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Face Masks & Your Skin

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

With the new reality of the COVID pandemic, face masks have become an integral part of our daily outfit routine. Masks are here to stay and they are quickly had become not just a protective item but a fashion statement and a way to express ourselves.

But, what about our face skin?

Apparently, wearing a mask for a prolonged period of time affects your skin in three different ways: mechanically, chemically and biologically.

Depending on your skin type and how long you cover your face during the day, you may experience a variety of skin conditions, especially if you have sensitive or oily (acne) skin.

If you have a history of acne, rosacea, perioral dermatitis, eczema, or allergic contact dermatitis, you may find that your condition is worsened by prolonged face mask-wearing. Some people can develop an irritation or chafe behind their ears from the mask's elastic bands.

Let’s have a look at how masks can affect your skin:

Mechanically – by causing heat and pressure, it may lead to irritation and inflammation. As well it may impact your lymph flow.

Biologically – by creating a hot and humid environment a mask may increase microbial activity on the skin and have an impact on the function of blood vessels and clog pores, what can lead to more oil production and acne.

Chemically – contact dermatitis may appear because of the mask’s materials. In addition, some of the masks made of Polypropylene (PP) which is a thermoplastic “addition polymer” made from the combination of propylene monomers. It is used in a variety of applications to include packaging for consumer products. With this kind of mask, you may be exposed to toxic chemicals long hours a day. As a result, it can lead to breakouts, allergic reactions, dermatitis and asthma.

So, what can we do to help our skin and to support our overall health?

  • The most important thing you can do to prevent irritation and breakouts is to keep your skin clean and well moisturized. Make sure both your cleanser and moisturizer are preferably natural, noncomedogenic, and not known to irritate your skin.

  • “Seal the moisture” technique - apply hydrosol as a tonic for your skin (I will mention different types of hydrosols farther) and then apply an oil serum right away. A serum basically will seal the moisture in your skin. Skin Delight, for example, not only helps rejuvenate the skin, but it also reduces acne scars and pigmentation. It is also has a very low molecular weight so it will penetrate and nourish your skin (and will not sit on top of your skin and clog your pores.) Avoid the common mistake to use coconut oil or olive oil. Their molecular weight is too high and they may clog your face skin pores.

  • Start to incorporate face massage into your daily routine. It will promote healthy skin, relax your muscles and it great for lymph circulation. There are lots of different techniques that you can find on the internet for free and paid options as well. (I have taken two different online face massage courses and if you are interested, I can share some of my feedback about these courses in the future). And here is a link to an article with basic recommendations How To Give Yourself a Face Massage.

  • Pay attention, when you cover your face with a mask, your skin can become more sensitive and some skincare products that you’ve used in the past may irritate your skin now (Like retinol)

  • Don’t wear makeup under your mask! (I know, this one is tough) but if your makeup isn't non-comedogenic, it could clog pores and lead to breakouts or uncomfortable buildup. The same goes for skincare.

  • Avoid paraffin products. It is always true but now, more important than ever. It includes mineral oil, petroleum, Vaseline.

  • Protect and hydrate your lips, by applying natural moisturizer (not petroleum/ vaseline based products)

  • Wear the right mask. To reduce skin problems, look for masks that offer the following:

  1. A snug, but comfortable fit

  2. Soft, natural, and breathable fabric, such as cotton

  3. The fabric on the inside that feels soft if you have sensitive skin

  4. Cotton material inside if you have acne or oily skin

  5. Take a 15-minute mask break at least every 4 hours

  • Change your mask frequently and wash your cloth masks daily. It removes oils and skin cells that collect inside the mask, which could lead to skin problems. It is not a good idea at all, to put your mask on your car mirror and keep it there. It is not an air freshener and not a car accessory.

Here are some recommendations for oils and hydrosols your skin will appreciate:

  • Rose, German chamomile, Neroli or Lavender hydrosols can be very helpful as a tonic for calming redness, inflammation and irritation on your skin.

  • If your skin suffers from dehydration and/or dryness, it needs to be soothed and softened. Calendula, Rosehip, Pomegranate, Shea and Jojoba will help.

  • If your skin is feeling irritated, red and at the same time oily (acne), we need to balance oil production and to add anti-inflammatory agents that can reduce the redness and irritation. This kind of skin condition will benefit from geranium, yarrow, helichrysum hydrosols with a combination of tea tree or lemongrass.

And remember, your skin is your largest body organ. Treat it with respect!

Scentifique Face Serums Collection:

Skin Delight- our best-seller, anti-ageing & nourishing facial serum

Million Roses – new and luxury anti-ageing eye and face serum with Rose Otto essential oil- the most expensive and exclusive essential oil on the planet.

Face Elixir - anti-inflammatory facial serum for acne, irritated and inflamed skin, high in linoleic acid

Scentifique Face Toner Collection

UNDER THE MASK Facial Toner - calming, gentle and effective to be used on the face during times of facial redness, inflammation, to help soothe purify and balance the skin.

NEROLI & LAVENDER Facial Toner - For Acne-prone, oily and sensitive skin

ROSE & GERANIUM Facial Toner - For Normal, Mature and dehydrated skin

Custom Toner creating are available. We have a large variety of hydrosols, to fulfill your personal requests. For more details, please contact us at

Stay safe and healthy!

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Ludmila Aksenfeld
Ludmila Aksenfeld

A very timely useful article, an excellent selection of natural products for skin care

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