Find out how to manage your sensitive skin while you’re wearing a face mask
It’s now mandatory to mask-up on public transport – but plenty of people are choosing to wear face coverings whenever they leave the house or go shopping.
Wearing a mask can be a little hot and uncomfortable; breathing into one can cause a pretty humid environment between the fabric and your face, particularly in summer. If you have oily, dry or sensitive skin, this could lead to flare-ups.
While face masks are being used, it makes sense to do a little extra prep and maintenance to keep your complexion clear and feeling healthy
Keep your mask clean
Washing a reusable mask regularly is a must, for the sake of your skin, as well as your health. By washing thoroughly, you can make sure every trace of bacteria, dust and other pollutants can’t get trapped between the mask and your skin next time you wear it. According to the experts, using any laundry detergent is enough to keep a reusable cloth mask clean – and aim to wash it after each day of wearing it (having a few masks in rotation may help if you have a daily commute).
Choose your fabric carefully
If you’re wearing a face covering as opposed to disposable or medical masks, choosing a fabric that won’t irritate your skin is important. Just like the clothes you wear, the fabric of your face mask makes a difference in terms of how hot it will make you feel when you’re wearing it, and the impact it might have on your skin. Look for linen or cotton options, or a silk mask might be a good option if you have particularly sensitive skin.
Ditch the face paint
You may have visions of rocking a smoky eye while you wear your mask, but if you get hot and bothered, you could end up with eyeshadow all over your face! Keep it simple to avoid mishaps and cut right back on foundation and powder if possible. Try a sheer tint with SPF (we’d recommend Dermalogica’s range for long lasting coverage), waterproof mascara and a slick of brow gel to keep things light and simple.
Because a mask can make you feel hotter than normal, it’s really important to stay hydrated. Make sure you drink plenty of water before and after you wear your mask, to hydrate from the inside. Applying a moisturiser that cares for sensitive, breakout-prone skin will also help to keep your complexion soft, supple and hydrated while you’re wearing the mask. Dermalogica’s Clear Start Skin Soothing Hydrating Lotion – made for dehydrated, breakout-irritated skin – has a lightweight formula, helping to soothe discomfort and hydrate areas that feel dry.
While you’re wearing a mask regularly, you might notice that your sensitive skin becomes a little dry or irritated. If it does, press pause on your exfoliation routine for a week or so to allow skin to recover and to avoid the excess removal of dead skin cells, which can exacerbate the problem. If you do exfoliate, try swapping out an AHA cleanser for an enzyme product to achieve a gentle exfoliation: Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Serum harnesses patented Tri Enzyme Technology to gently and effectively resurface the skin’s upper layers.
Cleanse with care
As well as cleaning your mask, you’ll also want to keep your skin nice and clean, particularly after a long train or bus journey. If you’re prone to breakouts, you’ll know that over-cleansing is not your friend, so look for a product that will gently rinse away impurities without causing additional irritation. For oily and acne-prone skin, Elemental Herbology’s antibacterial Cool and Clear Foaming Facial Cleanser, ideal for congested skin, helps reduce breakouts and purify pores, gently removing impurities and toxins for clean and naturally refreshed skin. Dry skin? Try Dermalogica’s Intensive Moisture Cleanser.