Best ways to protect your skin from your face mask

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While wearing face masks to keep ourselves and others safe, the price of protection can take a pretty high toll on our skin. The list of woes associated with creating a hot, humid area around the face, not to mention the pressure of tight straps, is long-winded. Whether you’re required to wear a mask for long periods of time or for short stints, here are a few tips on helping to lighten the burden on your face. 

Start fresh. Wash and moisturize beforehand to help remove oil, dirt, bacteria and other irritants. Moisturizing is key, even for those with naturally oily skin, because it helps to provide a barrier between your face and your mask easing discomfort. Also, be sure to use a clean mask. For fabric reusable masks, wash in a gentle, fragrance-free detergent and when using paper or surgical masks, be sure to use a new one each time when feasible. Next, skip the makeup under the mask. The moisture trapped below can lead to an increase in clogged pores and breakouts. 

Wearing the mask
Wash your hands before placing your mask on your face. Adjust it so that it sits securely, but that it is not so tight that it becomes uncomfortable. Since it’s important to touch the mask as little as possible when in public, having a properly fitting mask is key.

If possible, immediately wash and moisturize your face after use. If you have skin irritation, apply a healing ointment to help soothe and relieve the pain. For breakouts, use a spot treatment or salicylic acid. If you at any point are concerned about the state of your skin from mask use, set up a Telehealth call with your dermatologist to get professional help.