Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 2 December 2020

Ditch the exfoliator and use a barrier cream: 5 skincare tips for those regularly wearing a face mask

Oil, sweat, dirt and make-up can build up under a mask, which can lead to rashes or acne breakouts

Rebecca Treston suggests using a barrier cream and ditching exfoliants to keep your face fresh right now. Courtesy Rebecca Treston
Rebecca Treston suggests using a barrier cream and ditching exfoliants to keep your face fresh right now. Courtesy Rebecca Treston

While many of us have been enjoying fantastic skin after ditching make-up from our morning routines, that came to an abrupt halt for many when wearing face masks while outdoors became compulsory.

As the weather heats up and your face mask gets sweatier, you may be noticing that your once-glowing, make-up-free skin is beginning to suffer, especially if you're out running or exercising outdoors regularly.

So, how can we ensure that our make-up-free pores still reap the benefits of freedom?

Dubai skincare expert Rebecca Treston has the answers.

"Any fabric that rubs against your skin may lead to friction and irritation," she says.

"Also, oil, sweat, dirt and make-up can build up under the fabric, which can lead to rashes or even acne breakouts, especially in areas where the mask directly comes into contact with your skin.

"In addition, there's the fact that you're trapping your own breath and creating a warm, moist environment, making skin susceptible to breakouts and irritation. But there are measures you can take to keep your skin a breakout-free zone."

Here are five tips Treston says we should abide by to keep breakouts at bay:

1. Consider the fabric of your mask

Avoid synthetic materials and choose something soft and natural, such as cotton.

2. Give your make-up some time off

If you can, it's a good idea to let your skin breathe when wearing a mask out and about. Make-up can rub against the fabric of the mask and can cause further occlusion of oil glands and pores, potentially making breakouts worse. Ditch your foundation and instead focus on a cool eye shadow if you still want to play with make-up.

3. Shelve any strong cleansers or exfoliators for now

Harsh facial cleansers can disrupt the outer skin layer, leading to dryness and inflammation. This will make you more likely to develop irritation from a mask that’s on your face. If you're experiencing breakouts already, add salicylic acid to your routine. Using a cleanser that contains salicylic acid is great as the acid cleans deep inside your pores to reduce excessive oils and sebum.

4. Cleanse your face as soon as you take off your mask

This will kill off any acne-causing bacteria every time you remove your mask.

5. Ease rubbing with a barrier cream

Keep an extra-close eye on your skin, since it might need special care after using a mask. If you're breaking out, focus on spot treatments and acne cleansers, and if you're developing a rash or dryness, look for healing, soothing products.

If you're prone to irritation, use a thick barrier cream before wearing your mask to prevent rubbing and focus on calming balms and oils instead of powerful actives.

Updated: May 13, 2020 07:07 PM

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