What is going on under your mask (and ways to combat it)?

The pandemic completely caught us off guard, and our skin took the brunt of it. Masks have become a vital part of our lives now as we adapt to the new normal. While they are an efficient way to limit the spread of the virus and non-negotiable in these trying times, they do invite a few skincare concerns too.
These metaphorical knights in humble cloth armour can make you see a sudden emergence of:

  • Inflammatory lesions like acne in the lower half of the face where the mask sits
  • Heat rashes
  • Scaly skin accompanied by redness
  • Irritation
  • An excessive oily and sticky T-zone area


The Root Cause

Most of us are quick to judge what appears on the surface and jump onto whatever home-made mask our grandmother’s suggests or go on to apply layer upon layer of skincare that is being shoved down our throat with smart marketing and constant influencing. This is arguably the worst thing you can do to your skin that’s already going through a lot instead of seeing an actual skin doctor. So, let’s debunk the root causes here that are angering your skin now more than ever –

  1. Masks 

Masks cover the entire mouth region which is already oilier than the rest of the face. Moreover, it traps in a portion of the breath that we exhale, creating an oily and misty hotbed for skincare issues.

  1. Oils 

Our skin naturally produces sebum to shield it from external forces and maintain hydration within its layers. For most of us, our T-zone, which includes the forehead, nose, and chin is the oiliest. This excessive oil production cannot only clog your pores but also become a yummy concoction for acne-causing bacteria to feast on.

  1. Humidity 

Apart from the humid air we exhale, the tropical sweltering heat also adds to steaminess brewing under the seemingly harmless mask.

  1. Skincare 

All those trendy skincare routines that propagate the idea of piling layer upon layer of skincare only addto the problem. It increases the oiliness of the region and a mask on top further aggravates the issue by heating the area.

Steps you should take to combat mask induced skin issues

  • As soon as you return home, take off your mask and wash your face thoroughly. Follow it up with a simple 3 to 4 step skincare routine.
  • Avoid applying any skincare product underneath the mask, which includes moisturizer (unless you have super dry, eczematous skin) and sunscreen as well.
  • Apply a lightweight sunscreen to the exposed portion of your face.
  • If you have very dry skin that is erupting into rashes along the edge of the mask, then, consider using a lightweight moisturizer only over the area of your skin that comes in contact with the edge.

If your issue seems persistent and stays even after following these tips, then we suggest a convenient online consultation with celebrity dermatologist in Mumbai,Dr Shetty.

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