How to protect your skin while wearing a mask and how to prevent face-mask skin problems?

How to protect your skin while wearing a mask and how to prevent face-mask skin problems?

It’s no doubt that face masks play a crucial role nowadays. They protect us and others by reducing the spread of Coronavirus. But, constant face coverage might lead to unpleasant skin reactions such as acne, dryness, miliaria, or even rosacea. The hot summer season can potentially increase the chances of skin problems; and while hot and humid conditions under your face mask sometimes cannot be avoided, some simple steps can help protect and soothe your skin.

One of the most important things to focus on (when it comes to any fabric that has direct contact with your skin) is appropriate washing. Like pillows, face masks can cause troublesome breakouts, irritation, or rashes when not washed frequently. Reusable face covers are environmentally friendly due to them being multiple uses. Still, it is crucial to wash them after every use either with the rest of your laundry or hand wash using hot soapy water. Non scented, or eco detergents might be very useful if you find your skin irritated after wearing your mask. Tumble drying on the highest setting is recommended; alternatively, you can lay these flat ideally in direct sunlight once thoroughly dried face masks can be stored in a clean and humidity-free area. Surgical or single-use face masks should be safely disposed of after single usage, which saves you washing time but adds extra costs to your budget.

To start with, you should consider wearing lighter or no makeup on the area covered with a face mask. The heat, produced by your body or hot weather, widens your pores, which quickly can become clogged by sebum and makeup residue. You might also try to switch to a foundation designed for acne-prone skin or a mineral powder.

One of the most common face mask skin problems is dry skin. A well-hydrated complexion is a primary component of the skin’s natural barrier. A lightweight moisturiser containing Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide (a form of vitB3), or Ceramides will become your best friend if you suffer from post mask dryness. Acne-prone and oily complexions might require hydrating gel instead. It’s essential not to skip this step, especially if you wear a mask for more than an hour a day.

We recommend washing your face after every use of a face mask with a gentle cleanser (suitable for most skin types); these are the most ideal for frequent use, without damaging your natural skin barrier. Face cleansers containing Salicylic Acid are an excellent choice for acne-prone skin. As with every skincare product, you should consider your skin type before purchasing.

When cleansing, avoid using hot water, lukewarm will do the job as high temperatures can worsen your skin’s condition. Always use a clean towel to dry your skin; these are often underestimated in skin cleansing routine. Once used, the fabric collects dead skin cells, dirt, oil, and residue from cleansing products, which can lead to irritation, breakouts, or rashes when reused.

Finally, a good night time cream or calming serum can do wonders to help restore your skin’s natural barrier. Aloe Vera, Hyaluronic Acid, Cucumber and Niacinamide are the things to look for on your product’s. On the irritated areas, you can also apply a thin layer of soothing balm (like Eucerin, MooGoo) that is specifically designed to boost the regeneration process and calm down any flare-ups or irritation.


Face covering is an unavoidable part of our lives at the moment, but it doesn’t mean that we should neglect our skin. If you have any skin concerns or conditions that bother you and they didn’t improve after trying our skincare tips, we would strongly recommend seeing Dr Fatima, our specialist in Dermatology.