Face masks and gloves are non-negotiable for medical professionals, especially in the current pandemic, but their protective benefits extend well beyond hospital walls. Wearing a mask creates an extra layer of defense to keep you from getting sick or, if you’re already sick, it helps keep you from accidentally infecting someone else.
The trouble with personal protective gear is that it must be worn rather tight on the skin in order to be effective, sometimes for many hours at a time. Doctors and nurses around the country are wearing face masks for the entirety of their twelve-hour shifts and washing their hands dozens of times on top of wearing gloves. Many have experienced skin issues ranging from dryness or redness to increased breakouts, even skin infections.
As coronavirus continues to spread, CDC guidelines recommend everyone wear face coverings when leaving the house. If you’re concerned about skin irritation resulting from long-term mask use, here are some simple tips that might help.
How Does Protective Gear Affect the Skin?
Aside from washing your hands and avoiding unnecessary social contact, masks and gloves are the best way to protect yourself and others from the spread of coronavirus. Unfortunately, frequent hand washing can dry out your skin and keeping your face or hands covered with non-porous materials like latex may lead to irritation.
These are some of the ways wearing protective gear can affect your skin:
- Dryness from over-washing
- Irritation from friction or tight materials
- Increased sensitivity
- Scratches or tears to the skin
- Increased sweating, clogged pores, breakouts
If your skin doesn’t have time to heal before you put your safety gear on again, your skin problems could get exponentially worse. Many advise keeping the skin well moisturized and applying barrier cream before wearing a face mask.
When you’re not wearing protective gear, following an enhanced skincare regimen can help your skin repair and recover. Managing your stress may also help keep your skin healthy. Let’s go over how to do both as effectively as possible…
Enhanced Skincare Regimen
The key to any skincare routine is consistency. It’s important to wash your face at least twice a daily, ideally in the morning when you wake up and in the evening. Choose a cleanser appropriate for your skin type and wash with lukewarm water. Apply toner after cleansing when your skin is still a little damp, then follow it with any treatment-focused products you prefer like serum or acne treatment.
After cleansing, moisturizing is the second most important step in any skincare regimen – it’s also the key to restoring your irritated skin and protecting it from further damage. After your morning cleanse, apply a lightweight daytime moisturizer. At night, you can use a thicker moisturizer as long as it’s appropriate for your skin type. Your skin is most absorbent at night, so a little extra hydration while you sleep can go a long way toward healing your dry skin.
Here are some Yon-Ka Paris products to consider for your daily routine:
- Yon-Ka Cleansers – The first step in any skincare regimen is a good cleanser. Yon-Ka cleansers come in four different types to meet the changing needs of your skin. Choose from formulas well-suited for oily, dry, sensitive, or normal skin types and enjoy a deep purifying experience free from harsh sulfates and alcohol.
- Sensitive Collection – Battle redness and irritation with Yon-Ka’s sensitive skin collection. Choose from a soothing mask and calming creams formulated to restore skin to its natural, comfortable balance while maintaining clarity and evenness.
- Hydra No. 1 Collection – This ultra-hydrating collection is the secret to banishing dry, dull, uncomfortable skin. Whether you choose a cream, mask, fluid, or serum, you’ll enjoy long-lasting hydration with defense against premature aging.
- Gommage Yon-Ka – Reveal clearer, healthier skin with this 4-in-1 gel facial peel. The ultra-gentle formula exfoliates, clarifies, hydrates, and balances the skin while tightening the appearance of pores and firming skin. Used weekly for all skin types, including dry and sensitive skin, it also reduces redness and irritation.
- Elixir Vital – Repair all types of damaged skin with this revitalizing, regenerating elixir. This formula delivers intense moisturizing action with a restructuring blend of beech bud and soy peptides that revitalizes and remineralizes skin damaged by fatigue, stress, and hormones.
- Crème Mains – Hands that are rough and dry from over-washing rejoice with this repairing hand cream. With a specialized combination of shea butter, grapeseed oil, and skin-supporting vitamins, this luxurious hand cream comforts, hydrates, and protects even the driest skin.
Daily cleansing and moisturizing are essential, whether you’re experiencing skin issues or not. Use the Yon-Ka Paris Skin Advisor to find the right products for your skin type and shop online to receive free shipping on orders over $50. If you need more help choosing the best products, use the Spa Finder to locate a Yon-Ka Paris spa near you – many are currently offering virtual consultations.
How to Protect Your Skin in Times of Stress
Chronic stress can make your skin go crazy. The trouble is that the current global situation is a stressful one – there’s no way around it. If you’re already dealing with dry, irritated skin or breakouts from constantly wearing protective gear, the last thing you need is stress making your skin problems worse. Stress increases the production of cortisol, a hormone that can increase sebum production, leading to blocked pores and acne breakouts. Cortisol is also responsible for aging skin, leading to premature wrinkles and fine lines.
Here are some simple tips to protect your skin from the effects of stress:
- Take a deep breath. Stress can cause your breathing to become shallow and rapid which compromises oxygen delivery to your skin and other organs. Take a few deep breaths to calm yourself down when you start to feel overwhelmed.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is important for optimal health but it may affect stress levels as well. You may not notice an immediate skin benefit from drinking water, but staying hydrated helps flush excess cortisol and other toxins from the body over time.
- Give yourself a moisturizing face lift. When you’re feeling anxious, you may find yourself squinting or frowning which can accelerate the development of fine lines and wrinkles. Take a little moisturizer and gently massage your forehead and the corners of your eyes and mouth for a quick face lift.
- Feed your skin well. Balanced nutrition is the key to healthy skin, so avoid the temptation to stress eat. Get your daily dose of essential nutrients through a diet of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.
- Get plenty of sleep. Not only is a good night’s sleep your best defense against stress, but it helps your skin as well. Sleep deprivation can worsen existing skin conditions, trigger inflammation, and accelerate the aging process.
Keeping your body healthy keeps your skin healthy. You may not be able to avoid stress in your life, but you can take simple steps like these to improve your body’s ability to fight that stress.