Skin Troubles From Wearing Masks

I am getting numerous clients complaining about breakouts from wearing masks. Since so many places are requiring masks, and Colorado has mandated them in public places; that is my topic today!

The Issues:

When we are wearing masks for long periods of time, we are trapping toxins (dirt, sweat, smoke, pollution, etc.) in the mask. When we are wearing masks for quick trips to the store or run errands, we often keep the same mask in our vehicle (I am so guilty of this one). The problem with this is that dust settles on the mask, we are touching various surfaces of the mask every time we put it on or take it off…adding to the contamination.

Simple Things to Reduce the Effects:

  1. Dispose of or wash your masks often! As an esthetician, I change my mask between every single client, both for their protection and mine. You need to at least do this daily. However, if you wear your mask for longer periods of time, change it every 2 hours or so, and do a quick cleaning of your skin between switching them out. I love the Image I Beauty Refreshing Facial Wipes, because they are gentle, inexpensive, and convenient! They are especially great to use when playing sports or when working in the food industry…that sweat, dirt, and grease clogs our pores! Try not to touch your mask any more than absolutely necessary.
  2. Give your skin breaks from the mask! Do not drive with your mask on. Let your skin get fresh air as much as possible.
  3. Cleanse your skin well at least twice a day and exfoliate 3 times per week. This gets rid of the pollutants, sweat, dirt, smoke, etc. Exfoliating helps keep your pores clear and clear of all of those and skin cells…which also get caught in your mask as they constantly shed. If you are prone to breakouts, use a chemical or enzyme exfoliation…not mechanical (microbead) ones that can spread the bacteria and worsen the breakout. I love the Glycolic 5% by Sanitas or the Vital C Enzyme Masque from Image.
  4. Change out your pillow cases at least twice a week.
  5. Watch your diet. Limit dairy, sugar, greasy foods, and carbs. Improve your nutrition while boosting your immune system with Vitamin A, C, D, Magnesium, & Zinc. Drink lots of water, as it flushes out toxins.
  6. Avoid wearing makeup as much as possible. If you must wear it, be sure its natural and oil-free such as Bare Minerals or similar. You can also ask for non-comedogenic makeup (doesn’t cause acne).
  7. Wash your hands often and don’t pick!!! Don’t touch your face. Your hands have oils and contaminants on them that can add to the problem.

Professional Treatments to Reduce the Effects and Prevent Breakouts:

  1. High Frequency- this treatment uses electricity to create an antibacterial ozone effect to kill bacteria on the surface of the skin and deeper into the skin.
  2. Chemical Peels-there are different levels and types of chemical peels to address various issues. All of them help get rid of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin to keep pores clear. They all penetrate to different levels of the skin based on their molecular structure to treat many issues, including acne. These can be administered as often as every two weeks and then tapered off as the acne becomes more managed. These come with an additional perk of targeting aging as well!
  3. Acne Facials-these use specialized products that attack the acne bacteria. The best part is you can purchase this line of products to use on yourself at home. This is important, because 80% of how your skin looks is due to how you care for it at home. Consistency is key to healthy, clear skin.
  4. If you’ve tried all of these without success, then you can see a Dermatologist for an antibiotic.