Help! My face mask is causing skin irritation and breakouts

We all need to wear masks; however, it can wreak havoc with skin. Here are a few tips, tricks and products that can help.

Why is my face mask irritating your skin or causing breakouts?

A combination of heat and moisturise from your breath, sweating and rubbing of the mask could be causing skin irritation. You may also be breaking out due to these same reasons.

How to reduce skin irritation or breakouts?

  1. Avoid occlusive or heavy makeup products. We recommend a mineral make up such as Issada mineral powders or liquids Alternatively, if you can avoid makeup altogether or reduce how often you are wearing makeup during this time we think this is an excellent opportunity to allow your skin a break from makeup products and allow you to focus on your skincare.
  2. If you are experiencing skin irritation from friction of the mask we recommend to steer clear of any irritants or actives on those areas of your skin for the time being. These include retinol or acids as they may exacerbating the condition. Instead, try a barrier cream such as ‘Ultimate recovery from Medik8’ that will keep the skin hydrated and create a film or barrier to reduce irritation.

If irritation or breakouts persist, speak with one of our friendly Dermal Clinicians over a virtual consultation or a phone call as it may be time to tweak your skincare routine.

How should I change up my skincare routine?

It’s important to look at simplifying your routine in the areas of irritation. Avoid anything that could be sensitising the skin.

If your skin is red and irritated, you should stop using products that include ingredients such as retinol, AHA/BHA’s or harsh exfoliants. If the irritation is mild, you may only need to do this temporarily and then slowly ease your skin back in. An example could be exfoliating once a fortnight rather than twice a week. Every person will be different in terms of what you can and can’t tolerate and how the mask may be affecting your skin.

When cleansing opt for a gentle cleanser or an oil cleanser that will not strip the skin of its natural barrier. Use lukewarm water when cleansing and avoid scorching showers. see our cleanser here

When applying serums focus on Hydration and look for ingredients such as Hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5 and B3 to help strengthen and balance the skin. An example would be Medik8 Hydr8 B5 or The Skincare Company Vitamin B3.

  • For those experiencing breakouts, you could also incorporate Blemish control pads by Medik8. These provide a gentle dose of Salicylic acid to help control breakouts without stripping the skin.
  • For irritated skin, a great moisturiser to finish off your routine would be Medik8 Ultimate recovery. This moisturiser will soothe and calm irritated skins.

If you are experiencing breakouts, you may want to use lighter weight moisturiser that won’t be too occlusive. An example is Medik8 Balance moisturiser however, we do recommend speaking to a skin professional first as every skin is different. If you are experiencing both breakouts and irritation, we may need to customise a regime for you.

How to safely remove your mask?

If you are reusing your mask, it is recommended to store it in a plastic bag or container in-between washes or use. Never touch the front of the mask as it could be contaminated. It’s important to store your mask correctly, so it does not come into contact with other surfaces.

Wash and sanitise your hands before removing your mask and before you put your mask on. Please do not touch the mask while wearing it.

When putting your mask on or removing it, you should only touch the loops around the ears. Do not touch the front of the mask.

When worn correctly, the mask should cover your nose and mouth.

Watch this video for tips, tricks and products that can help.