You may of have seen pictures of Doctors and Nurses with terrible marks, irritation and bruising from continually having to wear masks. With Boris’s announcement that we all should wear face coverings in public, that may mean an hour or two while you are out at the shops, or all day every day due to work commitments. This has not been rolled out as such in Wales at the time of this article, but it’s safe to presume that the advice will be along similar lines
Wearing a mask is going to create a moist hot environment for your skin. This can lead to all sorts of skin problems, so in this article I would like to offer some tips and solutions for your skin masking up.
So the first thing to consider is the hot environment for the skin when wearing a mask, and of course this is a problem which will only increase during the summer months. The heat generated from wearing the mask together your breath will be essentially steaming your skin. This increase in temperature will stimulate oil and sweat on the skin, which can lead to rashes, inflammation and Acne Break Outs.
To help offset this you may want to try these methods:-
*) Wash your face before and after wearing the mask
It goes without saying that a good, regular cleansing regime will remove the excess oil and sweat from your skin, so you don’t ‘steam it back in’!
I would recommend our surface radiance cleanse(link below) as this contains Salicylic Acid which helps to keep pores unblocked, while the gentle acids help to balance out your PH.
*) Avoid wearing makeup.
That is avoid make up just around the mask area. You can make up your eyes as they will be doing all the talking! You want to keep the area around the mouth clear of make up as you don’t want to be steaming the makeup into the skin.
*) Lightly moisturise during the day.
You want your skin to be in its best shape and this includes your lipid barrier/Ph & microbiome.
If you already suffer with dry skin I would recommend Priori Barrier Repair(link below) as this will repair your lipid barrier and deeply hydrate the skin.
If you are more prone to spots I would recommend Medik8 Balance Moisturiser (link below) as this will hydrate the skin, while helping to balance your microbiome with prebiotics and probiotics.
You see our skin is covered with bacteria, some good and some bad. It takes very little to tip the balance in favour of the bad bacteria which may very well lead to problems.
It is important not to forget that the skin is an amazing organ. If Corona Virus lands on healthy skin it can only live for a maximum of 10 minutes, as our skins protective acid mantle/microbiome destroys the virus. So it’s important to look after it, and in response it will look after you!
*) Use a skincare Silicon Barrier to protect against rubbing.
Now a mask should be firm but not tight on the skin, however, irritation caused by rubbing can still be an issue.
I would recommend here using a product that has a silicon barrier such as Mii Skin Smoothing Primer (link below). Designed to sit under make up this primer is perfect to apply over the skin to help prevent mask rubbing, and it has skin loving peptides in too!
I wear this most days and it’s great under make up and doesn’t clog my skin.
When it comes to the mask itself, we have been encouraged to make our own face coverings so as to leave enough surgical masks for the NHS. Here are some tips:-
* Use a breathable fabric such as cotton and try and slip in a filter for added protection.
* Be careful what fabric soaps and softeners you use as these could be the reason for a sensitive skin rash forming.
Now I’m not suggesting that these masks will protect you from the Corona Virus; many Scientists agree on that. Some compare it to trying to keep a mosquito out of the garden by using a chain mail fence.
The wearing of the mask is more of a courtesy to prevent the spreading your own infection to others. That is why surgical masks are used by surgeons to prevent germs from their mouth and nose entering the patient's body.
*) If you have to wear a reusable mask it’s advisable to wash it daily at 60* and use a rotation system of fresh clean masks. If you are able to lunch somewhere in the sun, leave your mask to dry out between shifts, as the sun will help to destroy the bacteria on it and dry it out.
Now here are a few post methods to try if you are starting to suffer:-
*) For general soreness and irritated dry skin , I would recommend Medik8 Ultimate Recovery(link below), as this soothing restorative cream will help reduce inflammation, and will improve your barrier function without clogging the skin.
*) If you are starting to get blackheads and pustules then I would recommend Medik8 Blemish SOS (link below), as this has high levels of Salicylic acid to unblock pores and niacinamide to regulate sebum production.
*) Now if you are getting red patches of skin that don’t improve you may have a skin fungal issue.
Malassezia Yeast lives on the skin of about 90% of us with no problem, but for some malassezia can cause real problems. The moist warm environment of the mask is the perfect environment for it as it feeds off the lipids within our skins oil.
If you are an acne sufferer and you have tried everything, and normal treatments are not improving your skin, it could be Malassezia yeast feeding off your oil and not p-acne bacteria. One thing we can do as a salon is to take a look at your skin through our observe skin system which will show your skin in a black light.
This will allow us to see;-
Coral-orange-red colour as bacterial acne
Blue-white-yellow as yeast.
We don’t know why this yeast starts to affect some people but some factors have also been indicated;
Birth Control Pills
Stress / Fatigue
The destruction of gut bacteria seams to contribute to Malassezia so taking Probiotics will help. I recommend Advanced Nutrition Youth Biome.
I would suggest seeing your pharmacist to obtain an anti fungal cream. Depending upon the severity you may need to visit your GP for an oral fungal medication.
If you discover your acne is from Malassezia you will have to ensure that your skincare isn’t feeding it and making it worse. Please contact me for more information of this.
Well I hope that has helped to empower and please feel free to share with others.
Keep Safe. Keep Strong. Keep Fabulous!