man wearing a man and adjusting his glasses

Face masks have become part of our culture and for some people, it is a mandatory part of an 8-hour workday. Unfortunately, for people who are already prone to skin sensitivities and breakouts, this increased frequency and duration of wearing a face covering can intensify these skin conditions. 

Common skin fluctuations caused by face coverings:

  • Dryness or irritation: caused by the friction of the mask and/or straps rubbing against your skin.
  • Sensitivities: the humidity under the mask combined with the rubbing can weaken the skin barrier making it more sensitive. Similar to diaper rash, this kind of sensitivity would be more common for people working in the health industry and wearing PPE masks. 
  • Blemishes and breakouts: masks trap moisture and the humidity from breathing under the mask creates optimal conditions for acne-causing bacteria to bread. 

If you are experiencing changes to your skin during this time, you are not alone. The most important thing you can do is be gentle on your skin, and yourself!

Skincare Under The Mask

Keep your skincare routine simple. 

A gentle cleanser and your favourite moisturizer is an easy system to keep your skin happy and hydrated. Keep up your consistency and your regular routine. If the only thing that has changed is the face mask, remind yourself there is nothing wrong with your skin!

Let your skin breathe

When you are at home, outside (safely), and in areas where it is safe to remove your face covering let your skin breathe!

Skip the foundation

If your face is already covered with a face mask take the opportunity to skip the thick foundation and mineral makeup. Your skin is already trying to breathe through a mask, try skipping the makeup once in a while!

Minimize breakouts and blemishes

Carry a bottle of Apple Toner and spray your chin & mouth area after taking off your mask. This will help keep the acne-causing bacteria to a minimum, and also strengthen your skin's natural barriers against environmental aggressors.

Having a clean mask will also help prevent mask-induced acne (more on that below!)

Soothe Irritation

Dab on a little bit of i-Zinc to areas of irritation to help soothe the skin and promote healing. 

Fun fact: Zinc oxide is a very common ingredient in many diaper rash creams due to the fact that it's very mineral rich!

How to Take Care of your Mask

There are a lot of styles of masks, and different kinds of fabrics. We are not experts and cannot recommend a particular style; however we do encourage our community to purchase a reusable mask. The photos of plastic disposable masks piling up in the marine environment are disheartening, to say the least. 

Wash your mask(s) regularly

Read your mask care instructions and try to clean your masks at least once a week! Remember that your mask is going to be over your face and nose, so it may be best to avoid any overly fragranced soaps. If the mask you wear includes a filter option, changing this out once a week as well can help for better air filtration!

If you are able to purchase two or more masks, this will make it easier to rotate them while you're doing the laundry. 

Sanitize your mask

Carry an iso-rubbing alcohol spray with you and give your mask a quick sanitize spritz when you’re finished running errands. We recommend keeping your spray in the car and spray the inside and outside of the mask, and leave it to air out until the next time it’s needed. Please do not spray the mask and then put it on right away, inhaling alcohol could cause dizziness. You can find our DIY sanitizer spray recipe here.

Have a safe spot for your mask

Somewhere that isn't coming in contact with your hands or other personal items that are often covered in bacteria. An old mint tin or sunglasses case could work!

Our keys, phone, wallet, sunglasses, and face mask are probably the most common items that we touch and then touch our face with. Try to create a ritual for wiping these items before you come home and after you leave public spaces. 
 
Please take care of yourselves, follow public health guidelines, and wash your hands frequently. It’s our responsibility as a community to look after the health and well-being of ourselves, each other, the elderly, and the immunocompromised.

xoxo

Team Miiko

September 01, 2020 — Sarah Higgins

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