The face mask has become an essential accessory in everyone's closets. It protects from infection and won't be leaving our faces (or our lives) anytime soon. While that's great, your skin might not feel the same way. With the mask covering the nose and mouth, the area around cheeks, nose and chin can accumulate moisture and collect perspiration. This in turn can lead to redness, irritation, bruising, inflammation and flaring-up of pre-existing skin conditions like acne and dermatitis. It's a completely new situation for everyone and simply looking up what you should do on the internet isn't good enough. Which is why NDTV Swirlster spoke to Dr. Anish Desai, Director of Strategic Medical Affair at Adroit Biomed Ltd and experienced clinical research physician.
Expert Skincare Tips To Follow When Wearing A Face Mask
An expert in his field, Dr. Desai shared his advice and skincare tips to follow when using a face mask.
1. Wash Your Face
"One needs to wash their face before and after using a face mask," advises the doctor. Not only is washing one's face an important sanitary measure, it will keep sweat from accumulating around the mouth too.
2. Choose Your Mask Carefully
"Ensure you choose a mask that fits your face well so that there is no friction between the facial skin leading to irritation and abrasions," says Dr. Desai. Opt for one that isn't too tight as it will hurt the skin or too loose as that won't fulfill its purpose.
3. Moisturise Well
"Keep your skin moisturised and hydrated when possible," he says. Moisturiser is a key skincare product all year through and that's no different right now. Indoors or outdoors, don't leave home without it.
4. Let Your Skin Breathe
"Avoid using a mask for an extended period when possible like if you're alone in a room or travelling in your car by yourself," he advises. This will prevent accumulation of sweat and allow your skin to breathe a bit easy.
(Also Read: COVID-19 Face Mask: 5 Mistakes You Need To Stop Making When Wearing A Mask)
5. No To Damp Masks
"Don't use a damp mask. Carry a spare mask so that you can change your mask when it gets wet and if you plan to wear your face mask for an extended period of time," says the doctor. It will only add to the build-up of moisture so always keep a crisp and dry mask handy.
6. Protect Your Face
"If you have cuts or bruises on your skin, use emollients and barrier creams to prevent friction between the mask and skin," advises the doctor.
7. Avoid Heavy Makeup
"One needs to avoid wearing heavy makeup which can be oily and can cause skin damage in these conditions," signs off Dr. Desai. Opt for light wearing makeup when need be or only a skincare base for your face when possible.
(Also Read: Pimples When Wearing A Mask? Try These Anti-Acne Picks For Your Skin)