With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it is safe to say that we would continue wearing face masks for an extended period of time as we adapt to this new normal. And in the last few months, acne has been a predominant skin care issue that flare ups due to this stressful situation.
There has also been an uptick in another type of acne that’s related to mask-wearing. They pop up after wearing your medical or cloth face masks intended to safeguard your health and prevent the spread of coronavirus. In many cases, the mask covers your face for most hours of the day – so condensation, dirt, and irritation are bound to get the better of your skin.
Why does it happen?
Mask-induced breakouts come from the friction, pressure and rubbing from wearing a mask around all day. The skin gets irritated, and then sebum and bacteria proliferate under the skin to clog the pores and cause inflammation. This can worsen when you wear the mask for long hours. These pesky bumps tend to appear along the chinstrap, cheeks and over the bridge of the nose.
Read our tips below to find out how you can reduce the chances of breakouts while wearing a mask.
1. Trying a new cloth face mask
While surgical masks are the best go-to for the average user, they are limited in supply and can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods throughout the day. Plus, depending on how often you wear them, getting new ones will accumulate in costs over time. Some people turned to cloth face masks which are reusable to prevent single-use wastage, save money and still remain protected.
If you’re shopping for a new face mask, you’d want to pay attention to the material. It should create as little friction as possible on your skin. The gentlest would be silk, but you can also look for materials that are similar in its smoothness to avoid getting too much friction.
2. Wash your face and mask properly
This goes without saying but wash your face and mask immediately once you get home. It is inevitable that oil, dirt and grime will get stuck underneath your mask. Ensure that you wash your mask with gentle soap and water after every use. Let it thoroughly dry. This is also the time to step up with your facial routine. If you’re wearing makeup, use a proper makeup remover or a cleansing oil to remove all traces of makeup effectively. Follow up with a gentle cleanser to rid the skin of accumulated sebum, bacteria and impurities.
3. Hydrate your skin
As mentioned, the constant rubbing from mask-wearing leads to friction on the skin and allows for dirt and bacteria to easily clog your pores. To reduce this effect, the most efficient way is to moisturise and prevent dehydration. Ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, squalene and glycerin are known to restore the skin’s hydration levels and promote elasticity.
Doubling down on hydration with a lightweight moisturiser also offers a protective barrier to help prevent chafing. Use a mild and gentle exfoliator once or twice a week to get rid of dead skin cells, bring healthier skin cells to the surface, and allow your moisturiser to penetrate better into the skin for maximum effectiveness.
By paying attention to your skincare routine, the skin issues can be improved or prevented when you deal with it promptly. But if your acne isn’t going away or the condition seems to have exacerbated, it is good to seek an acne treatment as soon as possible.
The Q-Switch laser treatment delivers energy-charged beams at a precise wavelength (1064nm) per nanosecond which can focus on a specific area on the skin. The laser helps to kill P-acnes bacteria and minimise the production of excess sebaceous glands. This will regulate oil control and reduce inflammation to lower the chances of acne breakouts. At the same time, the laser beam is also effective in breaking down unwanted skin pigmentation into smaller particles to be naturally eliminated by the body. This can be helpful for sun spots, freckles and acne scar removal for a more radiant skin complexion. The Q-Switch laser treatment has no downtime and takes only 15 minutes to be carried out, making it a fast and generally comfortable procedure to improve your skin.