Tips for face mask wearers

Tips for face mask wearers

COVID-19 has made wearing a face mask compulsory all over the world, but wearing a face mask for too long causes its effects on the skin underneath.

A consequence of consistent mask wear could be:

• Skin irritation
• Allergic dermatitis
• Ulcerations
• Trauma lines/skin tears
• Acne
• Flare-up of eczema and rosacea

During the COVID pandemic, face masks became part of our daily outfits. Thankfully here in New Zealand, it is not mandatory (at present). However, I am including this article as we may still need to use them in the future, and also there are many people in Health Care that use facemasks.

Helpful tips:

  • Before removing your mask – hand hygiene. Don’t touch the outside of the mask, remove using the ear loops.

  • Where possible (after your shift) try to give your skin a little break between mask use. Also, consider changing to face covers made from cloth. Please wash these regularly.

  • If you have been using your mask for a prolonged time, after removal, consider using a face cleansing wipe if you are not able to do a proper clean (I have some in my vehicle and use it after my shift)

Prior to using the face mask for the day:

  • Double cleansing your face at the start and end of the day is important.

  • Apply a thin layer of moisturizer (not too greasy) or ideally a hyaluronic acid serum at least 30 minutes prior to wearing the mask. Water-based moisturizers or “light” moisturizers are recommended.

After using your face mask for the day:

  • If your skin is still feeling warm or hot, use a clean cloth, dip it in cold water, and gently cold compress your skin. This will help soothe it. Don’t use ice or an ice pack.

  • Using vitamin C serum also contributes to the overall health of your skin.

  • If you already suffer from acne, use cleansers with light AHAs that include small amounts of salicylic acid to help with the acne infection.

  • Don’t overuse your products.

  • The aim is to cleanse, hydrate, and soothe your skin. A facial (professional or home care) is not a luxury it is ‘self-care’.

Need to take care of:

  • Be Kind, be thoughtful, be responsible.

  • Cut or break the loop before discarding the facemask in the appropriate place.

  • Our animal population needs our consideration.

Suggested Read: World Immunization Day 

Mehak Kamboj

Mehak Kamboj

Mehak Kamboj is currently working as Director of Area Mental Health Services CD at the Acute Mental Health Unit at Auckland City Hospital, New Zealand. She studied at the University of Otago and lives in Auckland, New Zealand. She is basically from Moga, Punjab. She wrote articles on mental health and stigma.