How to Maintain Healthy Skin while Masking up?

Maintaining good skin is a difficult task. We constantly experience stress, poor sleep and poor nutrition on a regular basis. In tropical Singapore where our climate is humid all year round, keeping our skin in tip-top condition is even more challenging.

To make things worse, prolonged period of wearing masks made our skin even more vulnerable to acne outbreaks. Do you feel that your skin condition in recent months has been deteriorating? You are not alone.

Many individuals have been affected by Maskne[1], a recent medical term coined to describe the acne-prone condition caused by prolonged wear of facial protective gear. Masks impose friction on the skin, hinder breathing and sweating which results in clogging of the pores and development of acne cysts.

 

Skincare 101: Prevent Acne Outbreak

In response to extended period of masking up, it is more important than ever to maintain good skincare habits and choose the right products for your skin. Here are some tips on how you can prevent the mask from affecting your skin.

  • Choose a mask that fits your face well.

Wearing an oversized mask causes chafing[2] (rubbing across the skin) which leads to acne and a tight-fitting one can irritate the skin.

  • Washing your face regularly is a given.

Using a gentle oil-free cleanser based on your skin type helps to remove dirt and oil that is trapped in your pores. Ensure that you wash your face before and after wearing a mask.

  • Keep your skin hydrated at all times.

Besides applying a gentle moisturizer prior to wearing your mask, drinking enough water will improve circulation to your skin and make it more radiant. Parents are encouraged to choose oil free and non-comedogenic [3] products for your child as it is less likely to clog pores.

  • Stay natural

Avoid wearing makeup underneath your mask, as it causes the pores to clog. If you need to, ensure that you dispose or wash your mask right after use.

 

Eat your way to better skin

Beauty is skin-deep. More than just a visible external layer, our skin is an organ that is part of our immune system to fight against harmful UV rays and germs. Besides having a good skincare regime to prevent acne outbreak from wearing a mask, consuming more foods that boost your immunity will aid skin renewal and leave your skin more radiant.

  • Antioxidants

Tomatoes, cherries and berries[4] are rich in antioxidants which help to slow down skin aging by reducing the damaging effects of free radicals coming from the sun, air pollutants and cigarette smoke.

  • Polyphenols

Green tea[5] and purple tea contain high amount of polyphenols which are believed to exert anti-inflammatory effects[6], reducing the occurrence of skin irritation, redness and swelling.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids

You may have heard a lot about how omega-3 makes us smarter. While we are not quite sure about that, having fatty fish[7] such as salmon and tuna in your diet are certainly good for your skin. Fatty acids (‘good fats’) help to lower triglycerides (‘bad fats’) and prevent loss of collagen in your skin to keep it firmer.

 

Natural radiant skin is not formed overnight. Every single day of maintaining good skincare habits and making healthy diet choices make you one step closer towards attaining your ideal complexion. If you are experiencing persistent skin problems from wearing a mask, it is advisable to seek medical advice from your panel doctor or certified dermatologist.

Besides looking after the above components, managing your own stress level and regular sleep routine on a regular basis are also important aspects of getting that complexion you desire.

 

[1] Suffering from breakout under your mask? How to fight ‘maskne’ Source
[2] Coronavirus: Tips to avoid Maskne Skin irritation Source
[3] Behind the mask: How to prevent and treat mask-related acne in children and teens Source
[4] 5 Super Foods for Great Skin Source
[5] 8 foods that reduce inflammation Source
[6] Oxidative Stress and Inflammation: What Polyphenols Can Do for Us? Source
[7] 23 Foods That Are Good for Your Skin Source
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