and contribute to breakouts. You’ve more than likely heard that sleeping in your makeup is terrible for your skin right? That’s because the longer your makeup sits on your skin, the more likely it will be to cause a reaction in some way. If you wear your mask on top of makeup, you can cause friction that quite literally presses the makeup into your pores; so we definitely recommend limiting your makeup look in the general mask area if you plan on wearing it throughout the day! Some people we know can’t part with their makeup routine but to be on the safe side they still wear their masks. The middle ground? Putting makeup on the upper portion of their faces instead of their whole face overall. This way, they can still experience feeling made up, with their eyeshadow, lashes, and brows the way they prefer, while still being comfortably safe. Have you tried this for yourself?
  • Keep your mask clean and regularly wash it.
    • Do this to keep your mask from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria which can have an impact on your skin and your health! When you breathe, through your mouth or your nose, you exhale moisture. These small droplets normally scatter through the air, but when you wear a mask they don’t have much room to go anywhere other than that small encapsulated space. The trapped moisture could create a breeding ground for bacteria on your mask and slowly cause it to smell over time. If this sounds familiar to you too, go wash your mask and wear a replacement for the time being! You could essentially be breathing in mold and that’s not healthy for anyone!
  • Choose fragrance-free laundry detergent.
    • Skip the fabric softener and the floral scents; your cloth mask is up close and personal and you don’t need the extra irritation! Most women know that scented products can cause irritation. Scented toilet paper, tampons, pantyliners, and for some, some brands of deodorant, can cause irritations or allergic reactions! Itching skin, feeling unwell, hives, and other typical symptoms of skin allergens make themselves known. 

It’s important to reference here as well that the skin on your face is so much more sensitive than the skin elsewhere on your body. Take a moment and compare the skin on your face to the skin on your hands or feet. Typically your hands or feet will be more well-worn with thicker skin, wrinkles, and calluses. Your face, though regularly exposed to the day, is typically gentler, more sensitive, and more likely to react to changes (such as wearing a mask). 

Have you noticed your skin being more irritated, sensitive, broken out, or stressed since wearing masks more often? We hope some of the tips and advice for skin care while wearing masks were helpful to you! Please feel free to share this blog with someone who may be experiencing skin issues or discomfort related to this topic, we’d love to help!

And if you’re ever on the lookout for the perfect skin care product for you, come visit us today or take a look at our products page here on our website for more information on the wonderful skin care brands we carry! We hope this blog has served you well, Warriors! Take care of your skin and wear your masks to help take care of yourself and others.