What happens under the mask? Basically, the mask works like a greenhouse. The breath remains trapped under the mask. The lower half of the face is therefore surrounded by heated, humid air. This also increases the skin temperature. This in turn leads to inflammation, skin irritation and can even be the reason for pimples and enlarged pores. In addition, the constant contact with the mask also creates friction, which can also irritate the skin. That doesn't sound good at all! Does our skin have to sacrifice itself for our health? Fortunately not! These 6 skincare tips will help you reduce and even prevent the side effects of the protective masks on your skin. So don’t just stop wearing your masks in fear it might damage your skin. Safety first!
Tip 1: Careful cleansing
Proper facial cleansing has always been essential for clear skin. This principle still applies. But now it is particularly important to listen to the needs of your skin. So far, double cleansing may have been your ideal skin cleansing ritual. However, if your skin is now a bit more sensitive and feels irritated after cleansing it twice, then that’s a sign for you to take it easy with cleansing. Maybe your skin only needs a double cleansing every 2-3 days and a simple cleanse is enough on the remaining weekdays. Try switching to milder textures, such as foam cleansers with soothing ingredients. In the morning, a wipe-off using gentle micellar water or cleansing water may be enough. And if you didn’t have a toner in your routine before, now is a good time to introduce it. Applying a toner after facial cleansing restores your skin's pH balance and also calms it.
Tip 2: Gentle exfoliation
Regular exfoliation is advisable so that the skin is freed from dead skin cells and stubborn dirt and sebum. This reduces the likelihood of inflammation and impurities under the mask. But as always: never exfoliate excessively! When you have dry spots that are flaky, the temptation of exfoliation is especially high. But always be aware that excessive peeling can trigger a vicious cycle. Freshly peeled skin can have a weakened protective barrier so that moisture escapes more quickly. So the skin dries out all the more quickly and immediately starts to get small cracks and peel again. Be patient and give your skin time to regenerate so that it can fully restore its protective function. A healthy distance between peels is therefore very important.
Tip 3: Soothing ingredients
Integrate products into your routine that contain skin-soothing and cooling ingredients. After a hard day under the mask, they are a blessing for your skin. A good selection are: Aloe Vera, Centella Asiatica, cucumber, chamomile, oats and green tea. We also advise you to stop taking active ingredients such as retinol, AHA, BHA and the like or to use them less frequently. When weakened or irritated, your skin tolerates such active ingredients less well.
Tip 4: Regeneration at night
The best time for your skin to recover from any stress is at night. To be more precise, between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. This is when the skin's cell regeneration is most active. A good sleeping mask can support this regeneration process by, for example, reducing moisture loss or additionally helping the skin to recover with skin-repairing ingredients. Before going to bed, treat yourself with a regenerating sheet mask or apply a sleeping mask and let it work overnight.
Tip 5: Extra care for the cheeks
Protective masks mainly come into contact with the cheeks. This leads to the strongest rubbing at this point on your face, especially if you have been wearing the mask all day. Redness, a tense or sore feeling can be consequences. So show your cheeks a little more affection during this time. How about a DIY green tea mask? To do this, soak two cotton pads in chilled green tea and place them on your cheeks. This cools the cheeks directly, soothes and moisturizes them.
Tip 6: Summer routine
Go with your summer skincare routine, no matter what time of year we are in. How so? Because your skin experiences summer weather conditions under the mask. It is warm and humid under the mask as your breath collects and warms up under it. And what is particularly advisable in summer when it comes to skincare? Light textures! So use watery serums or gel-like moisturizers. Nourishing facial sprays are also a good choice!
Extra tip: Glasses fogging up?!
And here we have some additional tips for the spectacle wearers among you. Your glasses fog up every time you wear a protective mask? As long-term experts on wearing masks, Koreans know the problem too well. The main cause of the problem is that warm breath escapes at the top of the mask, causing the glasses to fog up. The problem is solved as soon as the mask fits snugly on the top and no more air can escape. This is how you can achieve it: Fold a paper handkerchief into a 2cm long strip and place this strip on the inside of the mask. This closes the gap from which air could escape. A metal wire on the upper edge of the mask often ensures that the mask sits correctly. Bend the wire accordingly so that the mask fits snugly against your nose. Your mask has no metal wire? You can easily make it yourself from thin craft wire or thinly folded aluminium foil. Otherwise, it is important that you clean the glasses well beforehand. Either with an appropriate glasses cleaning solution or with soapy water. This also reduces the likelihood of your glasses fogging up quickly.