Wearing a surgical mask makes your face itchy, and you’re tempted to rip it off your face so that you can take in a breath of fresh air, and scratch your face too.
As the COVID-19 pandemic crisis continues to spread in our community, wearing surgical masks have not only become a norm, but also a necessity in Singapore. In fact, you’ll possibly get “death glares” if you’re not adorned with one, as it is now against the government’s law to walk out of your house without a surgical mask.
While surgical masks are effective in curbing the spread of the virus, you will likely to soon discover the uncomfortable side effects that come along with this protective tool. With frequent usage of the surgical mask, you might be a victim suffering from Maskne, known as a new form of acne caused by face masks.
How do surgical masks trigger acne and breakouts on your face?
For a start, your skin may be sensitive to the fabric or fibre from the mask. Constant friction of the mask with your face also damages the outer protective layer of your skin, causing pimples to form more easily. Adjusting your mask regularly over the day also contributes to further irritation as your hands may also unknowingly touch your face.
If you are using fabric masks, the fabrics may absorb your skin’s natural oil causing extra sensitivity. Some of these fabric masks also contain bleach used for whitening or coloring. On top of that, fabric softeners and detergents may also lead to clogged pores due to irritation.
2. Accumulated sweat, makeup and oil
Imagine accumulating a mixture of trapped sweat, makeup and oil under the small piece of fabric from your mask throughout the day; your poor pores hardly have any fresh air. With excessive impurities on your skin, sebaceous glands are stimulated to produce more sebum, which in turns lead to clogged pores and acne.
3. Built up of humidity resulting in bacteria overgrowth
When you breathe and speak over a period of time, humidity and moisture built up beneath the fabric is likely to result in bacterial growth, and in turn results in acne and pimples.
With facial spas closed during the last 2 months, the facial mask potentially aggravates any underlying skin condition, as facial extractions cannot be carried out to clear clogged pores or treat acne.
Since ditching the mask is out of the question due to government regulations in Singapore (as well as other affected countries), we should find ways to protect our skin while keeping ourselves safe from the virus.
How to prevent acne or breakouts caused by wearing surgical masks?
1. Prep your skin to create a protective barrier
Start with a simple and effective skin-care routine – double cleansing, toner, and moisturizer to lock in moisture on your face as well as to create a protective barrier between your skin and the mask. Ensure that your skin is properly hydrated on a regular basis as this helps with improving the barrier function on your skin!
Don’t forget to cleanse your face twice a day (but not too much), as overdoing it may cause your skin to become more sensitive.
For facial cleansers, My Cozy Room recommends gentle and simple formulas such as Dr. Dr. Spiller Herbal Cleansing Gel, which cleanses and clarifies blemish-prone skin, reduces inflammation and ensures a balanced complexion. It also helps to reduce sebum production, thus allowing for pimples to heal more easily.
2. Stay Makeup-free
Trust us when we say that it’s really the best time for your pores to breathe during this period of time. As more than half of your face is covered by the mask, you can just focus on your eye makeup. And guess what? By scrapping your foundation and concealer from your daily routine, you’ll even save a good 20 minutes of your time in the morning! Don’t forget to apply Dr. Spiller Aloe Vera Eye Repair Ampoules to revitalize your dark circles and tired eyes.
Makeup can cause further accumulation of oil and impurities, which is likely to worsen your acne or breakouts. If it is really necessary, perhaps stick to breathable makeup with water-based foundation.
3. Cleanse your face after removing the mask
After several hours of accumulated sweat, dirt and oil under the mask, it’s best to give your face a good cleanse with your favourite and effective cleanser to prevent dirt from getting trapped in your pores, which will lead to clogging and thus pimples.
4. Heal your skin with acne-targeting products
If you have acne-prone or combination/oily skin with breakouts, it’s best to heal your skin regularly with acne-targeting products to minimize your pimple clusters caused by sensitive triggers.
My Cozy Room recommends our dermatologically tested Acne Drying Lotion, which helps to soothe troubled skin and dries up your pimples effectively with a shorter recovery time. Specially formulated to work hand-in-hand with My Cozy Room’s Award-Winning Premium Pore Extraction Facial, this doubles up as an emergency weapon against your acne enemies, especially if you are unable to spare time for an immediate facial treatment.
5. Wash reusable masks thoroughly with gentle detergents
If you have sensitive skin, try to opt for fragrance-free and gentle detergents to wash your reusable fabric masks. Avoid softeners to prevent any form of skin aggravation too!
6. Look for alternative masks
The chemicals and colorants in the fabric mask may also be a culprit to your acne breakouts. Try to purchase something soft (100% cotton) and natural without excessive colorants. While getting a pretty-looking mask may seem tempting to accessorize your outfit, it’s important to get your priorities right and don’t just buy a mask because it looks good.
You can also look for self-suction filtering respirator, which are food-grade silicon masks and can be disinfected by boiled water.
7. Go for professional facial treatments regularly
Last but not least, it’s important to give your skin a deserving and professional facial treatment every 2-3 weeks to clear your clogged pores and treat your stubborn acne! With 2 whole months of not being able to go for a facial during the Circuit Breaker, we can only imagine your frustration of not being able to get rid of the acne on your face, and the temptation of popping your own pimple might have just been the greatest and painful desire.
My Cozy Room’s Award-Winning Premium Anti-Acne LED Facial Treatment is specially catered to those who are facing severe acne or congested pores with acne scars. In addition to our highly praised extraction techniques from our professional therapists, the LED light therapy is effective in clearing very stubborn acne. By exposing your skin to the blue LED light, acne-causing bacteria will self-destruct, resulting in clearer and acne-free skin.
Until the COVID-19 pandemic crisis is completely over, we will just have to deal with surgical masks in our daily lives. It’s inevitable that these protective tools may cause potential skin issues while minimizing the spread of the virus; we just have to learn to tackle the problems to protect our skin from getting acne breakouts due to the mask.
Known as the Best Extraction Facial in Singapore, My Cozy Room has attained several prestigious awards, including the latest Women’s Weekly Spa Awards Winner 2020 and World Luxury Spa Awards 2020. We have also received many great online reviews from happy customers!
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