BMN Blog

SEP 16

Question:

What is the importance of taking extra care of your skin during our current pandemic?

Answer:

Wearing a protective face mask can keep bacteria and germs contained, which is extremely important while we are doing our best to keep this pandemic at bay.

The downside is that a mask stays enclosed around your face. You’re trapping your own breath and creating a warm, moist environment. Skin under a mask can become sweaty and damp from this moisture, which can make it susceptible to breakouts and irritation.

When combined with the South’s humid, hot temperatures in mid-August, wearing masks and other facial protection can cause irritation, chafing, breakouts and other skin issues. While a little acne is certainly worth it to keep yourself (and others) safe, there are easy ways to keep your skin protected too.

Question:

What are some skin care tips for keeping mask acne/“mask-ne” and these mask-related skin issues under control?

Answer:

Try and pare down your daily skincare routine. Keep things simple:

  • Thoroughly wash your hand and then your face with a gentle cleanser twice daily; morning, night and after heavy sweating or workouts.
  • Apply a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer. Even if your skin tends to be oily, you want to make sure you skin barrier is in the best shape possible: balanced and properly hydrated.
  • Skip the makeup if possible. Wearing makeup under your mask can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Try to avoid heavy foundation. Save time too by just wearing a little mascara, eye shadow and liner.
  • Steer clear of harsh scrubs, heavy-duty exfoliants, and thick creams, which can cause further irritation to already compromised skin.
  • Always wear your daily sunscreen. It’s non-negotiable when it comes to any skincare regimen and protecting your skin from wrinkles and skin cancer.
  • It is essential to continually clean your face coverings. You always want to rotate wearing a clean mask rather than reintroduce dirt, oil, and debris from a soiled mask to your skin surface. Using hot water and a fragrance-free detergent will do the trick to ensure cleanliness.

Question:

Do you have product suggestions for mask wearers?

CeraVe Foaming or Hydrating Skin Cleanser is a great option:

  • It removes dirt and buildup from the skin without stripping it.
  • It is formulated for sensitive skin.
  • It is hydrating, which will help decrease oil production and ultimately help prevent breakouts.

A light, oil-free moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid is ideal:

  • Think thin and not too thick.
  • Choose one that it light, oil-free and hydrating.
  • Revision Skincare’s Hydrating Serum or CeraVe’s Facial Lotion are both great choices.

Try using targeted application of spot treatment products:

  • Choose one containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to help eliminate breakouts around where your mask is worn/perioral area.
  • Total Skin & Beauty carries a great Benzoyl Peroxide Gel for specific breakout areas.

If you’re experiencing swelling, itching, inflammation, and redness caused by masks, Hydrocortisone is a topical steroid that can provide healing and calming results:

  • 1% cortisone creams can be purchased over-the-counter in most any drugstores.
  • Apply on clean skin in the mornings and evenings — before and after wearing your mask.

For an all-around great daily facial sunscreen, I suggest EltaMD’s UV Clear, Broad-Spectrum SPF 46:

  • It is lightweight, oil-free, and hydrating.
  • It is perfect for protecting sensitive skin types prone to discoloration and breakouts associated with acne and rosacea.
  • It is also available in a tinted version, which would be a great alternative for wearing facial makeup during this time.

Gene Stancut, MD practices dermatology medicine with Total Skin & Beauty Dermatology Center.

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