THE NEW NORMAL OF FACE MASKS
How To Keep Your Skin Healthy
Written by Melissa Rhodes NP-C
Many of us now regularly wear face masks in public, following the CDC’s recommendation, in order to flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19. Whether you are a health care worker wearing a medical mask on the front lines, or you wear a fabric face covering on a daily walk/running errands, you might notice that your mask is causing some irritating effects when it comes to your skin.Between the friction of the material against the skin and the fact that it traps warm, moist air, wearing masks can lead to irritation or breakouts. Here are some ways we recommend preventing or treating these unwanted side effects:
Pick the Right Mask
If you wear a cloth covering, make sure to avoid synthetic materials that will trap moisture–cotton is preferable. The mask should be made from tightly woven cloth so it properly filters, but should still allow air to pass through so it is not trapped against your skin. A few layers of a tightly woven cotton should do the trick for everyday errands.
Adjust Your Product Usage
Now is the best time to take a break from makeup. Eye makeup and mascara are fine, but consider ditching the foundation and allowing your skin to breathe.
If you are a front-line worker and must wear a fitted mask for prolonged periods of time, consider taking a break from stronger products that contain retinol and glycolic acids. Instead, try a mild cleanser like ZO® Skin Health’s Gentle Cleanser. If you are breakout-prone, try iS Clinical® Cleansing Complex. Adding some light moisture with ZO® Daily Power Defense topped off with your favorite SPF is a perfect, simplified daytime regimen. One of our most popular sunscreens is the ZO® Sunscreen + Primer with SPF 30 — it goes on silky smooth and does not clog pores.
If your skin does show signs of irritation, apply a soothing product like ZO® Hydrating Crѐme as it can really help to protect and heal that area. For severe irritation, trying a barrier like Aquaphor may be necessary.
For more severe breakouts, our Ona Detox pads can help control oil and clear up breakouts. Follow up application with a spot treatment containing benzoyl peroxide, such as ZO® Acne Control. It’s All About the Routine
Make sure to cleanse your face morning and night as well and also after prolonged use of your mask. If you can’t wash your face immediately, using the Ona Detox pads when you remove your mask can help reduce oil and bacteria on the surface of your skin.