Skin problems can develop beneath your mask.

Breathing for hours within the same mask can create a humid environment inside. It’s the perfect breeding ground for skin problems like acne breakouts, excessive dryness and red irritated skin.

Pores become blocked with sweat, oil and makeup. Add in the constant heat generated against your skin, and that activates inflammation of skins that are prone to sensitivities or conditions such as Rosacea. In combination with a mask that is not fitted properly, you have created the perfect storm leading to very unhappy unhealthy skin.

 

So, what can you do to prevent skin problems occurring?

  • Don’t wear your mask longer than 4 hours.
  • Make sure your mask is correctly fitted. An ill-fitted mask does not protect you properly, and can cause rubbing and irritation.
  • If you don’t have to wear make-up under the area covered by the mask then don’t.
  • Wash fabric masks thoroughly after every wear to remove dirt and oils. Use hypoallergenic laundry detergent and make sure you dry your mask completely. It’s all about keeping the mask environment dry. Tip: lay it over your hot towel rail at home for a quick and even dry.
  • If possible give your skin a 15 minute breather. Go somewhere or step outside away from others and take off your mask. It’s important to let your skin breathe.
  • Lastly, wash your hands before you remove your mask to avoid spreading germs to the face. Wash your hands after as well, just in case you have any infectious virus on the surface of your mask.

If skin irritation does occur, here’s what you can do to calm and soothe the skin: give it some gentle self-love.

  1. Cleanse your skin with a mild, gentle, effective cleanser. My recommendations: Sothys Vitality Cleansing Milk, Sothys Desquacrem or Micellar Cleansing Water.
  2. Don’t over cleanse and scrub your face. Don’t use HOT water or put your face under a HOT shower. Tempting, but don’t! It can irritate and overheat your skin. Pat your skin dry, don’t rub.
  3. For breakout-prone skin, apply an appropriate targeted serum while the skin is still semi-damp. My recommendations: Sothys Detoxifying Youth Serum with the Depolluting Youth Cream as a moisturiser is a brilliant combination.
  4. Maintain a light makeup on non-covered areas of your face. If you have to have a full face of makeup, use products that support detoxification such as Sothys Instant Energizing Corrector from the Detox range. One of my little gems.
  5. For reactive or irritated skin caused by friction from the mask, use skincare for sensitive skins. They are more soothing and gentle. My recommendations: Sothys Soothing SOS serum and Soothing creams. At the end of the day, apply a Sothys Nutri-soothing mask and a repair balm on the irritated areas. It’s absolute heaven!
  6. If the skin becomes hot, and aggravated blotches appear over nose and cheeks, you now have an impaired skin barrier function. If this occurs, you will need to seek advice from your skincare professional. If you can’t do that, here are my suggestions: Calming Ampoules to bring down redness, Regenerative solution as a serum to rehydrate an ultra-weakened skin barrier, supported with Clarte & Confort protective cream for red skins, and the much loved Repair Balm for barrier support.

 Self-care is so important and should be done regularly. You’re not only giving your skin some love, you’re also giving yourself some love – your mental state is just as important. Women tend to put everyone else’s needs before their own – it’s just in our nature. As mothers, caregivers, protectors, what we do is important, so we need to look after ourselves. Even if it’s just once a week, take a moment for you.

Tip: create a sanctuary within your bathroom, and anti-dote the daily/weekly challenges with self-care and love.