As we continue to adapt to a dynamic world that seeks to mitigate damage from COVID-19 and many people live in areas that mandate mask-wearing, we must learn how to establish a new normal. Of course, the most devastating results of the virus are those impacting the health and livelihoods of those who’ve suffered loss or serious illness, but that doesn’t decrease the worthiness of eliminating other smaller issues!
If you’re noticing new blemishes appearing on your face around your mouth (where your mask touches your skin), you’re not alone. It’s obviously not the most terrible part of the pandemic for most people, but it is annoying, and since it can be treated, prevented, or cured, I thought it was a worthy topic for a blog post.
Of course, whenever skin issues arise, a great starting action plan is to go back to the basics and make sure that at minimum, you’re diligently sticking to your normal skincare routine. If you haven’t already, I recommend taking a look at the following resources I’ve already shared – one about acne, one about how to do an at-home facial, and of course my free ebook with basic skincare suggestions.
But when you are seeing problems that are above and beyond what usually happens if you slip up from your usual regimen, it may be time to take some extra measures to ensure that you are doing everything you can to fight mask-ne, so that when the wonderful time comes that we no longer have to wear masks (or for your Zoom meetings), you can glow from within and be proud of your flawless skin.
The remainder of this post is operating under the assumption that you are cleansing morning and evening, exfoliating regularly, moisturizing, using appropriate serums, and possibly doing a weekly at-home facial for extra care.
Since stress can cause acne flare-ups (and a pandemic can definitely cause extra stress), doing your best to practice good self-care and actions to minimize stress are even more important now. Whether it’s meditation, going for walks, taking a bubble bath, reading, or using your at-home facial and skincare as self care, mental health is an incredibly important part of this equation.
A clean diet and consistent exercise of some kind can also have a positive impact on your complexion, and have the benefit of also helping to strengthen your immune system, which is even more important for obvious reasons now. Of course, the extra skincare requirements that go along with exercise and sweat are also worth noting, too: make sure you take care of your skin before and after your workout, so that you’re not trapping sweat under makeup or any other buildup on your skin.
Additionally, looking at the masks themselves can make a difference. It’s really important that your mask be clean, both for skincare and for health reasons. If you’re wearing a disposable mask, please keep it to a single use. If you’ve invested in cloth masks that are reusable and sustainable, make sure that you’re washing it regularly, as wearing a dirty mask simply pushes more dirt into your skin.
The detergent you use to wash your clothes can also be a factor. If you’re noticing irritation on your skin even though you’re practicing consistent and disciplined skincare and using a clean mask. It could be that the laundry detergent you’re using is causing some irritation to your face. Try to avoid anything with fragrance, and try a formulation intended for sensitive skin. Since you don’t normally wear your clothes on your face all day, what might not cause a reaction on your body could be too abrasive for the more delicate skin on your face.
If you’ve tried all of this but still have breakouts, I want to remind you of one of my favorite products, the ZitSticka. It has concentrated medication to heal blemishes in a transparent sticker you apply to your face (more on it here). You can wear a ZitSticka at night, or even put it on under your mask. It’s transparent, so even if you remove your mask, most won’t see it – especially at a safe social distance.
It is my hope that you are safe, healthy, and not feeling too many impacts from this pandemic. If I can help even with this small inconvenience, I am happy to know I am making a small difference for some of you.