While wearing a mask is absolutely essential to protect yourself from spreading or contracting Covid-19, the downfall of wearing one is that the skin does not always take too kindly to it

A lot of people are complaining bitterly that they are getting the worst breakouts when they wear PPE-masks. But how are masks contributing to increased breakouts?

There are various factors at play, claims Lamelle’s skincare expert Karen Bester.

The most common are:

  • Mechanical irritation of the mask rubbing on the skin causes increased, but not complete, exfoliation.
  • Barrier impairment due to this mechanical irritation is a major driver of pimples under masks. We also see this happening on the hairline when you wear a cap or hat regularly.
  • Moisture and heat from your breath is also trapped inside your mask on your skin. This can have a little bit of a “macerating” effect (like when you lie in the bath too long).
  • Inflammation associated with the mechanical irritation.
  • If you have a tendency to get acne, the inflammatory response is exacerbated by your genetic make-up.
  • The current stress levels that we are experiencing also add to the problem.
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How do we treat this?

The first and most important point is to keep safe and do not stop wearing your mask.

Keep your skin barrier supported by using a soothing cream. Apply a little bit more to the area of skin under your PPE mask to ensure the area is hydrated. You can combine this with the routine you are currently using. A repaired and healthy skin barrier will help prevent further breakouts.

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Lamella Serra soothing cream – R695

Cleanse your skin twice daily – this must be a critical part of your beauty routine any day. Cleansing ensures dirt, make-up, bacteria and impurities are removed from the skin.

Lamelle Clarity active cleanse 250ml – R440

Apply a spot treatment to the areas where you already have a spot. This will treat the inflammation and help to heal the skin as quickly as possible.

Lamelle Clarity active control – R130 

Fast healing prevents post-inflammatory pigmentation (dark marks) and also scarring. Start applying it as soon as you see a red spot forming. You should apply this twice daily at a minimum. It could be applied more regularly so carry one in your handbag or pocket so it is always close.

DO NOT PICK! As difficult as it may be, picking at a spot is a total no-go. It most likely will lead to scarring, and can even lead to infection.

If your mask-induced breakout gets worse or spreads to an area that is not covered by your mask please seek professional help.