Pandemic Face Masks & Skin Care: How to Help Your Skin Thrive in a Pandemic

Let’s talk about the protective coverings we’ve all become familiar with during the pandemic and how we can prevent skin issues from arising whether you are compelled to or choose to wear one.

Though mask mandates are mostly lifting, mask-caused skin issues are likely to linger as long as cloth masks are worn on public transit, airplanes, and in busy areas. To combat the skin issues so many of us have been experiencing, we’ve drawn together some tips for you to share with to achieve happy skin.

These tips apply to anyone with sensitive skin or who is wearing a face covering of any sort for any reason. Much of this information is adapted from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

Preventing Skin Issues While Wearing Face Masks

The Mask Itself
Use a breathable fabric with a snug fit
The first step in preventing the usual mask-induced skin problems is choosing the right mask. Things to look for in a mask include:

  • Natural fabrics like cotton or linen on the layer that touches your skin (not synthetics like rayon etc.)
  • If available, KN95 or surgical-style masks work well
  • A comfortable fit that sits snugly without being too tight. It should follow the bridge of your nose and make contact under your chin.
2. Wash Your Cloth Masks to Help Prevent Skin Issues
If you use a cloth mask it’s important to wash it regularly. Masks are catching the liquid you exhale all day, and oils and dead skin from your face, while also filtering out pollutants from the environment. Ideally you would wash your cloth masks after every full day of use. Be sure to remove any filter inside if it needs special washing instructions.

3. Stick to Products that You Already Use & Avoid Sensitizing Ingredients
When it comes to what skin care products you use around and under your face mask, stick to gentle products your skin is used to. Now is not the time to try out a variety of new products since you run a greater risk of creating irritation.

Healthy Skin Care Routines for Mask Use to Prevent Maskne

1. Cleanse & Moisturize Under Your Mask
Like all good skin care routines, pandemic skin care should start with cleansing your face. To give your skin the best chance of staying happy and healthy with a face mask on, choose fragrance-free cleansing products and after you cleanse and rinse your face, gently pat it dry with a towel.

You may choose to start with a toner then moisturize skin, particularly under your mask. Moisturizing is a critically important second step. We hear there’s often a hesitation to apply a moisturizer when you’re exhaling into the mask, so choosing the right type of moisturizer is important.

For ‘normal’ or combination skin, use a lotion/cream. Consider these options chosen to soothe and moisturize without feeling heavy:
Dry skin will benefit from a slightly thicker cream. Consider these options chosen to give extra protection and moisturization for thirsty skin:
For oily skin or heat waves, try a gel-based moisturizer. Consider these options that provide hydration while leaving skin light and cool:

2. Wear Less Makeup
There has been a notable shift in makeup use during the pandemic, with a shift on eyes and brows and away from lip color. This is a trend you can follow with under-mask skin! Avoid heavy foundations and concealers to let skin breathe as much as possible during the day to avoid breakouts.

3. If possible, take a brief mask break
Depending on where you are, try and go somewhere you can take your mask off for a few minutes in routine intervals. Obviously this is not currently a possibility in enclosed busy places like airplanes.
Do you have any favorite products or secret hacks to keep your skin soft and happy under a face mask? Let us know and we will post them on the Dancing Dingo website.

By: Kathy Cumberland

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