SAVE FACE. HOW TO PROTECT YOUR SKIN WHILE WEARING A FACE MASK

By Marnie Macklin

It seems I’m not the only one whose skin is having one big party under the face mask (no social distancing there!)

Problematic skin from wearing face masks or ‘Mask-ne’, is a type of acne known as ‘acne mechanica’. This form of acne appears after constant friction of the mask against the surface of your skin. Constant irritation combined with heat from our breath allows sweat and oil to build up under the mask providing the ideal pro-inflammatory breeding ground for bacterial growth and breakouts.

Luckily, for us, there are some simple ways we can stop ‘Mask-ne’ in it’s tracks:

WEAR NATURAL FIBRE MASKS
Opt for material that ‘breathes’ a little more, allowing for better air circulation and less friction. Masks made from cotton, linen, hemp and wool are widely available. If wearing for long periods of time, change frequently and wash your masks after every single use.

SKIN CLEANSING + MINERAL MAKEUP
Where possible go makeup free. For those days that require something more, source a natural mineral based foundation that is specifically formulated to minimise skin irritation and protect the delicate microbial balance of the skin. Cleanse and moisturise your skin morning and night to remove bacteria and provide a protective barrier between mask and skin. Be aware of fragrances and synthetic ingredients as these can be culprits for unruly skin.

SUNSHINE + FRESH AIR
Expose the skin as much as possible. Direct sunlight enhances anti-inflammatory/anti-microbial properties in the skin creating the perfect environment for healing. Masks can be removed while in your own backyard so try an outdoor yoga flow, have a picnic with the kids or talk to the maggies; 20 mins is plenty of time to receive these benefits.

LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE
Sitting just below the skin, the lymphatic system is a complex network of tissues and organs that help filter the blood and screen toxins for removal via the liver, kidneys and skin. Lymphatic vessels are similar to the circulatory system’s veins and capillaries, however where blood has the help of the heart to pump blood around the body, lymph relies on active movement (exercise and massage) to carry out its duties. Congestion around the jawline, neck and ears can be reflective of ‘lazy’ lymphatics and a tell-tale sign that these lymph nodes are sluggish. Ways to improve lymphatic flow (alongside herbal medicine) include ‘re-bounding’ or trampolining, dry body brushing, diaphragmic breathing and/or lymphatic drainage massage like ‘Gua Sha’, a tool designed to enhance lymph removal and re-invigorate the skin. If you haven’t experienced a ‘Gua Sha’ facial, I highly recommend visiting Dr Hannah Watson from Acupuncture Wellness Co. in Geelong for a blissful treatment!

LASTLY, IS IT DIET RELATED?
Skin conditions can also be due to poor dietary choices, sluggish digestion, stress or hormonal imbalance. If this resonates with you, please reach out to the team at Claridge Naturopathics, we would be only too happy to help!

Marnie Macklin

Support Naturopath, Holistic Nutritionist, Herbalist

View Profile