Thursday, October 29

How to Care for Your Skin When Wearing a Face Mask


While South Africa’s Covid-19 lockdown regulations require South Africans to wear face masks when in public, many people who wear a mask on a regular basis are experiencing breakouts on their skin. What has now been coined ‘maskne’ (dermatologically known as acne mechanics), acne that results from wearing a face mask, is commonly triggered by sweat, friction, and pressure on the skin which leads to inflammation, unpleasant red rashes and tiny clusters of pimples around the nose and mouth specifically. Luckily, there are steps you can take to avoid the condition or help your skin combat maskne. Here are just a few tips to help you take care of your skin while wearing a mask.

Choose a soft and breathable mask


You can now buy cloth face masks online from a variety of places or make your own at home. It is recommended to use a mask with three layers, selecting a non-woven (or similar) fabric with strong filtering capability as the middle layer, and the accompanying inner and outer layers for comfort, structure and some additional protection.

When using a reusable mask, make sure you wash it regularly as they are prone to collect dirt, oils, bacteria, and germs, which may exacerbate skin problems.

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Use a gentle skin cleanser


If your skin is sensitive or reactive, it’s important to consider switching out your usual cleanser for a more gentle option. Choose a skin cleanser like the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, a mild, non-irritating, non-drying gentle skin cleanser for even the most sensitive skin. This cleanser can be used without water. So, if you have irritated or sensitive skin, gently swipe a cotton round with the cleanser over your skin.

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Help rebuild your skin’s natural barrier

Eau Thermale Avène TriXera Nutrition Nutri-Fluid Balm

After cleansing your skin, apply a lightweight, oil-free moisturiser that is suitable for sensitive skin. Try something like Eau Thermale Avène TriXera Nutrition Nutri-Fluid Balm. This balm can be used on the face and body and helps to nourish and soothe dry skin while restoring the skin barrier to give the skin maximum hydration. It’s fragrance-free and the non-oily, fast-absorbing formula allows you to apply the product and get dressed immediately without that sticky skin feeling.

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Don’t forget your sun protection

BioNike Defence Sun

Yes, we know it’s winter but sunscreen is just as important during the cooler months. Although half of our face is covered by our face masks, it is still important to apply an SPF on a daily basis, as some of the skin is exposed to the harmful sun rays when going for daily walks. Opt for a non-comedogenic and oil-free option as they work to decrease excess oil that can clog pores and lead to acne.

If you have sensitive skin a product like BioNike Defence Sun 50+ Very High Protection Lotion is ideal. This light-weight, water-resistant  sunscreen is ideal for sensitive skin and is nickel-tested, preservative-free, gluten-free, and fragrance-free. In addition to the basic sun protection, BioNike claim that this product also helps to prevent photodermatoses, pregnancy chloasma and pigmentation disorders for people whose skin is hyper-reactive to the sun.

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Keep in contact with your dermatologist

online chat

If you are concerned about the health of your skin or keep experiencing skin breakouts, make sure you keep in contact with your dermatologist or beauty therapist during this time. Some dermatologists and beauty therapists are offering a video call solution for patients and clients during this lockdown period. While you may not be able to see your skincare expert or person, you can still get valuable advice on how to care for your skin during this tricky time.


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