Face masks, hand washing, and taking care of your skin during COVID-19

Face masks, hand washing, and taking care of your skin during COVID-19

Apr 15th 2020

During this time of social distancing and isolation, we’re taking extra measures to keep ourselves healthy and protected. What does that mean for how we care for our skin?

Face Masks

Earlier this month, in addition to social distancing, the CDC advised wearing face coverings.

These can be cloth masks worn to help prevent the spread of our germs. When a mask is worn properly it sits tight against the face, covering the nose and mouth.

After a time, and with repeated wearing, masks can cause chafing and irritation of the skin. Especially on our upper cheeks where the mask’s fabric and elastic connect.

The skin in this area can use some extra attention. After masks are removed, help soothe any irritation with a gentle moisturizer (we have our favorite). Moisturizing will help curb the dryness that can be incurred from mask wearing as well. Skin beneath masks may experience oiliness as skin's balance is disrupted. Some light skin cleansing between mask wearings can help to dispel this oiliness. 

Before and after using a mask, wash your hands. This is essential to help keep germs away from your mask and face. After the mask is removed, wash it in hot water, and thoroughly clean your hands.

Hand Care

We’ve heard it on repeat, but hand washing is essential. Wash with soap, scrubbing the hands and nails, for at least 20 seconds.

While this heightened hand washing is incredibly important, it can be causing pronounced dryness for our skin. That not only creates discomfort and irritation, it can encourage fissures in the skin that would be more susceptible to germs.

Replenish your skin’s moisture and ease dryness with a soothing hand cream or thick body butter. Treat skin gently, but make sure you’re getting enough moisturization.

Quick Tips

  • Cleanse your face one additional time during the day if you’ve been wearing a mask. This will help keep oiliness at bay.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after wearing a mask.
  • Treat your hands with a thick, soothing hand cream to ease dryness and prevent cracking.
  • When your mask is off, moisturize irritated skin, paying attention to the upper cheek area.
  • Wash your hands again, for good measure. 

Because this is a time when our environments and routines are changing, our skin may be experiencing stress – this might look like extreme dryness or increased breakouts.

Pay attention to what your skin needs and give it the gentle care it deserves.