The current situation brings its share of upheavals in our lifestyle. To limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), wearing a mask in public places, shops and public transport is recommended, even mandatory in certain geographic areas. For healthcare workers who oversee the health of the population, this is a reality which they normally have to deal with on a daily basis, but which is becoming even more essential today.
Wearing the mask over an extended period can have harmful effects on the skin, more particularly on the area covered by the mask. The skin care experts at Omy Laboratoires were consulted to determine the possible consequences of wearing the mask on your epidermis. This article first presents the common skin problems linked to the frequent or occasional wearing of the mask over a short or prolonged period, and offers recommendations to reduce the discomfort caused by its use.
Three undesirable effects on the skin associated with wearing a mask
According to experts, chemists and cosmetologists, wearing the mask can have several harmful effects on the skin: allergic reaction, irritation and dryness of the skin on the contact areas, increased production of sebum and sweat, more dehydrated facial skin, wetter environment, disturbed microbiota, increased imperfections, etc. These issues can be grouped into three categories.
Irritation and dryness of the skin on the areas in contact with the mask
With movement, heat, friction, humidity and stress, the mask and its attachments can cause damage to the skin and underlying tissues when the wear is repeated or prolonged. These consequences can manifest as irritation, tingling, redness, itching or dry skin areas.
Skin problems caused or aggravated by wearing a mask
Two phenomena occur with the wearing of the mask: the skin produces more sebum, because it is more frequently in contact with the hands, but also with an unusual foreign body, and the secretion of sweat is increased due to the heat. A more humid environment than usual is therefore created under the masked area, where sweat and sebum are blocked by the mask, thus clogging the pores of the skin. The heat can also accentuate certain skin problems linked to blood microcirculation. All these conditions are conducive to the development or accentuation of some of your skin concerns: rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, acne, blackheads, etc.
Risk of allergy to the manufacturing material of the mask
The facial skin is not accustomed to the presence of a foreign body on its surface for a long duration, a reaction to the material used to manufacture the mask is possible. Wearing surgical, medical or neoprene masks can cause more discomfort than those made of fabric. Masks made of fabric actually have a lower risk of allergic reaction, irritation or redness. The Omy face cover, made in Quebec and made of 100% polyester, would therefore be an ideal solution. If wearing a surgical or medical mask is unavoidable, adding a fabric liner will act as a barrier between the mask and the skin to minimize these consequences.
Adapting your skin care routine to limit damage
To mitigate or minimize the consequences of these problems associated with the wearing of the mask on the skin, we have a few easy-to-apply recommendations to offer you.
Keep the masked area as clean as possible.
When wearing the mask for a long time, if possible, it is recommended to remove it every two hours to allow the skin to breathe for a few minutes. Take this opportunity to cleanse the facial skin to remove sweat, sebum or bacteria that may have accumulated there. Delicate mineral micellar water, applied with a cotton pad, allows quick and gentle cleansing, in addition to leaving the skin soothed. Before putting on a mask, a few sprays of mineral aquifer water will give your skin an extra dose of soothing and moisturizing.
Let the skin breathe during the day.
Due to the wearing of the mask and its barrier effect, in addition to the often non- breathable nature of the materials used in the manufacture of the masks, the skin of the face breathes less well than usual. It is therefore recommended to use a cream with a lighter, non-greasy texture during the day to minimize clogging of the pores and allow the skin to air out. Omy custom day cream, formulated with a texture 1, would be ideal. In addition, the salicylic acid it contains will help fight imperfections.
When wearing the mask, no makeup.
In the same vein, it is also desirable not to wear makeup to avoid "smothering" the skin of the face even more. If you still want to apply it, it is recommended to use products with the lightest texture possible, to limit the blockage of skin pores.
Increased sweating = SOS dehydrated skin!
Since the skin loses more water by sweating when wearing the mask, it is important to restore its hydration using suitable products. Omy custom serum could be a great addition to your facial skincare routine because it helps retain water in the skin. Indeed, it has a high content of high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, which tends to capture and retain water in the skin. If you're already using it and your skin is still showing signs of dehydration, adding the active ingredient Hy to your formula may help. With its strong moisturizing power, this polysaccharide will take care of and redistribute water to the skin.
When irritation and dry skin come together.
The repeated rubbing associated with the wearing of the extended mask can make certain areas of the skin of the face drier or irritated. The use of a night cream with a richer texture than usual is recommended. With its higher oil content, it will soothe the skin, in addition to providing it with additional comfort. If your Omy made-to-measure night cream is currently formulated with texture 1, opt for 2 instead, and if it has a texture 2, prefer 3. With mineral aquifer water as the first ingredient, your irritated skin will be grateful.
Acne breakout? Ac and Se to the rescue!
The increase in sebum production combined with the accumulation of impurities under the mask can cause an upsurge or the appearance of skin problems associated with acne. In addition to adopting good hygiene practices, it may be wise to adapt the combination of active ingredients contained in your personalized Omy products. The active ingredient Ac, with its purifying effect, fights acne by limiting the proliferation of the bacteria responsible for it. The ingredient has a sebum-regulating action, that is to say, it takes care to control the production of sebum and matifies the skin. These two active ingredients are therefore precious allies in the event of acne concerns.
We hope that these few recommendations will be the opportunity for you to adopt new reflexes and to adapt your skincare routine, in these times when wearing a mask is omnipresent. If you have specific problems or would like advice, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to guide you in adapting your tailor-made skincare routine!