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I am a fun-loving person. Often loud, and I love it when people make me laugh. I'm into self-help books, beauty products, Pinot Noir, my husband Marc and my dog-child Arya, (not at all in that order :) )  


PPE colorful reusable fabric masks

This post has 5 great ways to stop PPE mask breakouts & skin irritation.

Let’s face it (😉), wearing the PPE mask is TOUGH on the skin and can make you breakout or create skin sensitivity.

Most of us have experienced a huge increase in skin irritation, acne breakouts, and excessive dryness from the pressure & tight fit of the masks we are wearing.

Masks are recycling your breath within a closed-off area, and that can dehydrate your skin and encourage bacteria growth. Not a great situation, especially if you already have skin sensitivity, acne, or eczema.

Take a look at the 5 main ways to prevent PPE mask breakouts & skin irritation:

1. Repairing your Skin’s “Moisture Barrier”

The moisture barrier of your skin is basically its ecosystem. Keeping that eco system “Healthy” all depends on how happy your skin’s moisture barrier is.

Dehydration, stress, over-cleansing, and over-exfoliating are all things that can upset the skin’s ecosystem and cause it to act out. Adding a protective cream to your regimen can combat all of these issues.

A healthy moisture barrier will help your skin to stay resilient and in good shape, even under a mask.

Niacinamide is a powerful ingredient that not only protects your skin barrier from dehydration by keeping moisture in the skin, but also prevents water loss. You can find it in Kate Somerville’s DeliKate Recovery Cream $80.

Kate Somerville DeliKate Niacinamide Cream

The Dermalogica Barrier Repair Cream $47, is another great product to with soothing and protective ingredients that strengthen Moisture Barrier.

Dermalogica Barrier Repair Sensitive Skin moisturizer

2. Night Time Skincare Ritual

Nighttime is a great time to take extra good care of your skin because you typically won’t be wearing the mask.

Using a gentle cream cleanser like the La Roche Posay Toleriane Gentle Cleanser, $15 & pairing it with a great skin moisturizing cream like the La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume 5, $15, will be sure to hydrate and soothe your skin.

gentle cream cleanser
Cicaplast Baume 5 Dry skin moisturizer

For breakouts from the PPE masks

You can spot-treat with something gentle like this other great product from La Roche Posay (they are awesome at sensitive skin!) Effaclar Duo Acne Treatment $30.

This has a mixture of Benzoyl Peroxide and LHA which is an acne-fighting ingredient created for the most sensitive & breakout prone skins.

Acne Treatment LA roche Posay for breakouts

You can also do a Hydrating Sheet Mask like these from Dr. Jart before bed, to help lock in some extra moisture.

Dr. Jart Hydrating Sheet Mask

3. Alternative Fabric Masks / Mask Hygiene

If you are able to wear an alternative mask because you are social distancing, you have the luxury of wearing something more skin-friendly than an N95 mask.

You can try something like a Silk Mask, Surgical Mask, or a Fabric Mask with a Filter pocket.

A makeup artist friend of mine recommended these tightly knit, double layer Silk masks from Christy Dawn $28. They come in great colors and are super soft.

Silk PPE mask

You can also choose a cloth mask like this one $12 from Anthropologie. They come in great patterns and even have a filter pocket. These masks are thick and tightly woven & the earpieces aren’t irritating either.

Cool reusable PPE Mask

*** DO NOT forget to throw your fabric masks in the wash. Makeup and skin oils from previous wear can really cause a ton of skin issues. Reason 2 , #COVID.*

4. Go Makeup free

Wearing makeup underneath a mask can increase the potential for breakouts and irritation.

Behind your mask, your skin oil and makeup are sitting on your skin, and that is an ideal environment for bacteria growth. This type of environment creates acne flare-ups & sensitivity that were not there before.

If you do wear makeup, opt for something that you can spot treat like a concealer, and not putting foundation on your whole face. Or choose a Tinted Sunscreen like this one from Bare Minerals, $33. And don’t forget to wash your masks!

5. Drink Water

Simple right? But honestly, we forget. Wearing these masks for long periods of time will dehydrate YOU and YOUR SKIN. One big reason is, it is hard to take masks off and find a safe place to drink water.

You can also dehydrate your skin because of the recycled air in the mask. Upping your water intake will give you a better chance of less skin irritation because when the skin is healthy it is more resilient.

I hope you stay safe and healthy out there and that your skin thanks you for implementing these 5 great ways to stop breakouts and skin irritation from your PPE mask.

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