Updated: Aug 3
Safely wear a mask and care for your skin the right way
It’s been heartening to see a majority of people around the world rally behind social distancing and the simple act of wearing a mask when going out—in a united bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus. While these practices have significantly helped flatten the curve, we’ve also seen a spike in adult acne as a result of stress, improper mask care, and many falling off their usual skincare routines.
1. Change your mask after every wear for optimal cleanliness
In an interview with BBC, Singapore-based, Board Certified Dermatologist Angeline Yong shares that the constant rubbing of masks against our skin causes micro-tears, which allows bacteria and dirt to clog your pores. Plus, don’t forget the moist environment going on underneath your mask!
In a climate as hot and humid as Singapore, it’s important to change your mask after each wear, even if you’ve only been out for a short amount of time. If you’re out for the entire day, it doesn’t hurt to bring an additional mask along if the one you’re wearing gets a little too moist for comfort.
Be sure to always wash your mask in hot, soapy water and hang to dry in an airy place with sunlight.
2. Opt for more lightweight skincare
The hot and moist environment underneath a mask can lead to the build-up of sweat, oil, and bacteria. Coupled with the friction of mask rubbing on skin and this causes sebum to proliferate under the skin, which easily leads to acne. Dr. Yong shares that one way to combat this is to avoid heavy creams and use lightweight, water-based products, which can act as a lightweight moisturizer to represent an additional protective barrier between your skin and the mask, which helps to prevent chafing. Once a week, you can also use a gentle exfoliator to slough off dead skin to allow better absorption of your moisturizer. Find out which products work best for you with our Smart Skin Analysis.
3. Set up a proper skincare routine and stick to it
We are living in unprecedented times and adapted to new normals like working from home and unlocking our inner masterchef to whip up home-cooked meals. However, it can be easy to fall off your usual routine when you’re in isolation—sitting around watching TV, working mindlessly over time, and potentially slacking on your skincare. A concrete morning and evening routine helps put a little more structure into your day and keeps you centered for all other activities.
You fundamentally need a good cleanser, toner and moisturizer, and ensure you are diligent with applying sunscreen even when at home. You can then add other tailored products like serums, boosters, and treatments to give your skin a little TLC. If you find yourself being stuck with “maskne” and facing a smattering of little whiteheads around the lower half of your face, try mild treatments with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid—but always do a spot test to see how your skin reacts.
Alternatively, you can also use a clean, warm wet washcloth as a compress. According to Healthline, using a warm cloth to a pimple for about 10 and 15 minutes, three to four times a day, can help to release the pus without resorting to harsh pimple-squeezing techniques.
Above all, stress can be a huge contributing factor to why so many ladies (and men!) are breaking out right now. To keep yourself rejuvenated, carve some time out every day to do things that you enjoy. Yes, relax even if you haven’t checked off everything on your extensive to-do list! You’ll realize it does wonders for your mental health and boost productivity levels exponentially. Start by treating your skin with the care they deserve. Our two-minute Smart Skin Analysis combines artificial intelligence, machine learning, and real dermatologists’ expertise to deliver tailored recommendations you can try out instantly.
About us: We are Skintelligence, a team focused on a 'skin-first' approach to beauty through artificial intelligence. We match products to you based on your unique skin type and needs. Results are highly accurate and personalized with AI and machine learning. It's fun, convenient, and it works. Try it here.
As featured in Her World, CLEO, FEMALE, Shape, Nuyou, Singapore Women’s Weekly, Daily Vanity, Layers of Skins.