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[2020 Beauty Hacks] This Is How To Stop Skin-Irritation From Face Masks During COVID-19

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As we have been advised by health officials and politicians, we must stay indoors unless we need to leave the house to buy essential items. Being aware of how your presence around other people will increase the spread of this virus if you do not wear a mask, is vital. It is critical to wear a mask, ensuring you are playing your part in the reduction of the spread of the virus, but the mask comes with some failures of its own. 

Dr. Joshua Zeichner, dermatologist In New York City, USA, told Refinery29 in an interview that your face becomes sweaty and blocked as heat compacts inside the mask, as the hot air has no gap to escape out of. This can cause a lot of discomfort as well as noticeable skin irritation after your journey out buying essentials.

Dr. Zeichner explains the detailed reasoning behind why masks cause skin problems, saying it can lead to a build up of sweat and oil on the skin under the mask, which can lead to inflammation, rashes, and even acne breakouts. It may seem that masks are a simple addition to the outfit, however, it can cause more bacteria to evolve on your face if you do not look after it in the correct way.

Firstly, it is very important to pick the right type of mask. Doctors and nurses are given surgical masks due to the fact that they are dealing with patients in the frontline everyday, the highest protection for these workers is imperative. The general public must still use protection, but save the professional masks for frontline workers. Instead use masks such as cotton face masks.

Cotton is quite a porous material, making skin irritation less likely to appear, but depending on your skin type, it could also create dryness which then leads to skin irritation. It is important to wash the mask consistently to avoid reusing a dirty, sweat built-up mask, from last time. If you do not do this it will cause more germs to stick to your skin, meaning more cases of skin irritation and the spread of bacteria.

You do not want to be wearing your mask as tight as you can get it, this will inevitably cause irritation, so leaving a gentle touch between the mask and your skin is a high-priority. You don’t want to be outside readjusting your mask by touching your face with your hands, but also taking it on and off in public allowing bacteria to exit and enter. 

Cleanse your face before and after wearing a mask to prevent skin face irritation and germs spreading internally. Using a soft, unscented cleanser to help clear out the pores is the main factor of stopping irritation from occurring. Dirt built up on your face entering the pores is what creates spots, acne and other skin problems, such as rashes.

It is just as important to be washing your hands constantly throughout the day for a minimum of 20 seconds per wash, to eliminate bad bacteria you are carrying on your hands. It’s easy to forget to not touch your face and for some it may be a habit, so ensuring you have thoroughly scrubbed your hands, even if you unintentionally touch your face, the spread of bad bacteria will not be amongst you.

After your first step of cleansing, the next part is to apply a light layer of moisturiser. Allowing your skin to create a barrier which protects germs from getting into the pores, on your face. Applying a large amount of cream can cause the skin to lack moisture, meaning the skin’s production can’t generate the natural oils it needs, which can cause more problems within the skin. The face especially is a very sensitive area compared to the rest of the body, and needs to be dealt with extra care. Maintaining a healthy, lightweight routine will help to balance out the hydration and natural Ph levels in the skin, making it less accessible to irritation. 

It is easy to admit that wearing makeup is enjoyable and quarantine boredom can make you want to experiment different makeup techniques and designs. This is absolutely acceptable to help keep your mind active during isolation, ensuring your makeup removal routine is cleansing and hydrating for the skin. However, wearing makeup that touches the skin (like foundation or concealer) under your mask is absolutely not acceptable for the health of your face, and it is time to change up the plastered face in makeup, for a much simpler, eye level and above makeup look.

Makeup clogs pores regardless, let alone a mask clogging pores on the face due to built up sweat and dirt. Imagine how much clogging of the pores would take place with makeup and a mask on the face. Skin irritation like spots or rashes will definitely begin to develop. It’s never too late to start experimenting with a nice eye design and brows, while the need for wearing masks is still in place.

In the case of skin irritation emerging, do not make the irritation worse by smothering it in thick scented creams and solutions. The skin needs to breathe, and to help it do so a gentle routine to cleanse and lightly moisturise the skin is a must. Ensure to treat every spot, rash, or other skin peculiarities with the right treatment.

With irritations which have developed into something more serious it is important you get the right professional advice on what to put on to the affected area. Calling your doctor, they can prescribe you a medical component.

It is important to act fast at the first sign of any irritation and help yourself and others from the spread of bacteria by finding a cure for it as soon as you notice it.

Please note that the focus of this feature is skincare.
For more information and official advice about Covid-19: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus 

 

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