Face masks are here to stay.
For the past few months, we are required to put on face masks outdoors due to the pandemic caused by Covid 19. We all know how inconvenient it is to wear face masks for the entire day. The heat and humidity trapped behind our masks is causing us to feel extra warm and sweaty in our tropical weather. Some of us may suffer from pimple breakout, flares-up of ezcema, skin irritation or even abrasions.
I can’t tell you for certain how long our masked up days are going to last. Face masks are likely to stay for a while until we develop a vaccine for Covid-19. So before that happens, we need to brace ourselves and continue wearing our face masks to stop the spread of the virus. Here, I am going to share with you some basic survival tips when wearing face masks.
Survival Tip 1: Avoid tight fitting masks
This is a no brainer for most people. But for face masks to be truly effective, they should fit our faces well. That means covering your nose and mouth without any gaps in between. However, it is common for the elastic bands to leave compression marks on our ears or cheeks after prolong wearing. Some wearers may suffer cuts and abrasions as a result. So, to prevent that from happening, make sure your face masks are not too tight and the surface material is soft, not abrasive. Where possible, get good quality disposable surgical masks or reusable ones made of natural materials (such as 100% cotton fabric). If you already have abrasions on your skin, apply some protective ointment such as petroleum jelly to help the skin heal.
Survival Tip 2: Good cleansing routine helps
Extended wear of a face mask can aggravate pre-existing skin problems such as acne. A good cleansing routine is therefore important to clear our natural skin debris and reduce the overgrowth of yeast or acne causing bacteria. You can use a gentle face cleanser such as Arium Essentials Gentle Wash for this purpose. For those with oily or acne-prone skin, follow up with a product containing alpha or beta hydroxy acids such as Arium Essentials Cell Renewal. This helps to increase exfoliation of dead skin cells, remove excess sebum and increase cell turnover. Complete your routine with a light weight moisturiser such as Arium Essentials Hydrate Plus. This contains hyaluronic acid which occurs naturally in our skin and protects it against irritation.
Survival Tip 3: Cut down on makeup
Try to keep your makeup to a bare minimum so that your skin can breathe under the face mask. I know this can be difficult for some. If you must wear makeup on a daily basis, choose non-comedogenic cosmetics and check their expiry dates. Products such as foundation, blush and eyeshadow lasts up to 2 years after you have opened it. Lipsticks are good for a year and eye makeup such as mascara and liquid eyeliner should be replaced every 3 months. As part of a good practice, wash your makeup brushes and tools regularly to prevent the build up of bacteria and germs. Last but not least, remove all traces of makeup on your face with a good cleanser at the end of the day.
Survival Tip 4: Limit wear to short periods
Try to avoid extended wear of face masks for the entire day. When possible, remove it for short periods to allow your skin to breathe. This can be done when you are alone during your breaks. Remember to wash your hands before and after removing your mask from your face. Discard your disposable face masks after a single usage. Do not attempt to re-use it for hygiene purposes. As for reusable fabric ones, make sure you wash and dry them thoroughly in between use.
I hope the above survival tips have helped you during this difficult period. If you have more enquiries on skincare, do not hesitate to drop us an email, alternatively;
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