As we enter this new normal of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have to make some adjustments in our daily routine. This means working from home, making more online purchases through home delivery, and meticulously planning our grocery trips. As the Circuit Breaker measure in Singapore was extended, wearing face masks was also made mandatory whenever individuals are out in public in order to slow the spread of the Coronavirus.
While the purpose is to keep you safe, your face mask may cause some undesirable side effects. Any fabric rubbing against your skin may led to friction and irritation. On top of that, sweat, dirt and oil can accumulate under the fabric. With constant rubbing, this can easily lead to rashes or even acne breakouts especially in the areas where the mask comes in direct contact with your skin.
At the same time, you are also trapping your own breath and this can create a warm and moist environment. Under the mask, your skin can get damn from the moisture, making it susceptible to irritation and breakouts. While shielding yourself against any viruses is of utmost importance, there are ways to keep your skin protected too.
1. Check the mask fabric
Surgical masks are recommended to protect the wearer from airborne particles and any liquid that can contaminate the face. They are made in varying thicknesses and have different ability to protect from particle droplets, splatter or sprays that may contain germs. They also have different properties that may affect how easily you can breathe through the mask.
But simple cloth face coverings are also encouraged for the public to slow the spread of the virus and prevent from unknowingly transmitting it to others. And the choice of fabric used can make a big difference. Avoid synthetic materials and pick something soft and natural like cotton. Breathable fabrics are more likely to filter the air in and allow for breathing without restriction.
2. Take a break from makeup
Whenever possible, it is a good idea to let your skin breathe when wearing a face mask out. The mask is more likely to remove some parts of your makeup as it rubs against your skin. Plus, makeup can also cause further occlusion of pores and old glands which can potentially make breakouts worse. If you still want to play with makeup, try skipping your foundation and blush, and opt for well-groomed brows and a defined eye makeup instead.
3. Cleanse your face afterwards
If you’ve been wearing your mask for several hours, take it off and wash your hands once home. Proceed to wash your face afterwards to get rid of any build-up impurities, oil and dirt that can cause oil blockage and easily lead to breakouts. Keep in mind to use gentle skin cleansers that won’t disrupt the outer skin layer and cause dryness or inflammation. This will also reduce the chances of you developing irritation while wearing a mask.
4. Ease your skin with a barrier cream
Pay close attention to your skin since it might be in need of special care after you have used a mask. If you are breaking out, focus on acne treatment products and acne-fighting ingredients or actives such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid. For dryness or rash, look for healing and soothing products. Any redness and abrasions can be reduced by decreasing the tension and friction through skin lubrication with occlusive creams.
It is wise to keep your skin in good shape and have control over any breakouts so you also won’t have to deal with the resulting skin pigmentation. Acne commonly plagues people, especially living in a tropical climate plus the current necessity of wearing a face mask. If you need some professional help, talk to our doctors– we are able to help you through your concerns through our teleconsultation.
For acne treatments, we usually deploy the Q Switch laser treatment to eliminate the acne-contributing bacteria, reduce inflammation and minimise oil secretion for better oil control. This no-downtime treatment will emit a tolerable warm sensation on the skin as it fires a beam of energy at 1064nm onto your skin in just 15 minutes. For acne scar removal, you can also look forward to the laser’s ability in removing any unwanted pigmentation on face for a clearer complexion.