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How are face masks affecting our skin?

It has become mandatory to wear a mask in enclosed public areas, but how is this affecting our skin underneath?

Prolonged mask wearing over a period of time on a daily basis can have a very adverse affect on your skin. Think about how hot your skin gets underneath your mask, visor or both.

Heat is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. The additional heat will increase your oil production and decrease your hydration level, disrupting your protective skin microbiome.

Masks must be worn on public transport and enclosed public areas.
Masks must be worn on public transport and enclosed public areas.

If your skin is oily and prone to breakouts, you are likely to experience more bacterial spots and blackheads than usual.

How can you avoid extra breakouts or Maskne (the new term for breakouts under the masked area)? We recommend that you do extra cleansing to remove the excess oil ridden with bacteria.

Cleanse twice when you remove your mask to ensure that your skin is really clean. If you get the chance, add in an extra cleanse during the day if you are particularly oily.

Essential Well-being recommended Skin health routine:

Step 1: Pre Cleansing

Use an oil-based cleanser. Oil attracts oil, bacteria lives in the oil. Massage it over the skin well and add water to emulsify the cleanser to lift the oil away from your skin’s surface. Rinse with water and a clean cloth to remove the residue.

Step 2: Cleanse

Cleanse with your regular cleansing product to clean your skin throughly. For the best cleansing results use a cleaning brush to enhance your cleansing and ensure you get a deeper cleanse. Like cleaning your teeth, your cleansing should not be a rush job.

Check the ingredients in your cleanser. Many companies add stripping ingredients because customers like their skin to feel oil free. However, stripping the natural oil from your skin is unnatural and alters your skin’s PH, leaving y it open to infection and inflammation.

Your skin will react to the oil loss and produce additional oil to rebalance its protective lipid barrier, resulting in oiler skin.

Step 3: Exfoliation

Ensure you are exfoliating regularly to remove sticky dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, reducing the risk of blockages and breakouts, especially during the summer months as the cell production increases.

Step 4: Hydration

Use an hydrating spritz or hydrating lotion. The heat under your mask will evaporate your skin’s natural water. Dehydration leads to sensitivity, a dehydrated skin has micro cracks in its surface. These micro cracks allow bacteria to enter the skin, increase further water loss and result in irritation. If you picture the bottom of a dried up river, the water has gone and the soil has dried and cracked –this is true same principle as your skin.

Step 5: Prevention

If you are experiencing breakouts, apply products with preventative ingredients such as Niacinamide and Salicylic Acid.

Step 6: ProtectIon

Apply a moisturiser which will prevent water loss and create a protective barrier between you and the mask.

If your skin is sensitive, wearing a mask is going to aggravate it and cause additional sensitivity.

Behind the mask, your facial expressions create friction between your mask and your skin, leading to inflammation, dehydration and redness.

To reduce the redness and inflammation, apply calming and soothing ingredients, use products with oats, cucumber and lavender. Apply a silicone-type barrier between the skin and the mask to shield and prevent the skin from being aggravated.

For further advice please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Essential Well-being on 07960003061

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