Many of us are trying to get used to wearing face coverings on a regular basis. Masks can take many forms (and colors). But in addition to being an important public health measure and a (sometimes) fashion statement, face masks can increase facial sweating and skin irritation.
Finding what works best for you and your face might take time but here are some tips to help you save face under that essential mask.
- Make sure your mask fits snugly above your nose and below your chin but not so tight that it digs into your skin.
- Look for breathable, cool fabrics like 100% cotton. Cotton offers ventilation and avoids moisture-trapping.
- Practice wearing your mask at home for a while to get used to it and adjust its fit. You don’t want to be messing with it in the grocery store. For more personal sizing, try masks that tie in the back — that way you can loosen or tighten them as needed.
- Have extras. If your mask gets damp from sweating and breathing, you’ll want to swap it out for a fresh one. Have extras on hand when you’re out and also for when masks are going through the laundry. That will be often because experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine recommend washing cloth masks after each wearing. When doing so, Baylor College of Medicine advises avoiding potentially skin-irritating additives by using fragrance-free detergent and NO dryer sheets.
- Consider your skin products. Will your make-up rub off on your mask? Are you prone to irritated skin or acne? You might need to adjust your skincare routines as your skin adapts to being covered by a mask on a regular basis. Glamour magazine recommends avoiding products that can clog pores and using gentle cleansers and moisturizers. Makeup enthusiasts might consider focusing on the eyes while leaving the rest of the skin more bare. Still getting hot and bothered? Ask a dermatologist (perhaps via a telephone or tele-medicine visit) for more advice based on your individual concerns.
- Make informed decisions about when to wear your mask. The CDC recommends (and some locations mandate) that masks be worn in circumstances where social distancing is not possible or is difficult to maintain. Such situations include essential indoor work, shopping at the grocery store, and waiting in line for take-out. But if you’re alone in your car or sitting 6 feet away from others at the park, you can feel more free to take it off and just put it on again when necessary.
- Wash your hands and face when you get home from a mask-requiring outing or shift at work.
Of course your face is not the only potentially troubled area of your body right now. For plenty of us, excessive underarm sweating and underarm irritation can be an issue, too.
Certain Dri antiperspirant remains the #1 over the counter brand that doctors recommend for their patients with excessive sweating. And Certain Dri Extra Strength Clinical Solid, specifically, has been shown to provide long-lasting wetness protection for people with excessive sweating who may require a product that is more gentle on sensitive skin than other active ingredients. Convenient online ordering and home delivery available through Amazon.