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Protecting your face from damage caused by lengthy use of face mask

Skin Care - By Derrick Oluoch
When worn for long hours, face masks can cause breakouts (Shutterstock)

Despite the coronavirus restrictions slightly relaxing, experts advise that it is too soon let our guard down and we need to continue wearing our face masks.

Face masks have even been made mandatory in public places including shopping malls, public transport and even in offices. While they help reduce our exposure to the coronavirus, there are some downsides to wearing face masks.

Having a mask for long hours can affect the skin. When worn for long, masks can cause pressure marks, allergies, rashes, breakouts and even fungal infections. Wearing a mask traps breath under it which mixes with sweat and oil and can upset the pH balance of the skin under the mask.

Here is how you can protect your skin from the effects of prolonged use of a face mask

  • Often changing your mask

Other than ensuring that you don’t wear an ill-fitting mask, you need to wash or change your mask every day. While changing the mask, it is advisable that you also go for a different design.

When you keep changing your mask designs, you help prevent your skin collagen from breaking and you may not have to deal with a sagging skin as a result of prolonged use of face masks.

  • Using a moisturizer

If you spend long hours in the office, you can occasionally clean your face with wet wipes and apply some moisturizer. Moisturizing helps to keep your skin neither too dry nor too oily as both extremes are harmful to the skin and can cause breakouts.

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It is recommended that you go for a non-comedogenic moisturizers. Non-comedogenic products don’t clog the pores and this is not the time to have anything clogging your pores.

Avoid wearing makeup or foundation under your mask as makeup can cause a breakout (Shutterstock)
  • Ensuring your mask is clean, carrying a spare mask

Disposable masks are the best since you don’t get to wear them more than once. However, if you are using a cotton mask, you need to wash it every day.

If you are going to wear the mask for a long time, you may need to carry a spare so that you can change to a cleaner mask after some time.

  • Hydrating your skin

Other than drinking lots of water, you may also want to include some good quality cleansers and toners to your beauty routine. This way, you ensure that you remove all the oil and pollutants from the skin helping keep your pores clear and prevent skin conditions like acne.

  • Cutting back on the makeup and foundation

Wearing makeup or foundation under your mask can cause a breakout as the mask traps the oils, dirt and sweat under it. Makeup clogs your pores and this can irritate the skin and result in unwanted skin infections considering the conditions under the mask.

You can go for a minimalist makeup look and wear makeup above the mask. You can still do your eyes and eyebrows even as you avoid having makeup around your mouth.

If you must wear your makeup, you should find foundations that are non-comedogenic.

Other than your damaging your skin, makeup can also damage the mask as it soils it leading to decreased air filtration.

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