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Here’s How To Care For Your Skin While Wearing A Mask In The Time Of A Pandemic

Updated May 14, 2020.

In a recent public-health advisory, the CDC announced its recommendation that every American wears a cloth face covering while in public. The news has sparked a ping in DIY masks, and innovative uses of clothign and scarfs to cover faces to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

Unfortunately, as necessary as the measure is (and it is!) not only is it not the greatest look it also has undesirable effects on the skin. From chafing and breakouts, masks can take some pretty wonky toles on the skin. Fortunately, dermatologists are doling out advice on how to combat the negative sides of masks we should all be wearing.

According to NYC-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, the issue lies in the purpose of the bask: blocking.

“Protecting your face with a mask creates a moist, hot environment for your skin, as your breathing is being trapped,” Dr. Zeichner told Refinery 29 in a recent interview. “This can lead to a build-up of sweat and oil on the skin under the mask, which can lead to inflammation, rashes, and even acne breakouts.” Dr. Zeichner’s words come at a time when doctors and nurses on the frontlines of the pandemic are sharing images of their skin covered in “hives, red marks, and even bruises.”

Thankfully, Dr. Zeichner and a few other dermatologists have broken down a guide on how to keep skin clear during the age of masks.

According to his interview with Refinery, Dr. Zeichner recommends using a foaming cleanser before and after using a mask. “Foaming cleansers remove oil more effectively than hydrating oils or balms will,” Zeichner explains. “For people with very oily skin, look for a face wash that contains salicylic acid. This will help remove excess oil and dead cells from the surface of the skin, which will prevent potential flareups and clogged pores.”

Be sure to keep your skin moisturized.

Use a lightweight moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. Even if your skin is oil-prone!

“Skin hydration and skin oil production are separate issues,” Dr. Zeichner explains. “Even acne-prone people may need a moisturizer. Especially if you’re wearing a mask, you want to make sure you skin barrier is in the best shape possible, which means it’s both balanced and hydrated.”

Use moisturizer on your ears everyday.

Speaking to the Today.com, Dr. Joshua Zeichner explained that “Moisturizer helps repair the skin barrier and keeps the outer skin there as healthy as possible,” Zeichner said. “A great ingredient to look for is colloidal oatmeal because it forms a breathable film over the skin and has anti-inflammatory properties.”

Know that you have to treat your skin with moisture to make sure it heals.

“If you have any open, raw or sore areas, use an occlusive ointment like Vaseline petroleum jelly. Triple purified petrolatum forms a protective seal over the skin to enhance wound healing and increase skin hydration,” Zeichner explained. “Honey has wound-healing and antimicrobial properties and may be used to any open or raw areas,” Zeichner said.

Ditch makeup!

It might be discouraging but now is the perfect time more than ever to give your skin a makeup break. Wearing makeup on your entire face can cause your pores to clog. “Any potentially irritating or pore-clogging ingredients should be avoided under the mask-covered skin,” dermatologist Hadley King, MD told R29. “I would recommend minimizing makeup — particularly foundations and concealer with heavy formulations — because the increased humidity under the mask could affect your skin’s sebum production and potentially lead to an increase in clogged pores and breakouts.”

Be sure to keep your mask breathable and cotton grade.

According to the CDC, it’s important to keep surgical masks and N-95s available to healthcare providers on the frontlines. Americans should instead be using cloth face coverings. “The best idea is to wear a cover that sits close to the skin and that doesn’t wave away,” explains Dr. Markowitz. “It’s important to remember to touch the mask as little as possible, so you certainly want to wear something that is comfortable, especially if you have sensitive skin.”

Want to keep your skin together and support Latina businesses during this time? Try out these skincare brands by Latinas.

There have been studies done to determine whether Latinxs age slower than others. It’s scientifically proven that we’ve got some good genes, but it could also be that our abuelas taught us the importance of una buena crema.

Here, some Latinx-owned skincare lines to keep your skin looking and feeling blessed. Shine on, reinas!

1. Brujita Skincare

Inspired by the vibrant mercados and healing minerals of Mexico, this brand brings magia straight to your face. Focusing on the power of what Mama Earth gifts us, the products are packed with natural clays and powders all sourced in Mexico. Featuring a vegan crema and face masks with ingredients like cinnamon, cacao and honey powder, Brujita Skincare is some serious face food.

