Expert tips to consider in the battle against irritated skin from face masks


You may want to scale back the amount of makeup you use if you regularly wear a face mask – otherwise you're likely to irritate your skin. Photo: dpa

Wearing a face mask is an important part of stemming the spread of Covid-19. For some people however, they can cause extra problems for their facial skin.

The air under the mask can get damp, with bacteria quickly causing skin impurities and small pimples developing. It’s not uncommon for the skin to get irritated and red, making the right skincare routine all the more important.

There are however, a few steps a person can try to avoid peeling skin, itchiness acne and irritation from face masks.

Cleanse daily

Skincare begins with a good cleansing. “It’s recommended to first cleanse the skin with a mild product, for example a face wash or a gel, and then to purify with a toner, ” says cosmetics expert Ricarda Zill.

The cleansing process removes dirt, makeup and dead skin, while the facial toner removes the last particles of dirt, neutralises the pH value of the skin and prepares it for care products.

Here's an expert tip. Look out for cleansing products with an antibacterial effect – these will help prevent pimples.

Find the right lip care

Lips also tend to quickly get chapped and brittle under masks. They have neither sweat nor sebaceous glands and cannot be supplied with moisture. This means you need to apply a lot of cream or a lip salve.

"Beeswax, shea butter and jojoba, almond or avocado oil all help," explains Zill. She adds that sugar scrub gives you “super soft, smooth and well-cared for lips, especially if you apply a little honey afterwards".

It moisturises and has a slightly antiseptic effect. The challenge is “to leave the honey to work on the lips for at least 10 minutes”.

Don't forget your lips in your skincare routine. Photo: FilepicDon't forget your lips in your skincare routine. Photo: Filepic

Give your face time to breathe

Cosmetics experts advise changing your face mask several times a day. The mask creates an optimal environment for bacteria, and skin issues can be aggravated by wearing the same mask for a long time.

You may also want to avoid wearing makeup underneath the mask.

It’s also important to regularly give your face time to breath, experts from the American Academy Of Dermatology say. If your job requires you to wear a mask for longer periods, make sure to give your face a 15 minute break at least every four hours.

Perfect your bedtime skincare routine

Before going to bed you should apply a moisture-rich night cream. Zill advises you to make sure that the cream will intensively nourish the skin and is not too oily.

“Too much grease on the skin can lead to clogged pores.”

If you want to take particularly intensive care of your skin, you can apply a face mask. Available as a sheet or as clay, the active ingredients such as witch hazel, rose extract or aloe vera have a refreshing, slightly cooling effect and provide moisture.

Take care of problem zones

Small pimples are usually easy to get a grip on, with exfoliating extremely important in their treatment.

The rule of thumb is, the oilier the skin, the more often you can use an exfoliator – up to three times a week. If you have dry skin, you should only exfoliate once a week.

Irritated skin needs more intensive care, for example for acne sufferers. Severe cases can be treated with a water-based astringent.

”Both cotton wool pads and astringents/toners are available in practical mini-formats for when you’re on the go, ” says Zill. – dpa

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beauty , face masks , skincare , Covid-19


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