COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets produced by an infected person, especially when they cough, sneeze, talk or raise their voice (like while singing or yelling). Wearing a mask is an important way to prevent these droplets from being inhaled by others, which then helps prevent the spread of this virus.
While it’s critical to help protect those around you, wearing a mask regularly may cause skin irritation, rashes and acne, or “maskne.” Friction and pressure from the mask as well as bacteria on the skin can lead to these breakouts.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid “maskne.”
- Wash your face. Gently wash your face when you wake up and before you go to bed. Don’t use scrubs that can further irritate your skin, washcloths or instruments like cleansing wands. Instead, simply use your fingers along with a light and gentle cleanser.
- Wash your mask. If you’re using a disposable mask, throw it away when you’re done. If your mask is made from fabric, you should wash it with soap and warm water after each use, then dry it completely before using it again. You could even use a bleach and water mixture to ensure maximum disinfecting.
- Be gentle with your skin. Avoid using aggressive acne treatments, special skin care regiments or products, and petroleum products. Use light, gentle cleansers and products, and try to only use fragrance-free products.
- Go oil-free. Oil can cause you to sweat more, as well as clog your pores. Avoid makeup or moisturizers that contain oil – instead, look for “oil-free” on the packaging.
- Be basic. Maskne can be caused by a compromised skin barrier (the top protective layer of skin) and continuing to irritate it can lead to increased inflammation and breakouts. If you can, avoid fancy skin care products and makeup altogether. Give your skin time to recover each day.
Do your part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask when you’re in public and around others.
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