The summer heat has started a little early this year and there is no doubt that those who have to wear a surgical mask all day might be soon sacrificing their skin to dryness, acne and oily, clogged pores.
Skincare expert Barbara Strum revealed the skincare risks associated with wearing a mask in the summer:
Wearing a mask, especially in a humid climate, can have an adverse effect on the skin. The oil in your cosmetics or skincare and any excess sebum produced by your pores sit inside the lining of the mask. This is then in contact with your skin – sometimes for hours – [making it] a breeding ground for blemishes, clogged pores and breakouts.
Luckily, we have the perfect tips tokeep your skin healthy and fresh.
Firstly, it is important to exfoliate more often to slump off all the dead skin cells that will be accumulating on the face. It is best to use a chemical exfoliant two or three times a week or move to an enzyme-based cleanser which is gentler on the skin.
Any pimples resulting from a mask will be located on specific parts of the face such as around the mouth, nose and jawline. These can be spot treated with soothing extracts such as tea tree oil.
Surgical masks can leave the skin dry and irritated as the mask wicks away any moisture from the skin and rubs on certain areas. In case of this issue, it is best to use a non-comedogenic moisturiser with soothing antioxidants such as green tea extract or Vitamin E. Hyaluronic acid can also be used underneath your moisturiser to draw moisture back into the skin.
Stum notes: “It’s a common misconception that skin prone to breakouts should be dried out. In fact, it is even more important to moisturise, as most breakouts are exacerbated by dryness-triggered inflammation. It helps to restore its natural barrier function. Robust, protected and healthy skin has lower frequency and duration of acne breakouts,”
It is also recommended to reduce or stop wearing makeup during this time as it could clog the pores.
Finally, we cannot miss one of the most important steps: sunscreen. Sunscreen not only helps protect the skin from the suns UV rays but also helps to protect the skin from blue light emitted from your devices. This light can penetrate even deeper than UV rays and can cause similar damage as free radicals will reduce the collagen and elastin in the skin, reducing its ability to recover.