Our hearts go out to all the workers who must wear a mask for many hours in a day. The likelihood of your face experiencing acne breakouts and irritation is high. Breakouts can be caused by bacteria buildup mixed with perspiration and sebum (oil). And, ill-fitting masks may cause chaffing and sore spots. Medical staff and first responders sadly often have additional issues, like bruising and tearing. We’ve all seen the horrifying photos.
In my practice as an esthetician, I often used the oxygen mask in an airplane emergency analogy with my clients who took care of everyone else and put themselves last. Please let me offer the following basic steps to help you care for your skin, and prevent and alleviate your discomfort, helping you go into your work on better footing.
The Mask -- Choose a natural fiber fabric like a tightly woven cotton that can be washed between uses and be sure to do just that, wash after every use. This is a similar recommendation to oily skinned individuals and/or those prone to pimples to switch out pillowcases often because the fabric absorbs the bacteria that cause infections.
This will mean owning several masks, of course, and luckily there are many pretty and plain ones to choose from. Experiment with makers to get a proper, comfortable, effective fit and then stock up. If it is necessary for you to wear disposable masks, it is best practice to change them frequently.
Skin Care Regimen – Be sure to use a gentle cleanser and hydrating moisturizer before going to work and always, always cleanse before going to sleep.
Often people experiencing breakouts will lean toward cleansing frequently. Remember, it is best to not over cleanse, thereby stripping your skin of needed oils for natural protection and hydration. Washing twice a day with a gentle cleanser should be enough. And then, throw in a gentle exfoliator once or twice a week. Anything too harsh may promote chaffing and rashes.
If you do develop pimples, remember they are often caused by infection. Squeezing them is all too tempting and cause spreading,so instead dry them out. Use a clay or salicylic product to treat individual lesions (as opposed to large areas). RHEAL’s CLEAR mask is perfect for this. Gently massage a small amount into pimples; the clay will draw out the infection and the seaweed and chamomile will soothe the inflammation.
Makeup? No one can see you from under your eyes to your neck, so why bother with anything in that region? Play up your eyes instead. Mascara, well-shaped brows, eye liner and, voila! you will look less tired. Please do wear sun protection on any skin exposed to the elements.
- Prevent chaffing – A small amount of A-D ointment (Aqauphor) strategically placed will hopefully do the trick.
We hope this is a helpful reminder on good basic skin care, and recommend the following products from our treasure trove:
CLEANSE Gentle Cleanser, BALANCE toner (anti-inflammatory), DRENCH or RENEW moisturizers, CLEAR white clay mask. Please remember that an esthetician is always available to consult with you on your skin care needs. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or private message us on Facebook via our RHEAL Skincare page.
We send big gratitude to our essential workers and others now wearing masks to protect their customers and clients. Remember to take of you first so that you may better be able to help others.