Wearing a mask all day? Your 3-step guide to protect your skin
And no we are not talking about the honey papaya mask or Shankara’s deep pore cleansing mask (that has been going off the shelves this spell of winter!). We are talking about the face masks that the CDC mandates you should wear to keep the spread of the COVID-19 virus in check. Of course, the former can help you deal with the impact of the latter on your tender skin! Here’s how you can manage to protect your skin from wearing face masks all day.
How do face masks impact our skin?
Wearing face masks leads to a concentration of moisture and sweat within the closed environment and part of the facial skin covered under the mask. When you wear the mask for too long, the material of the mask and the moisture that collects along with the sweat can cause the skin to get irritated especially around the area behind your ears or potentially cause breakouts, around the nose and cheeks, especially for people with a previous history of skin diseases.
3 step guide to take care of the skin when using masks
In order to prevent skin irritation and acne issues, it is important to cleanse and moisturize the skin properly.
- Right before and after you wear your mask, cleanse your face with a facial cleanser that is natural, non-comedogenic (uses ingredients that do not block skin pores) and pH balanced.
- After cleansing your face, complete your skincare routine with a gentle, non-comedogenic, natural hydrating moisturizer, to keep your skin from drying out.
- If possible stay away from cosmetic products that use petroleum while using masks. Petroleum jelly can lead you to believe your skin is hydrated and moisturized but it can also leave your skin pores blocked and gasping for breath.
You can use a gentle cleanser like Shankara’s Hydrating Cleanser, to remove the oil along with the dirt and excess sweaty. Shankara’s Hydrating Cleanser uses a blend of some of the world’s most exotic essential oils and extracts including the cooling and ultra-soothing chamomile, lavender, margosa, aloe vera, sandalwood coconut oil, avocado butter, aspen bark extract, fennel sweet, grapefruit, and calendula. They combine in this luxurious hydrating cleanser that leaves skin feeling soft and supple but never greasy.
Shankara’s hydrating cleanser has been formulated with a lot of thought and concern going behind coming up with a a natural cleanser that preserves the acid mantle of the skin, and as a result use of the cleanser leaves your skin feeling silky yet moist and healthy.
To make sure your moisturizer does not make things worse for already delicate and perhaps impacted skin, from the use of face masks, you must pick a moisturizer that suits your skin dosha type, if it is Vata, kapha or pitta skin, since each skin type has different moisturizing needs.
(Take the skin quiz here and find out your skin dosha type!)
Vata Skin is identified by the quality of dryness and when vata is vitiated, it begins to look dull and grey. Vata skin also ages faster than other skin types. So the moisturizer you pick must take that into consideration.
For Vata skin, Shankara’s Rich Repair is a beautiful choice of a moisturizer for Vata skin types. Here, science and nature blend elegantly in this lavish, silk-like moisturizer. It comes loaded with antioxidants from the goodness of more than 25 rich, nourishing, exotic herbs like Arjuna, that supports healthy aging with its reinvigorating, hydrating and moisturizing properties; Gotu Kola, also known as brahmi, that is rich in antioxidant and enhances rejuvenation and oxygenation; and Life Everlasting that soothes the skin moisturizes it and provides the ability to the skin to fight oxidative stress.
Pitta skin is warm to the touch, relatively thicker, and is very sensitive. When out of balance, it can be sensitive, reddish, inflamed, tender, oily to dry.
For such a skin, a good option is Shankara’s Fine Line Moisturizer, with Borage oil and ylang ylang that nourishes and pampers your skin, so it is renewed and calm. This one restores the balance of proteins and other nutrients in the skin, and soothes out the sensitivity with the therapeutic benefits of its ingredients including rose, which is deeply moisturizing, rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and has soothing, calming, regenerative properties. It also has extracts of sunflower seeds, kokum, aspen bark, neem, gooseberry, wheat germ, rice protein, chamae rose, calendula, jatamansi, and shave grass, among 20 other herbs and essential oils.
Pick the right mask
It is important to see two things before buying off a mask online-the material used to make it and how it fits. These factors are important to determine how well they protect the user and others around the users from the spread of the virus.
- If you are using a fabric mask, check the tightness of the weave. Look it up in the light and if individual strands of weave are visible, that’s not the one for best use. Pick a 100% tight weave cotton fabric for the best results.
- You can also pick a mask that is made using multiple layers, for better protection, preferably a layer made using polypropylene, since it holds the static charge. Static electricity can help in trapping the droplets coming in.
- N95 respirator masks may be necessary for health workers or people at risk of higher exposure to the virus but the material can be irritating and cause higher moisture retention. So when you leave such high exposure spaces, you can switch back to cloth masks.
- Make sure you wash and clean the masks thoroughly after use. Reusing unwashed face masks can increase your skin’s exposure to pollutants, bacteria, skin debris, and other irritants. You can wash the masks in hot water with a skin-friendly detergent and let them dry. Machine-washed masks are perfectly usable too.