Although helpful for public safety, wearing a mask can be a nightmare for skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, cold sores and sensitive skin. Mask acne, rosacea flare ups, contact allergy rashes and cold sores are all typical skin problems that arise from wearing face masks for regular periods of time.
Heat and sweat generated behind the mask can lead to flare ups of temperature-related skin conditions such as rosacea. Rosacea is very sensitive so heat and any signifcant changes in skin temperature can quickly lead to a rosacea flare up, particularly on the cheeks, nose and chin area.
Inside the confined space of the mask combined with the heat is a breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to mask acne breaks outs. Acne prone skin is typically oiler than normal skin and its when the sebum becomes contaminated with bad skin bacteria on the skin's surface that breaks outs occur.
Abrasions and irrittaion frim the mask itself, especially behind the ears and along the seams of the mask can irritate sensitive or allgery prone skin and lead to itching and flaking, especially in sensitive skin and skin prone to eczema.
If you are prone to cold sores the additional heat and airless conditions behind the mask, along with abrasions from the fabric itself are all triggers for a cold sore outbreak. Protecting lips from heat and chaffing are crucial for avoiding cold sore outbreaks.
Here's 5 tips to help avoid mask acne and other mask related skin issues;
Wash your mask regularly
Regularly wash your mask to get rid of sweat and the build up of bacteria. However wash your mask with none detergent washing powder to reduce the risk of contact irritation.
2. Avoid make up under your mask
Avoid the use of thicker foundations and cosmetics worn on the skin under the mask. Any products used should contain good skin bacteria promoting ingredients to help reduce the build up of bad skin bacteria.
3. Wear a daily barrier protection cream for senstive skin under your mask
Find a suitable barrier product that helps reduce sensitivity of skin and reduce dryness and irritation in skin under and around the mask area.
4. Cleanse twice daily when wearing a mask
Thoroughly cleanse the skin before wearing a mask and as soon as the mask is removed at the end of the day. Preferably use a cream based cleanser rather than a wash off water one to avoid additional dryness.
5. Protect mask-covered lips from cold sores
If you are prone to cold sores, the heat build up behind a mask and the airless conditions can trigger a cold sore. Wear a daily lip balm under the mask that can help protect against cold sores and dryness.
Here are some products that may help protect your skin from mask related skin flare ups and break outs;
Kalme Undercoat, an armour for sensitive mask fatiugued skin
KALME Undercoat is a unique one-stop solution to reducing skin reactions and sensitivity. It contains a tetrapeptide ingredient called Skinasensyl, which has been dermatologically tested to reduce the nerve response to external irritants by decreasing the release of pro-inflammatory neuromediators in the skin. By doing this the skin’s tolerance is increased and sensations of pain and discomfort are reduced.
The conclusion of the trial was that a cream containing 2% Skinasensyl significantly reduced skin sensitivity and irritation. After a period of just 30 minutes the skin was found to be less reactive and sensations of pain, itching and discomfort were reduced.
KALME UNDERCOAT can be applied as an ‘undercoat’ under masks and other skin care products to help protect skin from mask damage and sensitivity.
Allow for 15 minutes before for UNDERCOAT to sink into skin before applying other products.
KALME Undercoat is FREE from, SLS, MI, parabens and perfumes and is suitable for use during pregnancy and on children.
Hydrosil Tumeric Butter & Hypoallergenic Milk Salve for protecting and soothing dry, irritated and mask-damadged skin
Hydrosil Turmeric Butter & Hypoallergenic Milk Salve brings instant relief to patches of very dry and irritated masked skin.
Donkey milk is known as a ‘hypoallergenic milk’ and has the lowest risk of irritation due to it being the closest to human breast milk in its composition of all the milks.
Donkey milk is high in amino acids and antimicrobial proteins, making it beneficial for dry and eczema prone skin. It also contains more lactoferrin and lysozyme than cow’s milk so can help calm skin irritation. The vitamin C content in donkey milk is almost four times more that of cow’s milk.
Biochemica® Turmeric Butter is a patented 100% organic skin butter containing high potency turmeric actives.
Turmeric is notoriously difficult to use topically as it doesn’t easily absorb into the skin. In this patented ingredient, it’s been blended in a ‘butter base’ made from bisabolol, a natural viscous essential oil taken from German chamomile (Matricaria recutita. Bisabolol has been shown to enhance the skin’s absorption of turmeric. It’s also known to have anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties.
Biochemica® Turmeric Butter has been proven to deliver fast-acting moisturisation to very dry skin.
In a panel test to evaluate skin surface hydration levels, Biochemica® Turmeric butter was measured against cocoa butter. The study found that Biochemica® Turmeric butter was significantly better at two hours against cocoa butter for its hydrating effects. It was also tested for Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) against an industry standard petroleum-based ointment. Biochemica® Turmeric butter mimicked the petroleum product’s moisture-retaining effectiveness but in less time.
The new skin salve also contains a high potency of cardiospermum vine extract, which has been shown in a UK trial to be as effective as steroids for calming down eczema and soothing dry itchy skin.
Cardiospermum is a South Asian vine extract known for its potent anti-inflammatory actions on skin prone to eczema.
Hydrosil Turmeric Butter & Hypoallergenic Milk Salve is a cruelty-free, vegetarian and FREE from chemicals, SLS, MI, petroleum and perfumes and can be used on adults and children.
Lip Q Liquource Balm for protecting masked lips from cold sores
Lip Q Liquource Balm contains a concentrated extract of liquorice that helps protect lips from cold sores, according to a study carried out by the Herpes Virus Association.
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus and once you have contracted the virus they can reappear annoyingly from various triggers including increased heat and damage to lips through drynnes or abrasions.
Liquorice lip balm was found to be effective in a double-blind trial, carried out by the Herpes Viruses Association. It reduced the severity and duration of outbreaks for over 73% of subjects tested and, furthermore, 83% of subjects using the liquorice balm reported experiencing less outbreaks than when using their conventional treatments. While using the liquorice lip balm, testers reported that on average their outbreaks were only half their normal length and the time between outbreaks was much longer.
The key cold sore fighting ingredient in liquorice is glycyrrhizic acid (GA). GA specifically targets the genes that are required to maintain the virus in its latent state by interfering with the production of special proteins that feed the infected cells. Research published in the US Journal of Clinical Investigation has shown that liquorice has the ability to weaken the cold sore virus which lies dormant in the skin between outbreaks.
Unlike conventional treatments, due to its naturally derived ingredients, the balm can be worn at all times while wearing a without any negative side-effects, meaning that it could help prevent mask related cold sore outbreaks.
Lip Q Liquorice Balm is FREE from parabens, perfumes, MI and SLS and comes in a handy 30ml hand baggage-friendly pot.