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Friction from an ill-fitting mask can impact the skin barrier—your outer-most layer of skin containing Ceramides. Over time, that friction can damage the skin barrier, resulting in moisture loss, dryness, or cracking. Fortunately, choosing gentle skincare products with Ceramides and taking a few precautionary steps can help moisturize the skin. In general, look for products that:

Skincare tips

In general, look for products that:

  • Contain ingredients like Ceramides and Hyaluronic Acid.4
  • Are fragrance-free, non-drying, gentle on skin and non-comedogenic (won't clog pores).4

How Face Masks Can Lead to Skin Concerns

When you wear a mask, oil and skin cells that collect inside the mask can lead to skin problems.3 In addition, the friction involved with wearing a face mask can trigger or exacerbate existing skin concerns, like face acne and sensitivity.4

How to Help Prevent or Minimize Mask-Related Skin Concerns

  1. Moisturize properly in the morning and evening.

    If you are worried about mask-related skin concerns like dryness, apply a lightweight, oil-free, non-greasy and non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) facial moisturizer after cleansing. It, too, should include ingredients like Ceramides, which are known to help restore the skin’s barrier and can help reduce moisture loss and dehydration, Hyaluronic Acid to help retain skin’s natural moisture, and Niacinamide to help calm skin. In addition, your daytime moisturizer should include broad-spectrum sun protection, to protect your skin against UVA and UVB sun rays. And for the evening, choose a moisturizer (and Serum, if you use one) that won't clog your pores and can lock in moisture while you sleep.

  1. Wash your face before and after wearing a mask.

    Cleansing your face with lukewarm water and a gentle, foaming face wash before putting on a mask in the morning can help remove the debris, oil and sweat accumulated overnight. Cleansing again in the evening removes what accumulated under your mask throughout the day.

    If you wear makeup, consider starting your evening skincare regimen by using micellar water as a makeup remover; it is gentle, non-comedogenic and can effectively remove makeup without disrupting the skin's protective barrier. Afterward, or as a first step if you're not wearing makeup, use a cleansing face wash that is non-comedogenic, gentle on skin, and fragrance-free.

  1. Spot treat dry skin as needed.

    If you notice chafed or dry skin behind your ears (which may be caused by friction from the straps of your mask) or on other parts of your body, like your hands, feet, elbows or knees, address them with a moisturizing cream containing Ceramides to help restore the skin’s protective barrier. In addition, make sure the cream contains Hyaluronic Acid and that it is fragrance-free and lanolin-free to minimize the risk of fragrance or lanolin irritation.

By adopting the proper skin care regimen, you should be able to help with face mask skin concerns like dryness. However, if you don’t notice an improvement in your skin, or your condition worsens, be sure to consult a dermatologist.

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