Is your face covering affecting your skin and making existing spots worse? You’re in the right place to find out more!
If you’ve read our previous blog post on acne and masks , you’ll be clued up on how face coverings may be related to an increase in blocked pores and spots.
Here are some top tips and best practice for how you can care for your skin while using face coverings. So, let’s get into it.
Choosing the right face covering: material and fit
Soft materials like silk and cotton are much kinder to your face than synthetic fabrics. In terms of acne prevention, silk and cotton coverings are better for the skin because both materials are lightweight, breathable, wick moisture well and cause less friction, or chafing, than some other materials. Getting the right fit can also help with reducing extra friction and pressure that can damage and irritate the skin. Less ‘chafe’ helps minimise irritating the skin in the opening of pores, which can be a cause of clogging and aggravating spots.
How clean is your face covering?
It’s important to wash your reusable face covering after every use. You will need to have more than one to hand for this reason! Wash in your normal laundry, on the hottest setting possible. And you may want to pass on the fabric conditioner, which is commonly noted as irritating to sensitive skin at the best of times. Allow your mask to dry thoroughly after washing.
Alternatively, single use face coverings should be disposed of after use- they are not, repeat- NOT, intended to be re-worn!
Washing your reusable face covering helps reduce build-up of dirt, oil and bacteria on the mask surface, this fabric which in turn is placed in contact with the skin. If you re-wear your face covering, not only might it be ineffective against spread of the virus, but dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria from the previous wear can transfer to your freshly cleansed skin. Eeew! (does anyone else have the ick now?)
Wash your face. But be gentle and not too often!
Seems obvious, but remember- the face covering is already irritating and upsetting your skin, so you don’t want to add to that.
The area under it gets hot and humid, increasing skin oiliness. Cleansing can help remove excess oil along with other dead skin debris and dirt accumulated from the day.
Make it gentle and stay away from harsh scrubs and or cleansers. Acnecide’s Daily Cleanser is a gentle, soap-free, skin pH balanced cleanser for sensitive, spot prone skin. It helps cleanse away excess surface oiliness.
So how often should I wash my face? Twice a day max is generally recommended, e.g. in the morning before you wear your mask and in the evening after you’ve stopped wearing it for the day. Washing too frequently or with harsh, alkaline cleansers can dry skin, unbalance the natural skin barrier and leave it more easily irritated.
Anti-blemish skincare and self-care, you can do both.
If you can avoid wearing makeup under the mask area, then do, but we get that lots of you still want to wear it (putting a bit of colourful blush on brightens up our day and our complexion too!). So, if you choose to wear makeup, look for non-comedogenic (skin care products that are formulated to help reduce potential blockage of visible pores) and ones suitable for sensitive skin may be less irritating.
If you have facial hair, we haven’t forgotten you.
Facial hair, mild acne and face coverings are also a recipe for disaster! This is because heat, plus oil and moisture from sweat and breathing can get trapped on your skin in and around your beard or ‘tash due to the fit of the coverings. The tip is just make sure you’re washing your face thoroughly in the morning and evening and wait until your beard or ‘tash is fully dry before popping on your face covering.
Apply moisturiser before and after wearing your face covering
Applying moisturiser can help: moisturiser can both strengthen and protect your skin from sources of external irritation. It adds a protective layer between skin and mask, and it also can help reduce dryness and keep your skin hydrated – to help maintain a healthy skin barrier. Experts advise fragrance-free and non-comedogenic cosmetic moisturisers (ones that won’t block pores) to help care for and maintain the skin.
Don’t forget the upper half of your face- during the day this is exposed to UV Light. Spot-prone skin daily skincare recommendations include use of a daily moisturiser with SPF.
The Acnecide Daily Moisturiser SPF30 is a cosmetic lightweight daily moisturiser specifically developed to also be suitable for spot prone skin. Apply in the morning after cleansing.
And finally …
- Wear your face covering when you need to, but when you can, let your skin breathe. It’s important for your skin to get some fresh air.
- Wash your hands before and after touching your face and your face covering, to try and prevent any unintentional spreading of the virus.
Remember, if your skin problems gets worse, are really bothering you, or are making wearing a face covering when required difficult, please speak to a healthcare professional for advice.
Skincare in the era of the face covering? You’ve got it covered!
*This blog post focuses on some of the skin-related aspects of using face coverings. It is not intended to provide full guidance on wearing and using face coverings. For full guidance view the government advice on face coverings here.