Experiencing skin issues underneath face masks?

Face masks used to mean skincare, nowadays it’s more about healthcare. A lot of us will have never worn a protective mask prior to coronavirus and are probably unaware of the effects it can have on the skin. Face masks can cause a multitude of problems for the skin, including rashes due to friction from rubbing or heat, acne and skin irritation.

Masks play a vital role in reducing the spread of the coronavirus. Whether you decide to make your own cloth covering at home or buy a mask online, you are likely to soon discover that, in addition to keeping you safe, face masks can cause some less than desirable and uncomfortable side effects when it comes to your skin. To help prevent skin problems from developing under your mask, Victoria Whiteley, Aesthetics Practitioner and the founder and Director of Absolute Aesthetics, recommends these five tips.

Think about the material of your mask

The skin underneath the mask can get damp from the trapped breath. This creates a warm, moist environment (the kind that bacteria absolutely loves and thrives in) and can lead to breakouts or ‘maskne’. Look for masks made from natural, breathable materials like cotton. Make sure it is tightly woven, you don’t want it to let anything in.

Let your skin breathe

If you are staying home, use the mask-free time wisely and try to not apply too much makeup as this will clog your pores, which can lead to acne. Allowing your skin time to breath – Your skin will really appreciate the break. In addition to being mask and make up free, try not to touch your face, which as part of the government guidelines helps reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.

Stick to a routine

While it can be tempting to cleanse immediately before and after wearing a face mask, it is best to limit yourself to cleansing twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Any more can lead to further dryness, irritation, and redness, especially for those with dry, sensitive, or mature skin types.

If your skin is experiencing irritation from wearing a face mask, Vicki advises taking a break from using any harsh cleansers, scrubs or chemical exfoliators that may worsen the problem and stick to a cleanser like the Obagi Gentle Cleanser.

Prioritise moisturising

It’s important to pat your face dry with a towel when drying it after cleansing as opposed to rubbing the skin and don’t’ forget using a moisturiser is important to prevent water loss. Vicki suggests in investing in a moisturiser, like Obagi Hydrate, that contains the likes of Hydromanil, which is a technologically advanced ingredient that retains water and gradually delivers moisture to the skin.

Adopt a minimalist makeup look

Face masks create a humid environment that can affect sebum production in your skin, leading to clogged pores and breakouts. If you are noticing breakouts around your nose, mouth, and chin, it might help to minimise the amount of makeup you wear, particularly when it comes to foundations and concealers with heavy formulations, underneath your mask.

Protecting yourself and others is the number one priority – and maintaining a strong skin barrier is just as much a part of that as wearing a mask. Absolute Aesthetics offer medical skincare products that will have an active effect addressing some of your skin concerns whilst wearing masks during this pandemic and the colder winter days.

For enquiries on products or to arrange a video consultation to address any other concerns, please contact us on 0330 058 1850 or email

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