I have a love-hate relationship with my COVID-19 mask. I love it because it’s an inexpensive, easy, and a no-brainer solution to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 – protecting each other from this virus. I also love that I don’t have to wear makeup on the bottom half of my face, which is such a time saver when I have to get three kids ready for daycare every morning. What I don’t like about my mask is that my acne is having a field day under there.
The combination of compression of fabric on your face, a hot, moist environment, bacteria from irregular cleaning, and the moisture-absorbing quality of disposable masks can all lead to worsening skin conditions.
If your acne is worsening under your mask, an easy product to try would be a benzoyl peroxide (BP) spot treatment, such as our Advanced Medicated Acne Spot treatment. It contains 5% glycolic acid, arnica, and calendula extracts along with BP. Using this treatment, along with washing your mask every day after use, can prevent bacteria from harboring and worsening acne. If the acne is caused by overly dried out skin, typically from the use of disposable masks, it’s very important to moisturize! Give Skin Wise Organics Rejuvenating Facial Lotion a try if this sounds like you.
If you have dry, irritated and rashy skin from mask use, you could have a contact allergy or irritation from the material of your mask or the detergent used to clean it. Try different materials or styles and use only scent-free and dye-free detergents to clean your mask. Make sure to moisturize your skin well with hypoallergenic products, and consider using barrier ointments such as the Skin Wise Organics Soothing Barrier Ointment. If you still react, consider meeting with us (either through a telemedicine or in-clinic visit) to discuss other options.
Also… don’t forget that sunscreen! Your mask certainly will protect some of your face from the sun’s damaging rays, but there’s another half there too!
By: Devi Chettiar, PA-C