Skin is a physical barrier and the first line of defense against many pathogens and external factors. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that one wears a mask and washes hands constantly to protect themselves.
While wearing a mask is crucial, it also brings many mask-related skin problems when worn for long hours. The same goes for washing and sanitizing hands repeatedly. However, some simple skin care tips can help protect the skin from the adverse effects of face masks and strict hygiene practices.
Why Should You Take Special Care for Your Skin During COVID-19 Pandemic?
The coronavirus pandemic has made our skin susceptible to various skin ailments and conditions due to prolonged use of face masks and repeated washing of hands. Various skin conditions have emerged as possible side-effects of using face masks. These include Maskne or’ mask acne’, dermatitis, itching, redness, irritation, and other allergies.
Maskne is the most common skin problem which causes facial breakouts or bumps, particularly around the mouth, chin, and nose area. Contact dermatitis is another skin allergy that can develop due to the prolonged use of a face mask, leading to rashes and redness.
These skin issues mainly occur due to constant friction caused by rubbing face masks against the skin, clogging of pores due to sweat or humidity, and contact allergies. If your skin is prone to developing such conditions, then wearing a face mask can aggravate it.
Frequent hand wash using soaps and sanitizers strips your skin of natural oils, which causes dryness and irritation. Also, prolonged use of latex gloves can often lead to contact dermatitis with scaly and irritated skin. Therefore, you need to take extra care and follow a skincare routine that will help you to counter these effects.
The Best Skincare Routine During COVID-19 Pandemic
These skin care tips will come in handy to treat existing skin conditions and preventing future breakouts during the current pandemic –
Use a gentle face cleanser that does not strip your face of its natural oils while cleaning it thoroughly. Use it after you take off your mask twice a day.
Use only non-comedogenic, mild and fragrance-free skincare products such as moisturizer and sunscreen before wearing a mask. Water-soluble moisturizers containing hyaluronic acid and ceramide that can help address skin itching or irritation. Always use a good hand moisturizer after washing your hands. Use good quality lip balms to protect your lips from dryness and cracking.
Choose Non-Comedogenic Makeup Products:
Exfoliate your skin with a mild scrub to clear out the pores and eliminate dead skin cells.
Protect The Skin Barrier:
If you live in a hot and humid climate, use a good cream or petroleum jelly before wearing a mask.
Wear A Properly Fitted Mask:
Wearing a properly fitted mask will ensure that your skin does not rub against the mask’s fabric and cause irritation.
Treat Maskne or Acne Breakouts:
If you have acne-prone skin, use a mild cleanser followed by a non-comedogenic, oil-free moisturizer. You can treat mild to moderate acne using OTC creams or spot treatments that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
Consult an experienced dermatologist immediately if the problem persists for a longer time or worsens gradually. Strictly avoid touching or popping acne breakouts as it can contribute to inflammation and further spread of infection.
Avoid Hot Water Showers:
Hot water showers can remove surface lipids from the skin, resulting in dehydrated, scaly, and itchy skin. Use cold or lukewarm water to shower, and apply moisturizer immediately post-shower.
Use Ethanol Sanitizers:
Prefer hand sanitizers that contain ethanol as their main component.
Ease Rashes and Chapped Skin:
If you have rashes, blisters, and severely chapped skin, apply topical ointments containing zinc oxide or antibiotics to form a protective barrier between the face mask and the skin rash. You can use it behind the ears where mask attachment goes or on the bridge of your nose, as required or recommended by the dermatologist.
It is essential to stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of water to remove toxins from the body and get glowing skin.
Must Read: How To Get Rid Of Acne Fast?
It is imperative to follow strict preventive hygiene measures against COVID-19, such as wearing face masks and washing hands. In the meantime, you can also treat and prevent several common skin ailments at home during quarantine by following the practical skincare routine guide and tips shared above. While mild to moderate skin conditions are easily manageable at home, it is best to consult with your dermatologist to get appropriate treatment for relevant skin concerns if the condition worsens. Visit Oliva Skin & Hair Clinic to know more about a comprehensive skincare routine today!