Follow on Instagram: @brujitaskincare

2. BreadxButta Botanica

BreadxButta is a lifestyle brand based in Brooklyn, New York, but we are focusing on their CBD wellness line called “Botanica.” Most of the recipes for these Puerto Rican-made products have Taino roots that have been passed down through generations. With healing products like CBD bath soaks, CBD Moon Oil and a CBD tattoo balm, this is where skincare and inner self-care meet.

Follow on Instagram: @breadxbutta

3. Sweet Face by Rocio

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Sweet Face by Rocio offers an impressive line up of natural products. The shop includes face scrubs, milks and oils for all skin types. Sweet Face even has a little something called “Brow Reviver” for all those chicas that suffered through the skinny brow trend of the ‘90s.  With these mujeres-made essentials, your skin is sure to feel sweet.

Follow on Instagram: @sweetfacebyrocio

4. mud

Mud Shop Naturals are handmade to order in Providence, Rhode Island. To ensure high-caliber, they are produced in small batches. You will definitely feel that quality with products like Turmeric, Kelp and Coffee mudMasks. Finish with some Hemp Seed Facial Serum for the full mud experience.

Follow on Instagram: @mudshop_naturals

5. Sun Kiss Organics

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With the tagline “Skincare for Sun-kissed Skin,” Sun Kiss Organics delivers the goods to help your skin feel its most radiant. Eco-friendly and Harlem, New York-made, this line carries stand-out products like Aloe Rose Toner and Lemon Body Balm. But what we love most about them is their charity. For every product sold, Sun Kiss donates $1 to EarthJustice, an organization working to “ensure widespread protections from pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals.”

Follow on Instagram: @sunkissorganics

6. Loquita Bath & Body

You may already be familiar with Loquita Bath & Body for their original Concha Bath Bomb. However, these Mexican-Guatemalan-owned products go far beyond their variety of delicious vegan bath bombs. You’ll definitely go loca over products like Bidi Bidi Body Butter, Chingona Sugar Scrub and Agua de Jamaica Face Mask.

Follow on Instagram: @loquitabathandbody

7. Bubbly Moon Naturals

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For all the expecting and new mamis out there, Bubbly Moon Naturals has you covered. Literally. Their products are certified vegan and cruelty-free, so you can feel good about what is being absorbed by your skin. There is a natural nursing salve for the breastfeeding mamas and a body soufflé to keep your changing skin as soft as your baby’s.

Follow on Instagram: @bubblymoonnaturals

8. Tiny Shiny Naturals

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Tiny Shiny Naturals is the Indigenous-Latinx shop serving up organic, mano-made products bursting with Madre Tierra magic. Products like Concha Serum and Organic Pomada are crystal and moon charged. The thing we love most about this nature-based brand though is the fact that they offer their products at a sliding scale.

Follow on Instagram: @tinyshinynaturals

9. Eva’s Garden

While we still don’t know the whereabouts of the Garden of Eden, we do know that Eva’s Garden is located in the Dominican Republic. With a $40 anti-acne facial kit and toners for every skin type, Eva’s Garden is a place you’ll want to get lost in.

Follow on Instagram: @evas.garden

10. Yaocihuatl Organic Skincare

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All we have to say is: Horchata, Dulce de Leche, and Guava lip balms. However, delectable lip balms are not all Yaocihuatl Organic has to offer. This Los Angeles-based brand has all the fixings to keep your Latinx-glow going. Peep their Etsy shop for goodies like Calendula Face Cream, Coffee Eye Serum and Cayenne Salve.

Follow on Instagram: @yaocihuatlorganic

11. Amomati Medicinals

Amomati Medicinals is where skincare gets sacred. Bridging ancient Mexican and Chinese medicine, these products are sure to elevate not only your skin, but also your spirit. Snag some Medicinal Copal Oil to remove energy blocks or to reduce inflammation in the skin. There’s even a Healing Warrior Face Cream infused with calendula and yarrow to help strengthen and tighten your warrior womxn skin.

Follow on Instagram: @amomatimedicinals

12. Firme Arte

If you want your skincare products a little more witchy and revolutionary, look no further than the Indigenous-Xicanx alchemy of Firme Arte’s online bodega. Good luck not spending all your money in this sanctuary of self-care. There are spell soaps and spell scrubs with intentions we love, like: Hella Sensitive, Gimmie Dat Money and F*ck Outta Here. While this is definitely not your abuelita’s bodega, we love how every item is so full of magia.

Follow on Instagram: @firmearte

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